ANY hopes London Welsh may have had of kick-starting a survival battle were swiftly banished as they went down to a convincing defeat against Newcastle at Kingston Park yesterday.

The Falcons scored six tries and had the try-scoring bonus point wrapped up by half-time as they registered their biggest Aviva Premiership win for eight years.

Three of those four tries came in a seven-minute spell and ended Welsh’s hopes of sparking a fightback.

And with struggling London Irish beating Exeter Chiefs, Welsh are now 20 points adrift at the foot of the table.

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Newcastle’s try blitz came after the visitors squandered an early chance, when big Tongan No 8 Opeti Fonua broke from the base of the scrum.

His offload to Pete Browne should have led to a score, but the flanker could not hold the pass.

It proved a costly miss, with Newcastle stepping up the pace to score those three tries in seven minutes to lead 19-0.

Tom Catterick nearly cut through on the 22 to set up a series of forward drives and Kieran Brookes was stopped right on the try line.

That led to the opening try by Sinoti Sinoti, with Ally Hogg picking up from the base of the scrum and flicking the ball out to Sinoti, who stepped inside Elliot Kear and outside Paul Rowley to score.

Newcastle were quickly back on the attack when Welsh failed to clear a long kick and then conceded a penalty which the Falcons put in the corner and drove prop Rob Vickers over for a try converted by Catterick.

The third try followed when Sinoti blasted through and passed inside overhead for Mark Wilson to send in Mike Blair and Catterick again converted for 19-0.

Nick Scott briefly raised Welsh hopes by brilliantly snapping up Will Robinson’s clever dink down the touchline to score, and Robinson landed the extras for 19-7 in 24th minute.

However, Newcastle’s superiority in the rolling maul was demonstrated again when Will Welch was driven over for a try in the 33rd minute to give the Falcons a 24-7 half-time lead and the try-scoring bonus point.

Much as they had done in the first half, Welsh started the second period well, but failed to make it count and they again paid the price.

Hogg took a pass from Juan Pablo Socino and galloped 50 yards up the touchline, bumping off Scott and Olly Barkley for a try which Catterick converted in the 55th minute for 31-7.

Both sides made use of their benches in the second half and the continuity went right out of the game – particularly in Newcastle’s case.

But Welsh were unable to profit, and their frustration was never more evident than when Tom May had a chance to score, only for the ball to be passed behind him and into touch.

That ruined the chance of a try-scoring homecoming to the club he started with 16 years ago, and on his last appearance here after announcing his retirement at the end of the season.

Almost inevitably, with three minutes left George McGuigan snapped up a loose ball and Alex Tuilagi slipped it to Catterick, who scored with an outside run and converted his own try for 38-7.

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