In a match that produced just four scoring sequences – penalties – with three of them coming in the first 15 minutes, yellow cards dominated the rest of the match, with three players spending time in the sin bin, and a penalty on full-time by Mark Mapletoft bringing the only points in the second half.
Exiles No.10 Barry Everitt opened the scoring in the match in the eighth minute with his first penalty, with former Springbok Braam van Straaten equalising just three minutes later.
Everitt put his side in the lead once again before disaster struck for the visitors when both their props, tighthead Stuart Turner and loosehead Kevin Yates, were sin-binned within two minutes of each other shortly before half-time.
At 6-3 up, and with a two-man advantage, the home side would have been keen to stretch their lead, but it was not to be, with replacement back Mark Mapletoft eventually slotting the fourth penalty of the day in the 80th minute.
The Exiles, however, enjoyed some nervous moments shortly before Mapletoft's penalty, with replacement hooker Doug Wheatley getting yellow-carded in the 76th minute.
For London Irish:Pens: Everitt 2, Mapletoft
For Sale:Pen: Van Straaten