London Welsh did their talking on the pitch in Penzance as they kept alive hopes of securing an Aviva Premiership place next season with a 37-21 win at play-off opponents Cornish Pirates.
The victory came just hours after the Championship title contenders were told they had not met minimum standards criteria for Premiership entry.
The Pirates must now recover from a 16-point deficit in next Wednesday's second leg at Kassam Stadium in Oxford to win Championship silverware.
London Welsh were in rampant mood, scoring tries through wings Joe Ajuwa and Nick Scott and centres Hudson Tonga'uiha and James Lewis, while full-back Alex Davies kicked 14 points and fly-half Gordon Ross dropped a goal.
But even if the Exiles prevail over two legs - as they now should - an even bigger battle looms off the pitch as only a successful appeal would overturn a decision confirmed by Rugby Football Union directors earlier on Wednesday, unless the whole saga heads to court.