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Chiefs comeback not enough to down Falcons

19 Dec 2010
Chiefs comeback not enough to down Falcons

Newcastle Falcons had to transfer their Pool 3 Challenge Cup game with Exeter Chiefs to Galashiels but edged to a 26-24 win on Sunday.

An 80th-minute penalty from Jeremy Manning earned the Falcons victory just as it seemed they were set to lose.

Having transferred their visitors safely over the border, they then went on to rock their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals by beating them for the first time in three meetings this season.

The reliable boot of Jimmy Gopperth gave the Falcons a flying start as he kicked four penalties to add to a try from South African Gcobani Bobo as Newcastle reached the break 17-6 ahead.

A fifth Gopperth success made it 20-6 shortly after the re-start, but the Chiefs came thundering back into the contest with tries from centre Phil Dollman and wing Mark Foster.

Ryan Davis weighed in with 12 points and when Gareth Steenson converted Foster's 76th-minute score the Chiefs took the lead for the first time.

But then Manning stepped up to steal the glory and rob the Chiefs of the chance of taking over at the top of the pool from Montpellier, who were beaten 36-18 in Bourgoin.

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