Premiership: Leicester Tigers 19-22 London Irish
|Leicester Tigers (6) 19|
|Pens: Burns 3, Williams Con: Burns|
|London Irish (13) 22|
|Pens: Geraghty 5 Cons: Geraghty|
Shane Geraghty kicked 17 points as London Irish beat Leicester for the first time at Welford Road in 11 years.
Irish led 13-6 at half-time with Geraghty perfect with the boot, converting Halani Aulika's try and adding two penalties.
Freddie Burns responded, kicking two of four penalty attempts before the break.
A Burns kick and converted Niki Goneva try levelled the scores, before Geraghty penalties either side of an Owen Williams kick sealed victory.
The injury-hit Tigers, missing a host of first-team regulars including England internationals Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Manu Tuilagi, failed to recover from their heaviest-ever Premiership defeat on their return home, having been thumped 45-0 by Bath last week.
|Hoodoo breaking win for Irish|
|Victory ended Irish's run of 10 successive losses to the Tigers in all competitions. It was also their first triumph at Welford Road since 2003.|
Geraghty teed up the first points of the game on five minutes before the visitors were denied a try by the TMO for obstruction as former Tiger Alex Lewington put fellow winger James Short over.
Burns failed with two penalties either side of another successful kick by Geraghty, and it took a fine Blaine Scully tackle to stop Blair Cowan from extending the visitors' lead further.
While England fly-half Burns managed to slot his third penalty attempt before the half-hour, Leicester's inability to collect the ball from the restart allowed Lewington to pluck the ball out of the air and set Irish up for their only try of the match.
The winger was forced into touch, only for Leicester to make a mess of the line-out, from which the Exiles then won their own line-out and drove Aulika over the try line.
Geraghty added the extras but was then sin-binned before the break for handling in a ruck near his own posts.
While Burns managed to add two penalties either side of the break, the Exiles squandered a host of chances to take control of the game with Chris Noakes missing a long-range penalty, centre Fergus Mulchrone failing to capitalise on an interception and Aulika wasting a chance with a knock-on.
Geraghty made it 16-9 with another penalty, althought Leicester levelled soon after as Goneva picked the ball up at the base of a ruck and sprinted 15 metres to score.
Geraghty put Irish back in front again with another penalty after Jordan Crane had been sin-binned for dangerous play.
Burns went on to miss a long-range penalty before Williams slotted a kick from his own half to restore parity, only for Geraghty to win it two minutes from time with his sixth kick of the afternoon after Mathew Tait had been penalised for handling on the floor.
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill:
"I thought the team fronted up really well. It was a very tight game that could have gone either way. Some crucial refereeing decisions went against us.
"I'm unhappy with how he officiated and it was crucial to the game. I didn't think the referee had a good performance."
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith:
"The result is great, but we are not crowing because we realise the Tigers are wounded.
"For a long time now, coming here and getting a win has been one of the biggest scalps in English rugby.
"I know this club, they are very proud and I knew they would fight back after last week.
"For us the result gives us momentum and momentum is everything."
Leicester Tigers: Tait; Scully, Goneva, Williams, Benjamin; Burns, Youngs (capt); Bristow, Ghiraldini, Balmain; De Chaves, Kitchener; Gibson, Salvi, Crane.
Replacements: Briggs, Brugnara, Pasquali, Pearace, Barbieri, Wells, Harrison, Smith.
Sin Bin: Crane (60).
London Irish: Fenby; Lewington, Mulchrone, Geraghty, Short; Noakes, Steele; Court, Paice, Aulika; Skivington (capt), Sinclair; Low, Cowan, Narraway.
Replacements: Ellis, Parr, Halavatau, Leo, Guest, O'Leary, Sheridan, Ojo.
Sin Bin: Geraghty (37).
Referee: Greg Garner (RFU)