Premiership: Bath 25-17 London Irish

Matt Banahan in action for Bath
Before grabbing a brace of tries against London Irish, Matt Banahan had failed to score in 12 Premiership games this season
Premiership
Bath (20) 25
Tries: Banahan 2, Rokoduguni, Houston Cons: Priestland Pens: Priestland
London Irish (9) 17
Tries: Lewington Pens: Brophy Clews 3, Tonks
Relive Saturday's Premiership action

Matt Banahan scored two first-half tries against Premiership bottom side London Irish to set Bath up for just their second win in 10 games.

Banahan's brace, a Semesa Rokoduguni try and five points from returning Wales fly-half Rhys Priestland put Bath 20-9 up at the break.

Theo Brophy Clews kicked the Exiles' first-half points before making way for Greig Tonks, on his Irish debut.

Leroy Houston added Bath's bonus-point try, before Alex Lewington responded.

Saturday's other Premiership results
Sale 29-23 Harlequins
Gloucester 13-10 Wasps
Saracens 15-20 Northampton

The Exiles made an audacious attempt to claim a losing bonus point, with Tonks slotting a last-minute penalty before Irish regained possession and had Lewington finish their finest attacking move of the game after the clock had stopped.

Tonks, however, hit the post with the conversion, leaving Irish eight points adrift of safety ahead of their marquee 'home' game against Saracens in New Jersey next week.

Victory is last year's beaten Premiership finalists' third home win in the league in 2015-16 and puts them within 10 points of the top six, with a game in hand on their rivals.

Priestland, on his return from Six Nations duties with Wales, landed the first kick of the game, but only managed to slot one of four conversion attempts.

Bath centre Kyle Eastmond with instrumental throughout, and orchestrated Banahan's first score.

Rokoduguni, the only one of Bath's four England internationals released by national boss Eddie Jones to face London Irish, went over just before the break, while Houston's second-half try put the game out of the Exiles' reach.

Bath first-team coach Neal Hatley:

"We are disappointed about letting in a try at the end. We need to make sure we are more relentless and ruthless for the full 80 minutes.

"We need also to work on our defensive scrums and line-out defence."

London Irish head coach Tom Coventry told BBC Radio Berkshire:

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Coventry: Irish 'must keep morale high'

"I was pretty impressed with the last five minutes when we got ourselves in a state of mind to chase a bonus point down, we played some pretty good rugby.

"It's just a pity that we weren't able to replicate that for the remainder of the game.

"The try conceded just before half-time, that was frustrating. We talked about making sure we were in the match at half-time and going in 11 points down ended up being too hard to chase down.

"The defensive errors we made in midfield, particular with Kyle Eastmond who had a pretty good day out there for them. They seemed to be able to get through us and our shape far too easily."

Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Devoto, Eastmond, Banahan; Priestland, Cook; Lahiff, Webber, Thomas, Ewels, Day, Garvey, Louw (capt.), Houston.

Replacements: Dunn, Obano, Wilson, Hooper, Mercer, Evans, Max Clark, Agulla.

London Irish: Maitland; Lewington, Hearn, Williams, Ojo; Brophy Clews, Steele; Smallbone, Paice, Aulika, Symons, Stooke, Nagle, Narraway (capt), McCusker.

Replacements: Cruse, Court, Halavatau, Sexton, Cowan, Allinson, Tonks, Mulchrone.

Referee: JP Doyle (RFU).

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