London Irish edge out Northampton Saints

London Irish edged out Northampton Saints 13-14 in the Aviva Premiership at Franklins Gardens on Saturday.

Toby Booth’s men took an early lead through Homer’s boot after just seven minutes.

But the majority of the first period was largely forgettable, Saints cancelling
out that early strike with a Ryan Lamb penalty before the fly-half added a second
against his old employers to make it 6-3 at the break.

Irish also found themselves reduced to 14 men on the stroke of half-time, prop
Leo Halavatau being sent to the sin-bin by referee Martin Fox.

However below-par Saints were unable to capitalise on the one-man advantage
and Homer levelled the scores with his second successful attempt.

With 10 minutes left on the clock Nick Kennedy finished off good work to score
the opening try of the game, however the 6-11 lead was short-lived, with Saints
being awarded a penalty try that Stephen Myler converted.

Dan Bowden’s penalty kick to touch put Irish deep into enemy territory as the
clock ticked down, and when referee Fox awarded a further penalty against Saints,
Homer made no mistake with the all-important kick.

The irony of the dramatic finish will not be lost on Saints fans, nor Lamb,
for it was his last-minute penalty in the first home game of the season at Franklin’s
Gardens that accounted for Gloucester, another of his former clubs.

Final Score Northampton 13 (6) London Irish 14 (3)


Scorers


Northampton Saints
Tries: AN Other
Penalties: Lamb 2
Conversions: Myler


London Irish
Tries: Kennedy
Penalties: Homer 3


Referee: Martin Fox (69th Premiership game)


Teams


Northampton Saints : 15 Jon Clarke, 14 Paul DIggin, 13 Tom May, 12 James Downey, 11 Noah Cato, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Phil Dowson (c), 7 Ben Nutley, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Brett Sharman, 1 Alex Waller.


Replacements: 16 Andy Long, 17 Paul Doran Jones, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 James Craig, 21 Stuart Commins, 22 Stephen Myler


London Irish: 15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Jonathan Joseph; 12. Steve Shingler; 11. Adam Thompstone; 10. Dan Bowden; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Clarke Dermody (Captain); 2. David Paice; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Matt Garvey; 6. Ed Siggery; 7. Alex Gray; 8. Chris Hala’ufia


Replacements : 16. James Buckland; 17. Max Lahiff; 18.Mark George; 19. Bryn Evans; 20. Dave Sisi; 21. Guy Armitage; 22. Anthony Watson; 23. Paul Hodgson

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