LONDON Irish booked their place in the last eight of the British and Irish Cup with a 41-14 victory over Connacht Eagles in Athlone.

Scott Steele was the Exiles’ hat-trick hero scoring a trio of tries in the first 19 minutes of the contest.

By the interval, a Ross Neal brace made it 29-0 at the interval.

The home side were the first to score after the break from Ciaran Gaffney, but the Irish hit back from Senitiki Nayalo and Todd Gleave, which took the visitor’s points tally to 41.

It was left to Sean Masterson to complete match scoring for the Eagles.

Irish continue their cup campaign on Saturday (2pm), when the Ospreys are the visitors to the Madejski Stadium.