London Irish 25-32 Harlequins: Quins put the final nail in the coffin as the Exiles are relegated
London Irish were relegated from the Premiership following a 32-25 defeat at home to Harlequins.
Quins ran in three tries in the opening 22 minutes as Charlie Walker crossed twice and Ross Chisholm dotted down.
The Exiles rallied with tries from Luke Narraway and Asaeli Tikoirotuma to only trail 22-15 at half-time.
David Paice’s score then levelled matters for Irish before a late try from Quins prop Kyle Sinckler saw Irish drop down to the Championship
London Irish suffered relegation from the Premiership as Harlequins battled to a 32-15 victory at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
Despite coming back from 19-3 down to lead briefly towards the end of the match, Irish succumbed to defeat, ensuring the Exiles would play their rugby next season in the Championship.
The hosts knew before kick-off that anything less than a win would not be enough to maintain their place in the top flight, and they gave a good account of themselves, ultimately falling short in the final moments of the match.
For Quins, they gave themselves a fighting chance of gaining a European Cup place, their bonus point moving them one point above Sale Sharks, heading into the final day of the season.
It is the first time Irish have dropped out of England’s top flight since 1994, having won just four of their 21 league games so far this season.
Head coach Tom Coventry took charge of Irish at the start of the season after they finished 10th last year, but it took until Boxing Day for them to win their first league game.
London Irish: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 10 Theo Brophy Clews, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Luke Narraway (c), 5 Matt Symons, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Tom Smallbone
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Johnny Harris, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Jebb Sinclair, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Greig Tonks, 23 Ciaran Hearn
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Winston Stanley, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Jack Clifford, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Mat Luamanu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Nick Evans, 23 Ross Chisholm
Date: Sunday, May 1
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Keith Lewis