Olly Barkley singled out the impact of London Welsh's bench for praise after the exiles' astonishing win over Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.

Welsh trailed 29-7 with just 19 minutes remaining of their British & Irish Cup clash at Old Deer Park on Saturday, only for the home side to launch a thrilling fightback.

Josh McNally started the ball rolling, with fellow replacements Koree Britton and Eddie Aholelei also touching down, before James Lewis claimed the match-winning try in the 79th minute to give the exiles a stunning 33-29 victory.

"Our bench was outstanding. They brought a real energy and lifted everyone,” said Barkley.

"We left ourselves a lot to do, but the bench came on and our energy in attack was the best it's been all season.

"You saw some real class from our players. We've got Premiership standard players and I was really proud of everyone. It was great win, with great energy and we showed great character to come back.

"Our problem all year has been keeping hold of the ball. When we keep hold of it we look like a good team – when we don't we look a very average team.

"We kept hold of it, gained momentum and got high into the phase count. That allowed us to break them down, put them under pressure and they made mistakes. We looked like a really good team.

"Our control around the ruck was superb and as a result we got the little metres we needed to create space out wide.

"We've been aiming for that performance all season and I've no doubt we're capable of producing that every time.”

Victory was another significant step in the right direction for the exiles, coming in the wake of the positives from Welsh's performance at Cornish Pirates.

"That was in a losing cause, and Saturday gave the Exiles the win they've been craving after three defeats on the bounce.

The challenge now for Welsh and Barkley is to back up the victory when the exiles travel to Yorkshire Carnegie in the Greene King IPA Championship on Friday evening.

"We'll take huge confidence into Yorkshire. Playing well is one thing but you need to build on good performances with wins. Winning breeds confidence, an aura and an attitude,” said Barkley.

"We're respecting the fact that games are made up of little wins - keeping the ball, making a couple of metres, making successful passes - and not four or five big ones.

"If we keep the ball we can put teams under pressure and then bring our dangerous players into play, and that's what happened today.

"But it's about doing it week in, week out and I've no doubt that if we continue to believe in ourselves we can do it again and again. I believe in this squad – that's why I stayed on this year.”