London Irish 21 Sale Sharks 19
Adrian Jarvis kicked a late penalty as London Irish edged to a 21-19 victory over Sale Sharks at the Madejski Stadium.
Sale opened up a 10-0 lead through a converted try from Rob Miller and a Nick Macleod penalty, but Irish dominated the rest of the first half.
Bryn Evans barged over and then Topsy Ojo touched down as the hosts led 12-10 at the break.
Three penalties by Macleod put Sale 19-18 up, after Irish had responded with two of their own from Tom Homer and Adrian Jarvis.
But Jarvis was the hero with a late three-pointer.
It was the visitors who started the brighter, pressurising the Irish 22. And they were rewarded after just five minutes when Miller darted over after good work from Richie Vernon and Johnny Leota.
The Sharks have impressed in recent weeks, emphasised by their narrow 28-23 defeat to Leicester Tigers last week, and they continued that form early on in this encounter.
And Macleod converted a penalty opportunity to establish a 10-point advantage for the away side.
However, Sale's tendency to overplay was exploited to the full by the hosts when they turned over opposition ball.
After numerous phases, Evans drove across the whitewash and it was Irish who began to control proceedings as they took the lead for the first time when Ojo touched down.
Just like the opening period, the Sharks dominated initial stages of the second half and took the lead through the boot of Macleod after David Paice was sin-binned.
But Homer restored Irish's advantage before the visitors' fly-half edged them ahead.
Jarvis and Macleod traded three-pointers before the hosts' stand-off kicked a late penalty to snatch the win.