LONDON Irish missed out on the chance to extend their lead at the top of the Greene King IPA Championship after losing 26-12 at Yorkshire Carnegie, writes Richard Ashton.

Exiles travelled up north in the knowledge nearest rivals Ealing Trailfinders had been shocked by Richmond 24 hours earlier, but a resurgent Carnegie gained revenge for their 72-5 thumping at Madejski Stadium earlier in the season.

The hosts went ahead on 10 minutes when fly-half Jade Te Rure's chip-kick evaded the Irish defence, allowing Pete Lucock to ground the ball over the line before the conversion was added.

Yorkshire doubled their advantage a quarter of the way into the game, Lucock crashing over from close range for his second.

Irish hit back before the break with an Ollie Hoskins try converted by Ian Keatley, and they drew within two points when Topsy Ojo celebrated his record-extending 300th Exiles appearance with a try five minutes into the second period.

That was as good as it got for the away side, though, and Yorkshire extended their advantage when some slick handling allowed wing Elijah Niko to cross in the 68th minute.

And any hopes of a late Irish comeback were thwarted four minutes later when another high kick was not dealt with by the visitors, the ball recycled to Andy Forsyth to dot down.

Full-back Chris Elder knocked over the extras, with Irish unable to even gain a losing bonus-point.

The result leaves Declan Kidney's side eight points clear at the top of the table with five games remaining.

They do not have a game this weekend, returning to action at home to Doncaster Knights in the annual St Patrick's Party on Saturday, March 23.