LONDON Irish restored their march to the Greene King IPA Championship title with a convincing 49-12 home win over Doncaster Knights.

A bumper St Patrick’s Party crowd were treated to an impressive, seven-try display from the Exiles as they bounced back from a rare loss at Yorkshire Carnegie with an emphatic display at a sunkissed Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The maximum-points win leaves Irish top of the table and with an eight-point advantage over Ealing Trailfinders in second, with only four league fixtures remaining.

Exiles fans were out in force at the weekend, but it took Declan Kidney’s men a while to make their dominance count.

Ben Loader and Tom Stephenson both went close to crossing the whitewash for the hosts, though Doncaster also enjoyed a spell in the Irish 22.

The final pass continued to elude the Exiles when Alivereti Veitokani and Loader found room after Terrence Hepetema had sent Stephenson away with a neat offload.

But patience finally paid off for Irish when they broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, Luke McLean’s powerful break leading to Stephenson dotting down.

Exiles doubled their lead just four minutes later when Albert Tuisue crossed the whitewash after Matt Rogerson had been stopped short of the line, with Ian Keatley notching both conversions for 14-0.

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Doncaster quickly hit back when Charlie Beech touched down after Mat Clark and Ollie Steadman had made the initial hard yards.

Yet their hard work was soon undone when Dwayne Polataivao’s kick ahead was too long and Loader collected before returning the ball with electric pace for an eye-catching try.

Irish went further ahead after the break with David Porecki marking his 50th appearance with a 10th Championship try after fine work from McLean and Loader in the build-up.

Doncaster returned to a more basic approach with their forwards to the fore, but Exiles were soon celebrating another touchdown, Hepetema putting Loader through a gap before Stephenson was on the end of the move for his second of the day.

There was no letting up from the hosts and, when Keatley sold a dummy before touching down in the 68th minute the job had already been done.

Doncaster refused to lie down and they grabbed a second try with seven minutes remaining through the powerful Steadman.

However, Irish had the final word when Barney Maddison crashed over from close range after Brendan Macken had twice gone close.

Keatley ended with six conversions and a try in his 17-point haul, with Jacob Atkins landing the other conversion.

London Irish travel to fifth-placed Cornish Pirates this Saturday (2.30pm ko), having lost 19-7 at Mennaye Field in the Championship Cup in December.

London Irish: Veitokani; Loader, Stephenson (Macken 68), Hepetema, McLean; Keatley (Atkins 70), Meehan (Steele 64); Reid, Porecki (Fainga’a 61), Hoskins (Chawatama 66), van der Merwe, McNally (c) (Maddison 68), Tuisue, Ioane (Schatz 61), Rogerson.

Doncaster: Jarvis; Wilson (Cowell 39, HT), Clark, Hayes, Lewis (Cowell 57); Morath, Polataivao (Seniloli 68); Hislop (List 66), Hunter (Malcom 57), Beech (Sproston 48), Civetta (Eames 57), Hicks, Stedman, Hills (capt), Tyrell (Lomidze 61).

Ref: Dean Richards.

Attendance: 10,106.