Rugby Union: Irish seal last-gasp upset win

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A LAST-MINUTE try and touchline conversion from the London Irish captain, Conor O'Shea, sent Newcastle to a surprise 23-21 home defeat in front of a disappointing crowd of 4,184 yesterday.

Newcastle struggled in the scrums against a big London Irish side and threw away a 21-13 lead in the second half.

London Irish had made all the early running and scrum-half Kieran Campbell darted over from a five-metre scrum, with Niall Woods converting in the 13th minute.

Newcastle hit back five minutes later through an unconverted Tony Underwood try, before two controversial decisions in two minutes. The referee, Ashley Rowden, gave Irish a penalty for offside instead of a penalty try, and in the 26th minute awarded Newcastle a penalty try, which Jonny Wilkinson converted. Two more penalties put Newcastle in control.

O'Shea's second penalty with nine minutes left gave Irish hope and in the last minute the full-back crossed in the corner to level the scores.