LONDON Irish suffered their first Greene King IPA Championship defeat of the season as Jersey scored in the final play of the game to snatch a 17-14 home win on Saturday.

Exiles picked up a losing bonus-point for their efforts, but for the second time in a row, their dreams of completing an unbeaten season in the second tier foundered in the Channel Islands.

The opening stages proved a physical affair, with both sides also kicking in a bid to establish field position, and it took until the 31st minute for the first points of the afternoon to arrive.

With Jersey's Janco Venter sin-binned for infringing as Irish hammered away at the line, Declan Kidney's men made their numerical advantage count as Topsy Ojo crossed in the corner.

Fresh from having set-up the try with an incisive break, fly-half Stephen Myler then knocked over the conversion to put his side 7-0 to the good.

Jersey hit back as the half wore on, but some tenacious Irish defence ensured they went into the break with the lead.

The home side came out strongly in the second period, and cut the deficit five minutes into the half with a score which will be a contender for the best seen at any level this season.

With Irish camped on the Jersey line, a knock-on gave the ball to the hosts, who ran it from behind their own line to go the length of the field. Numerous players were involved, but it was full back Auguy Slowik who prospered by being the one to get the ball down in the right-hand corner.

Irish responded almost immediately, though, and a fine break from skipper Josh McNally freed up Scottish international Blair Cowan to cross the whitewash for his side's second score. Myler again converted and Exiles had built a nine-point advantage.

Yet Jersey were not fazed and hit back with their second try on 56 minutes, some fleet footwork allowing Leeroy van Dam to go over on the left.

The home side continued to attack and it required a tremendous defensive effort from Irish to hold them at bay, McNally in particular forcing one important turnover.

However, the dam eventually burst with the final play of the game, Jersey fashioning an overlap which allowed Slowik to cross for his second try and send the St Peter faithful delirious.

Aaron Penberthy knocked over the conversion before referee Luke Pearce blew for full time.

London Irish now have a break from the league season, their next six-match run all taking part in the newly-formed Championship Cup.

They begin their quest to land that silverware at Hartpury College on Saturday (1pm), with Cornish Pirates and Bedford Blues the other two sides in their pool.