In a tight game dominated by kicking, the Exiles managed to get the only try of the afternoon, albeit a penalty try early in the second half.
That penalty try was converted by fly-half Barry Everitt, who went on to record a personal tally of 19 points with four penalties and a drop-goal, but despite his contribution Irish only had a bonus point to show for their efforts.
Bath’s new Australian signing Chris Malone chipped in with a drop-goal after half-time for the visitors on his competitive debut after joining from Exeter, but it was Barkley who was the star for coach Michael Foley’s men.
The youngster nailed seven penalties in all for a 21-point personal haul, his 87th minute effort frustrating the home fans, but giving his side the sort of gritty win which was so lacking for most of the last campaign.
London IrishTry: Penalty tryCon: EverittPens: Everitt 4
Bath Pens: Barkley 7DG: Malone