Geraghty inspires Exiles win
London Irish pulled off a crucial victory in their battle for Aviva Premiership survival with a 29-16 success at home to Saracens on Saturday.
It was 9-9 at the break, but a crucial interception try from late call-up Shane Geraghty put the Irish on the road to victory.
Jonathan Joseph, replaced by Geraghty, was a late absentee with an ankle injury, with flanker Will Fraser withdrawing from the Saracens line-up with a dead leg.
Saracens were ahead after only two minutes when Charlie Hodgson kicked a penalty from inside his own half but this was soon nullified by one from Tom Homer for the home side.
Another long-range penalty from Hodgson saw the visitors regain the lead but it was short-lived for Matt Stevens as penalised for a dangerous tackle, allowing Homer a second success.
The opening exchanges were evenly contested with Hodgson having the next chance for points but this time his kick, again from inside his own half, was wide of the mark.
It was 6-6 at the end of the first quarter before the Exiles had the first real chance of the opening try.
George Skivington burst away on a 45 metre kick and chase which took London Irish deep into the opposition 22.
Hodgson got back to save before the ball ran loose for Pat Phibbs but the scrum half knocked on with line at his mercy.
At the resulting scrum, Saracens were penalised and surprisingly Homer was unable to take advantage, missing with an angled 25 metre kick.
London Irish had the better of the second quarter in terms of territory and possession and when Saracens again conceded a scrum penalty, Homer made no mistake with his third kick.
Back came Saracens with a penalty from Hodgson to level it at 9-9 at the end of a very disappointing first half.
London Irish began the second half strongly with a storming run from Chris Hala'ufia, carried on by Marland Yarde, getting the hosts a platform in the Saracens 22.
They maintained the pressure and they were back in front when Homer kicked another goal.
Saracens brought on Nils Mordt and Schalk Brits in an attempt to instil some more urgency in their game but their increased enterprise cost
A careless long pass from Mordt was easily intercepted by Geraghty who raced 45 metres for the try which Homer converted to give the Irish a handy 19-9 lead going into the final quarter.
Saracens were rattled, making a number of unforced errors, and they went further behind when Homer banged over another penalty.
With 14 minutes to go Saracens at last created something when a lively Dave Strettle saw a gap in the home defence to score an individual try that Hodgson converted.
Scenting victory, Saracens played with more width but another error gave London Irish a chance to seal the game.
The visitors carelessly lost possession for Topsy Ojo to be on hand to kick ahead with
replacement Ofisa Treviranus winning the race for a crucial touch down which Homer converted for a match-winning tally of 19 points.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.