ANOTHER hard-fought loss on the road for Guernsey Ladies saw them finish strong but go home empty-handed.
Again missing a few regulars, Justeen Baker was forced to move in at scrum half and inside centre Hannah Guilbert moved to fly half.
On a greasy pitch the game was never going to be a spectacle of open running rugby.
The conditions leading to a great many scrums and the Guernsey pack, who had been dominant for the last three games, were about to meet their match.
New props Elin Pritchard and Kayleigh Oliver with the experienced Jillian Smith in at hooker were given a torrid time by the Irish front row and all credit to them as they stood up to the constant pressure.
Sadly, the pressure in the scrum told and Irish broke the line to give them and early 7-0 lead.
Even the presence of returning back rower Jess Melville, who on her first weekend off since joining Sandhurst showed that she has lost none of her speed, Vicki Rang and Tanya Scholtz breaking the line time and again, Guernsey just could not make it count as the conditions forced knock-on after knock-on, followed by the ensuing energy sapping scrum.
Skipper Kristine Vavere led from the front in both attack and in defence whilst trying to steady the scrum alongside Rachel Merrien.
Losing Smith with a recurring shoulder injury and then Merrien should have put even more pressure on the Guernsey scrum.
However, replacements Asha Holberry, making her first appearance at hooker, and Kelsey Ormrod, coming into the second row, put in a massive shift.
The London Irish No. 8 had obviously brought her kicking boots as time after time she tried to kick the ball behind the Guernsey defence.
Only some great work by the back three of full-back Lael Hollingsworth, wings Aimee Gaudion and Kelly Jones, shut off this option by putting their bodies on the line.
However, a couple of Guernsey mistakes and some well worked tries eventually led to more Irish tries and a 22-0 half-time scoreline.
Setting small goals seemed to work well as Guernsey came out of the break firing on all cylinders.
This renewed energy bagged them a try after some great work by the back-row trio gave Aimee Gaudion an opening for her to score and get Guernsey on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, the new centre partnership of Sophie Ferbrache and Becky Ashworth worked well and showed some great potential for the future.
Both defended hard against a strong and well drilled London Irish back line with Ferbrache putting in some try saving tackles.
Stand-in scrum half Baker kept the pressure on the Irish No. 9 and in defence she literally picked up a Irish prop and dump her unceremonially to the ground.
This was followed by a comment from the Irish coaching team of: 'Well that doesn’t happen often'.
Guernsey may have been out of the game score wise but never gave up and in the last 10 minutes increased the pressure on the Irish line.
A weaving run from Hannah Guilbert cut open the Irish defensive line to score just to the side of the posts and Rang converted.
It has been a hard first three games on the road for the Guernsey Ladies.
However, they have their first home game of the season on Sunday 3 November against Canterbury Ladies.
Elin Prichard, Jillian Smith, Kayleigh Oliver, Kristine Vavere (capt.), Rachel Merrien, Vicki Rang, Jessica Melville, Tanya Scholtz; Justeen Baker, Hannah Guilbert, Kelly Jones, Sophie Ferbrache, Becky Ashworth, Aimee Gaudion, Lael Hollingworth.
Replacements: Kelsey Ormrod, Asha Holberry.