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- Aviva Premiership
- 10th May 2014
- KO 15:15
- Ground: Madejski Stadium
- Att: 8,000
Aviva Premiership: London Irish come from behind to beat Sale
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London Irish ended their Aviva Premiership season in style by turning around a 10-point deficit to defeat sixth-placed Sale 22-20.
Irish trailed 20-10 early in the second half but produced a strong performance after the break to stun their visitors who had looked in control of match.
Andy Fenby scored two tries while Marland Yarde also went over for the Exiles with James O'Connor kicking a penalty and and two conversions.
O'Connor also provided two scoring passes and Irish's win would have been greater had he been more accurate off the kicking tee.
Sale scored first-half tries through Mark Easter and Tom Arscott with Joe Ford kicking two penalties and two conversions.
Sale started strongly, winning a couple of penalties to secure a platform in the home 22. A driving line-out put Irish on the back foot allowing Easter to crash over for the try which Ford converted.
But Irish were level within two minutes. Ofisa Treviranus ran powerfully to open up the Sale defence before a well-timed pass from O'Connor gave Fenby the chance to evade a weak tackle from Arscott and race away to score. O'Connor added the extras.
Irish had the better of the opening quarter and should have been ahead at the end of it but O'Connor was wide with a straightforward penalty attempt.
Sale regained the lead against the run of play as Irish carelessly lost possession. Cliff made a neat break to send Jonny Leota into space before the centre provided the scoring pass for Arscott.
Ford converted before he exchanged penalties with O'Connor to leave Sale 17-10 ahead at half-time.
Ford then extended that advantage with his second penalty before Sale carelessly conceded a second try.
The visitors lost a line-out on halfway, giving the hosts an opportunity to attack, and they moved the ball wide before another well-timed pass from O'Connor gave Yarde a chance to cruise past more weak tackling from Sale.
O'Connor converted with a splendid touchline kick to further reduce the arrears.
An illegal shoulder charge from Exiles replacement prop Tom Smallbone on Arscott allowed Sale to take play into the opposition 22 but the visitors were unable to take advantage as they declined kickable penalties in favour of more attacking options which came to nothing.
Sale were then made to pay as Irish burst away with Treviranus and Yarde making big contributions to a movement which ended with Fenby running elusively for an excellent try.
O'Connor failed with the simple conversion but Irish led 22-20 with 15 minutes remaining.
Sale should have been back in front but replacement Nick Macloed missed a kickable penalty and Sale's chance had gone.
O'Connor missed two late penalty chances but Irish had done enough to claim the win.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com