A try from captain Gavin Evans helped Cardiff Blues to a hard-fought 10-6 LV= Cup win over London Irish at Arms Park on Friday.
London Irish must now rely on Worcester beating Saracens on Saturday if they are to reach the semi-finals. The Exiles went into the match at the top of Pool Three knowing that a bonus-point win would secure their place in the play-offs for the first time but an error-riddled display looks to have ended their campaign.
The Blues led 7-3 at the interval after Evans grabbed an opportunistic try when Exiles full-back Tom Homer failed to ground the ball behind the try-line after a grubber from Rhys Patchell - Evans pounced on the loose ball to touch down.
Homer's bad luck continued when he saw a 40-yard penalty rebound from a post shortly before the interval.
Homer and Patchell traded second-half penalties as Exiles failed to mount a comeback.
For Cardiff Blues:
For London Irish:
Pens: Homer 2
Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Gavin Evans (capt), 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Alex Walker, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Cory Hill, 3 Benoit Bourrust, 2 Rhys Williams, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Taufa'ao Filise, 19 Luke Hamilton, 20 Rory Watts-Jones, 21 Lewis Jones, 22 Ceri Sweeney, 23 Chris Czekaj.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Guy Armitage, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Shane Geraghty (c), 9 Pat Phibbs, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Kieran Low, 3 Halani Aulika, 2 Mike Mayhew, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Davey McGregor, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 James Sandford, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Steven Shingler, 22 Ian Humphreys, 23 Jack Moates.
Venue: Arms Park
Referee: Ian Tempest (England)
Assistant referees: Neil Perkins (Wales), Matthew Thomas (Wales)