The A side weren't at their fluent best in their first outing since Lancaster stepped up from his Saxons role to take over the reigns with the first team but a strong forward performance set the platform for a morale-boosting win.
Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer and Leicester No8 Thomas Waldrom scored the Saxons' tries but it was the boot of Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns that proved the difference between the two teams.
Burns landed 13 points in his first Saxons start since moving up from the U20s as Ireland left downhearted despite crossing for three tries of their own through Dave Kearney, Tomas O'Leary and Simon Zebo.
England struck first when Spencer's outrageous dummy saw him make the most of a powerful drive from pop Paul Doran Jones but Eoin O'Malley's break put Kearney - the brother of 2009 Lion Rob - away to close the gap to 10-5 at half-time.
Waldrom made the most of an unexpected opportunity when Burns' kick ahead bounced off the unfortunate Nevin Spence but Ireland hit back yet again when O'Leary - an original selection for the Lions two-and-a-half years ago - darted over from the base of a ruck.
Burns' boot kept England more than a single score in front after that, however, with Zebo's injury-time effort coming to late to send the Irish home with a win.
EnglandSaxons: Armitage, Monye, Hopper, Twelvetrees, Banahan, Burns, Spencer, Mullan, Gray, Doran-Jones, Garvey, Robson, Gaskell, Saull, Waldrom
Replacements: May for Banahan (59), Hodgson for Spencer (65), Brooker for Gray (59), Myall for Garvey (46), Johnson for Saull (70)
Irish Wolfhounds: Duffy, Kearney, O'Malley, Spence, Zebo, Keatley, Boss, Wilkinson, Varley, Archer, Tuohy, McCarthy, Muldoon, Henry, Ruddock
Replacements: Hurley for Duffy (55), O'Leary for Boss (51), Loughney for Wilkinson (58), Sherry for Varley (65), Toner for McCarthy (61), McLaughlin for Muldoon (66)