Exiles end Gloucester’s unbeaten run


London Irish made their own luck by beating Gloucester 15-10 in a tense Guinness Premiership match at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

The unexpected victory means the Exiles have ended thier visitors’ unbeaten run this season thanks to a brace of tries to wing Tomas De Vedia.

In a tight first half Peter Hewat’s penalty for the home side was the only score as London Irish led 3-0 at the break, but they soon extended their lead after the restart.

But De Vedia scored two tries in the second period, his second late on, while Iain Balshaw’s sole effort for Gloucester wasn’t enough to preserve their unbeaten record.

Bath deprived an injury-hit Newcastle Falcons of their unbeaten home record for a second successive season at Kingston Park in a 33-20 victory.

In a curiously low-key match, Newcastle found themselves 10-0 down inside the first six minutes, Shaun Berne kicking an early penalty and shrugging off Andy Perry’s weak tackle to score under the posts.

Matthew Banahan, Michael Stephenson, Michael Claasens and Ian Davey also scored tries for Bath, while Tom May and Joe Shaw scored the only tries for Newcastle.

Jason Strange kicked 12 points to steer Bristol to a 39-13 victory over Leeds and set a new club record, surpassing the 637 scored by Mark Tainton in his 10-year career at the Memorial Stadium.

The defeat left Leeds without a win on the road in the Guinness Premiership since November 2005 and just one victory to their credit since regaining their place in the top flight.

Bristol ran in five tries and there were braces for Neil Brew and David Lemi while Andrew Blowers also crossed. Tom Biggs got the only try for Leeds.

On Saturday, stand-in captain Chris Malone kicked Harlequins to a 26-25 victory over Wasps in their London derby.

Fly-half Malone contributed 16 points in an exciting clash which saw the lead change hands five times.

Malone landed three penalties, two conversions and a drop goal after creating his side’s opening try for centre Tosh Masson.

Malone’s 66th-minute conversion finally secured victory, after a sustained spell of forward pressure produced a try for replacement back-row forward Tom Guest.

Leicester Tigers, who welcome back their World Cup players next week, stayed in touch with the pacesetters with a 28-20 victory over Worcester.

Paul Burke kicked three penalties and two conversions for the Tigers while Ollie Smith, Ben Herring and Benjamin Kayser crossed for tries.

On Friday, Rory Lamont provided the inspiration as Sale edged a titanic tussle 34-30 to maintain their outstanding home form and deny Saracens.

The visitors, who arrived at Edgeley Park having made their best start start to a Premiership campaign since 1998, led 17-13 at the break knowing that a bonus-point win would lift them above Gloucester and to the top of the table.

But Sale had their own agenda and an outstanding second-half performance which harvested three tries preserved their proud record of having not lost at home since April.

Lamont, 25, who impressed on World Cup duty for Scotland, did as much as anyone to ensure Sale a bonus-point victory against a brave Sarries outfit.

The wing helped to craft a first-half try for Richard Wigglesworth and crossed the line himself in the 51st minute for the first of his side’s three second-half scores.

The scorers:

For London Irish:
Tries: De Vedia 2
Con: Hewat
Pen: Hewat

For Gloucester:
Try: Balshaw
Con: Paterson
Pen: Paterson

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Delon Armitage, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Phil Murphy, 7 Declan Danaher, 6 Kieran Roche, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Tonga Lea’aetoa, 2 D

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