The Falcons bagged the points in an uninspiring showdown, absorbing late pressure from the visitors, although injuries to fly-half Dave Walder, lock Mark Andrews and flanker Epi Taione may leave their mark in the coming weeks if they turn out to be serious.
Before his departure, Walder had managed to nudge the Falcons ahead with an early penalty, before veteran Jos Baxendall levelled the scores by kicking one for Sale.
With Walder off the pitch with an injury to his right leg, and Jonny Wikinson away with the England squad, kicking duties were left to England Sevens star Ben Gollings, with the former Harlequins winger sending one between the posts just before half-time for a 6-0 interval lead.
Sale hit back with a try from Vaughan Going, the only touch-down of the game, but it was crucially not converted.
That meant that when Gollings struck a penalty on 48 minutes, it was to be the decisive scoring act of the game, and enough to secure the points for Newcastle, who had lost to Saracens in the opening week of the campaign.
For Newcastle Falcons:Pens: Walder, Gollings 2
For Sale Sharks:Try: GoingPen: Baxendall