LONDON Irish saw their 100 per cent Championship Cup record come to an end after a 19-7 defeat at Cornish Pirates.

Exiles were edged out by the hosts in a full-blooded clash at a muddy Penzance on Saturday as they crashed to their first loss in the competition.

Despite the testing conditions, both sides did their best to play attacking rugby, and the Pirates took a fifth-minute lead with the game’s first try.

Matt Williams made a fine covering tackle to bring down the rampaging Jack Andrew, but the home side kept the ball alive allowing Kyle Moyle to slide over in the corner.

Irish, though, hit back immediately when Stephen Myler was brought down near the corner before Williams came off his wing to score near the posts, Myler converting for a 7-5 lead.

However, Pirates soon regained the lead when a penalty conceded on halfway was kicked to the five-metre line and Andrew drove over near the uprights.

Will Cargill added the extras to put Pirates 12-7 up, but they squandered another three points when he missed a penalty soon after.

Yet the hosts pulled 12 points clear in the 51st minute, Tom Duncan crossing before Cargill slotted the conversion.

Irish tried to force their way back into the match, but a series of attacks floundered against the well-drilled Pirates defence.

And their hopes of a comeback received another blow when Blair Cowan received a red card 10 minutes from time for a late and dangerous tackle.

Exiles did threaten another score late on, but Williams spilled the ball near the line and Pirates held on for the victory.

Next up for Irish is a trip to Hartpury College on Friday, December 28 in the Championship (7.45pm).

Cornish Pirates Moyle (Rojas Alvarex 70), O’Meara, Parata, Patterson, Wedlake (Cant 38), Cargill, Day, Gendall, Matasvesi, Andrew, Freeman, Beukeboom (c), Caulfield, Stevens, Duncan. Subs not used: Gibbings, Concu, Cheishvili, Lee, Ashby.

London Irish McLean, Macken (Maddison 70), Fowlie (Stephenson 60), Hepetema, Williams, Myler, McKibbin (Meehan 66), Reid (Chawatama 56), Porecki (Fainga’a 66), Cilliers (Saulo 66), McNally (c), Van der Merwe, Gilsenan (Treviranus 51), Cowan, Schatz. Red card: Cowan 70.