LV= Cup: Holders Leicester back on track after home win over London Irish
Last Updated: 18/11/12 5:45pm
George Ford: kicked 17 points for Leicester, including a crucial late penalty
Leicester held off a late fightback from London Irish to triumph 22-15 at Welford Road, kick-starting their LV= Cup campaign in the process.
Having lost their opening fixture in this season's competition, the current holders looked to be easing their way to a much-needed victory when they led 19-7 with 11 minutes to play.
However, the Exiles made the most of a man advantage to get within four points with their second try of the afternoon, Tom Homer the man to get it.
The Tigers kept their cool, though, and moved the ball down the field to set up a penalty opportunity that George Ford knocked over, putting the game beyond their opponents.
The young fly-half kicked 17 points in total for the hosts, including adding the conversion after Rob Andrew had touched down in the 19th minute.
Irish, who had started their cup campaign with a win over Sale, had led 8-0 after nine minutes thanks to a penalty from fly-half Ian Humphreys and a fabulous try by full-back Anthony Watson tha had been made by winger Topsy Ojo.
From then on Leicester dominated the rest of the half, scoring 10 points inside four minutes before a further penalty from Ford just before half time put them 13-8 ahead.
Richard Cockerill's side continued to pile on the pressure at the start of the second half and got their reward when they were given a penalty in front of the posts which Ford successfully kicked.
Yet Irish did look dangerous in attack; only a forward pass from Humphreys stopped scrum-half Darren Allinson from getting a try before Micky Young produced a superb tackle to deny Marcel Garvey.
Humphreys also missed a straightforward penalty before they were given a boost by the dismissal of Leicester prop Boris Stankovich for a high tackle.
The extra man told when replacement Homer squeezed over in the left corner, but a drive by the Tigers allowed Ford to put paid to the Exiles' hopes with just a minute remaining.