Booth vents his anger as Irish slump to ninth defeat in a row

London Irish 24 Bath 25

London Irish head coach Toby Booth struggled to mask his frustration after Olly Barkley's punishing boot consigned the Exiles to a ninth successive defeat. The hapless Irish have not won since 31 October, while Bath savoured their first Premiership triumph in more than three months.

Bath's Barkley floored Irish with the game's final kick – his sixth successful penalty – despite the home team having scored three tries to the West Country club's solitary effort from scrum-half Michael Claassens.

"When you score three tries and concede one, you expect to win the game," said Booth. "I have got a dressing room full of people in disbelief. I felt we did enough to win the game, but we didn't. Discipline has cost us the game."

Barkley's winning kick came after Irish flanker Steffon Armitage collapsed a maul, and Bath's outside centre stepped up to claim the points and leave Irish with the scant consolation of a losing bonus point.

Booth added: "It was a 50-50 call. He [referee Greg Garner] has made the decision ... whether it's the right one? We will go through the referee assessors, but nothing will happen. We were 6-0 on penalties in our favour in the first 30 minutes, which would suggest if you kept the ball, you got a penalty.

"Today was probably the first time in my history we have been penalised twice for collapsing a maul that has not started from a line-out. Ultimately, there are three things that decide a contest – two teams and the referee."

While Booth was left to fret over over another Premiership loss, Bath head coach Steve Meehan did not conceal his delight following a rare victory on the road. "It's a good result. There will be plenty of smiles, and we've got to build on this now. I know how much hard work the players have been doing. I knew that it would turn around, I knew the win would come," he said.

Wing Topsy Ojo's seventh league try of the season looked to have settled a nervy, fractious affair, with his touchdown following earlier scores by Sailosi Tagicakibau and Richard Thorpe.

Scrum-half Paul Hodgson captained Irish after prop Clarke Dermody dropped to the bench, while the home side's replacements also included regular starters Seilala Mapusua, Bob Casey and Ryan Lamb.

Bath welcomed back their captain and No 8 Luke Watson after injury, but his team were immediately rocked back on their heels as Irish claimed a try inside two minutes. The visitors won lineout ball just inside their own half, only to lose possession; they were then forced into retreat as Irish attacked through centre Dan Bowden. With the Bath defence struggling to regroup, Tagicakibau showed his impressive power from 30 metres out, smashing through two attempted tackles before touching down one-handed.

Former Bath player Chris Malone slotted the touchline conversion and then kicked a penalty when Watson infringed, leaving Bath 10-0 behind and already chasing the game.

Barkley edged Bath back into the contest, landing a penalty from 50 metres before a second successful penalty gave Irish food for thought. But the home team quickly re-established themselves, claiming a second try as half-time approached when full-back Delon Armitage fashioned a blistering outside break before sending flanker Thorpe over. Malone again added the extras and, although Barkley completed his penalty hat-trick, Bath could have few complaints about a 17-9 interval deficit.

However, Irish were hampered when Thorpe collected a yellow card for collapsing a maul inside his own 22, and Bath finally capitalised on their territorial dominance through Claassens' dart for the line; Barkley's conversion cut the deficit to a point.

But there was worse to come for the Irish when a 64th-minute Barkley penalty nudged Bath ahead for the first time. The lead, though, lasted less than two minutes after Mapusua – on for Malone – proved enough of a distraction for Bath's defenders, creating space that Ojo exploited by scything through Barkley's weak tackle.

Bowden converted from in front of the posts before a fifth penalty from the deadly Barkley made it24-22, ensuring a fight to the finish. And the glory was Bath's when the nerveless Barkley stepped up to nail the winning penalty.

Scorers: London Irish - Tries: Tagicakibau, Thorpe, Ojo. Conversions: Malone 2, Bowden. Penalties: Malone. Bath - Tries: Claassens. Coversions: Barkley. Penalties: Barkley 6.

London Irish: D Armitage; T Ojo, E Seveali'i, D Bowden, S Tagicakibau; C Malone (S Mapusua, 65), P Hodgson (capt, D Allinson, 65); A Corbisiero (D Murphy, 70), J Buckland, F Rautenbach (C Dermody, 60), N Kennedy, M Garvey (R Casey, 66), R Thorpe, G Stowers (K Roche, 66), S Armitage.

Bath: J Cuthbert; M Carraro, O Barkley, S Hape (N Abendanon, 70), M Banahan; A James, M Claassens (M McMillan, 72); D Barnes (D Bell, 46), L Mears (P Dixon, 70), D Wilson, S Hooper, D Grewcock (I Fernandez Lobbe, 60), L Watson (capt), S Taylor, L Moody.

Referee: G Garner (Warwickshire).

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick