In the eleventh minute Paul O'Connell was penalised at a ruck and Danny Cipriani landed the penalty at the same time as Denis Leamy was being replaced by Simon Easterby.
England's opening try came in the 18th minute when quick hands from Balshaw put Paul Sackey clear after good momentum right and left had Ireland stretched and Cipriani's conversion levelled matters.
Jamie Noon came within inches of a try in the 23rd minute, hauled down short by Tommy Bowe but Ireland were given good field position moments later when Lesley Vanikolo lost possession in the tackle but England survived that and when Toby Flood collected his own chip ahead, Ireland were penalised and Cipriani kicked them ahead 13-10.
In the 34th minute, injury forced Geordan Murphy to retire. He was replaced by Luke Fitzgerald and that meant Kearney moving to full back, Fitzgerald taking up station on the wing.
Ireland: G Murphy (L Fitzgerald 34th min); T Bowe, S Horgan, A Trimble, R Kearney; R O'Gara capt, E Reddan; M Horan, R Best, J Hayes; D O'Callaghan, P O'Connell; D Leamy (S Easterby 11th min), D Wallace, J Heaslip.
England: I Balshaw; P Sackey, J Noon, T Flood, L Vanikolo; D Cipriani, R Wigglesworth; A Sheridan, L Mears, P Vickery capt; S Shaw, S Borthwick; T Croft, M Lipman, N Easter.
Referee: Suart Dickinson.