LONDON Irish’s hopes of avoiding the drop from the Premiership suffered another setback as they were beaten 30-15 by visiting Sale Sharks.

The home side led 8-3 in the first-half, after Greig Tonks’ penalty and Sean Maitland try, but Sale hit back and by the interval led 13-8 thanks to Mike Haley’s try and the boot of Danny Cipriani.

After the break, Johnny Williams gave the Exiles hope, but tries from TJ Ioane and Cipriani made sure of victory for Sale.

Irish take a break from the Premiership next week, as they travel to Harlequins in the European Challenge Cup.