The Exiles will kick themselves when they take a look at the final standings. A bonus-point win over Saracens would have handed them a Wildcard semi-final encounter with Gloucester, and a possible route to the Heineken Cup. Alas, Sarries ensured that wasn't to be.
But the Exiles can't complain about this result – even though Saracens were playing for nothing more than pride, they totally out-played the tired-looking Irish and fully deserved their win.
Fly-half Mark Mapletoft booted the Exiles into the lead with two early penalties, and the thought of weekends away in Europe next season roused the home fans.
The home players also appeared to be strike dumb with wanderlust, and a Saracens drive from a line-out saw skipper Simon Raiwalui crash over for a try.
The Exiles failed to rouse themselves during the break and visiting fullback Robbie Kydd shook off two tackles to extend Sarries' lead early in the second half.
Minutes later the outstanding Raiwalui powered over for his second try which was converted by fellow Fijian Nicky Little.
London Irish stuck back via a try from Justin Bishop and a late penalty from substitute Barry Everitt, but it was too little too late, and the Irish end the season with nothing to show for their efforts.
London Irish:Try: BishopPens: Everitt, Mapletoft
For Saracens:Tries: O'Mahony, Raiwalui 2Con: LittlePen: Little