LONDON Irish suffered a second European Challenge Cup defeat in three pool four games as they were thumped 50-20 by Edinburgh at Murrayfield.

Exiles started well after the game was switched from Myreside due to an unfit pitch, and enjoyed some early pressure in the opening five minutes.

Their encouraging start was eventually rewarded when they took the lead courtesy of a sixth-minute Tommy Bell penalty after the hosts infringed following a wave of attacks on their try line.

Sadly that was as good as it got for Nick Kennedy’s men, as Edinburgh hit back with their opening try almost immediately. From a line-out 10 metres out, the Scottish side rolled a maul towards the line before hooker Stuart McInally peeled off and repelled three defenders to touch down.

London Irish’s pack was well on top, though, and they won repeated penalties at the scrum for almost the next 10 minutes, Edinburgh’s Rory Sutherland eventually picking up a yellow card for persistent infringing.

However, Exiles were unable to make their dominance pay with points, and the home side then hit them on the counter-attack as full back Blair Kinghorn raced away to touch down his own kick ahead and of Irish’s Greig Tonks, Jaco van der Walt converting for 12-10.

Edinburgh continued to dominate territorially, but were then hit themselves as Scott Steele burst out of the Exiles’ 22, before finding wing Ben Loader who kicked ahead for fellow speedster Ben Ransom to score.

Tonks’ conversion cut the gap to two, but Edinburgh then scored two seven-pointers in rapid order to secure their bonus-point before the break, Phil Burleigh the try scorer on both occasions as he side raced away to lead 26-10 at the break.

Within 10 minutes of the second half the hosts had their fifth try, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne wriggling over in the corner, and another came quickly after when Darcy Graham rose above Loader to claim a cross-field kick and touch down.

Yet Irish remain a brave and spirited side, and former Edinburgh player Mike Coman claimed a moment of personal glory when he finished off a powerful driving line-out for the visitors’ second try.

Tonks’ return to the Scottish capital was less successful, as he followed up the error which led to Kinghorn’s try by being sin-binned midway through the second half for a high tackle.

In his absence the home side added another try as Junior Rasolea – who scored twice in the previous fixture between the sides - took advantage of some Irish indecision to go over, Kinghown adding the extras to make it 43-15.

With just a minute remaining, Exiles bagged their third try, Ransom breaking free before passing inside for replacement scrum half Ben Meehan to grab the glory.

It was Edinburgh, though, who had the last laugh, Sean Kennedy again benefitting from the visitors being unable to deal with a kick ahead.

The result leaves London Irish third in the group behind table-toppers Edinburgh and Stade Francais, who they welcome to Madejski Stadium next Saturday (3pm).