Newcastle Falcons recorded back-to-back Aviva Premiership Rugby victories for the first time this season as they held off Northampton Saints’ second-half charge to win 26-25 at Kingston Park.
Buoyed by beating Leicester Tigers last time out, Kingston Park were treated to another fine display from the Falcons as they climbed back up tenth in the table.
Scores from Alex Tait and Chris Harris, as well as the boot of Andy Goode, saw the hosts go in at half-time 20-11 ahead, with the Saints on the board through a converted Jamie Gibson try and a Stephen Myler penalty.
Goode stretched the Falcons’ lead after the restart with two penalties, before two Lee Dickson tries, both converted by replacement JJ Hanrahan, brought Northampton to within a point of their hosts with ten minutes remaining.
But Newcastle held firm, winning a lineout against the throw to secure the win.
Newcastle arrived at this game having only been beaten once in their last seven outings at Kingston Park, and they started this game on the front.
The home fans thought they were celebrating an early try when the Saints let the kick-off drop and the ball bounced into Scott Lawson’s hands, with the hosts going through phases before feeding Marcus Watson on the left.
He showed great pace and quick feet to dot down but the score was chalked off for an obstruction.
However, the home side didn’t have to wait long for a try as moments later the Falcons’ forwards got Andy Goode into position, the fly-half firing a deep pass wide right for Tait to go over in the corner.
Goode added the conversion but Northampton were on the scoresheet themselves shortly after as Gibson was driven over in the corner, but Stephen Myler was wide with his kick.
The visitors had their tails up now and Myler made no mistake with a penalty from in front of the posts after Newcastle were penalised for not rolling away.
Goode and Myler then traded penalties before Newcastle grabbed their second try of the game on the half hour mark through Harris.
It was Watson again with the break and Simon Hammersley was held up just shy of the tryline, but Harris was on hand to find the last few metres.
Goode once again nailed the touchline conversion before adding a penalty with a minute of the first 40 remaining to give the Falcons a 20-11 half-time lead.
Northampton controlled possession early after the break but it was Newcastle who got the first points of the second-half, Goode with another penalty.
Goode then added another three points to push the home side two-converted tries clear and it was just as well as Dickson touched down off the back off a scrum, replacement JJ Hanrahan adding the extras.
But Newcastle continued to threaten and on the hour more good work from Hammersley and Watson looked to open Saints up but the final pass just wasn’t found.
Hanrahan attempted to close the gap further but got his drop goal attempt horribly wrong.
But the Falcons were within one point on 68 minutes as Dickson added a second try from close range, Hanrahan adding the extras.
Replacement George Pisi looked like grabbing the winning try with three minutes remaining, but Mark Wilson stepped up to repel the danger before Newcastle won a Saints lineout to bring the final whistle.