Newcastle Falcons earn vital London Irish win

Mike Delany in action for Newcastle Falcons

Newcastle Falcons earned a 13-6 vital victory over London Irish which puts them in a storng position to avoid relegation.

The victory moves Newcastle Falcons seven points clear of the Premiership’s bottom club with two rounds remaining.

The opening half saw Newcastle bag the only try through Marcus Watson and five points from Mike Delany. London Irish’s only scores came from two Greig Tonks penalties.

The only score of the second half was a single Newcastle penalty courtesy of inside centre Juan Pablo Socino.

The sides headed into this fixture with Newcastle sitting just four points ahead of their opponents. And it was the Premiership’s bottom side who opened the scoring with a Greig Tonks penalty.

But, Newcastle were quick to hit back with a penalty of their own from the boot of Delany. Another Tonks penalty re-established Irish’s lead, before the hosts grabbed the first try or the game.

An intercept from Watson after a loose pass from Tonks gave him a free 60 metre run in for the try. Newcastle came close to scoring a second, but a wonderful try saving tackle denied Gonzalo Tiesi on his first appearance in over 12 months. After the break, the Falcons continued to extend their lead with a penalty from Juan Pablo Socino.

London Irish pressed relentlessly with several breaks from Tikirotuma and Andrew Fenby threatening the Newcastle line. However, poor handling in the 22 seemed to be their undoing.

With fifteen minutes to go, Irish put together 22 phases of possession, but the final cross field kick from Shane Geraghty bounced agonisingly away from the hands of Fenby. But try as they might, London Irish just couldn’t cross the try line, largely down to a phenomenal Newcastle defensive set, but several handling errors on the five metre line cost them dearly.

The defeat leaves Irish seven points behind Newcastle with two games left to play. The exiles host Harlequins next weekend before travelling to The Ricoh to face Wasps.

Meanwhile, Newcastle face Saracens and Sale respectively in their final two games, as they look to further condemn London Irish to their first ever relegation from the Premiership.

Final Score Newcastle Falcons 13 (10) London Irish 6 (6)

Scorers

Newcastle Falcons
Tries – Watson
Pen – Delany, Socino
Con – Delany
Drop –

London Irish
Tries –
Pen – Tonks 2
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee :Wayne Barnes (167th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Peter Allan & Paul Burton.
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Newcastle

15 Simon Hammersley , 14 Alex Tait , 13 Gonzalo Tiesi , 12 Juan Pablo Socino , 11 Marcus Watson , 10 Mike Delany , 9 Michael Young , , 1 Rob Vickers , 2 George McGuigan , 3 Taione Vea , 4 Calum Green , 5 Sean Robinson , 6 Mark Wilson , 7 Will Welch (captain) , 8 Nili Latu

Replacements : 16 Scott Lawson , 17 Alex Rogers , 18 Mike Cusack , 19 Mouritz Botha , 20 Ally Hogg , 21 Sonatane Takulua , 22 Craig Willis , 23 Chris Harris

London Irish

15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Andrew Fenby, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Scott Steele, 1 Tom Court, 2 David Paice, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 Will Lloyd, 5 Matt Symons, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Luke Narraway (c)

Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jerry Sexton, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Aseli Tikoirotuma

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