Rob Miller landed a late penalty to give Sale Sharks their first win of the LV= Cup in a nail-biting match against Saracens at the Salford City Stadium.
Mark Cueto’s try and a penalty try either side of a Kameli Ratuvou score put the home team into the lead but Joel Tomkins’ score just before the break put Sarries into control of the game.
Fraser McKenzie made the most of Eoin Sheriff’s yellow card to score and Danny Cipriani’s penalty put the Sharks back into the lead, although Ben Spencer quickly replied with a penalty of his own.
But with seven minutes to go Miller landed the penalty and some organised late defending saw Aviva Premiership strugglers Sale come through for their first win following the 34-28 opening loss to London Irish.
Sale got off to the perfect start in the fourth minute, switching play to the wing after the line-out for Cueto to score.
But Saracens responded in the seventh minute when captain Nils Mordt, who spoke of relishing the move to No.10 earlier in the week, slotted home the penalty in front of the posts.
Sarries took the lead a minute later after a break from hooker Nick Auterac led to Ratuvou sprinting 20 metres to score a converted try.
But Sale hit back in the 20th minute when the referee awarded a penalty try, after the maul was brought down, with Jordan Davies adding the conversion.
After a breakaway from Nick Fenton-Wells that gave Saracens vital territory, Mordt put his side a point ahead after Sharks conceded the penalty.
Saracens inflicted further misery on Sharks just before half-time when Tomkins scored in the corner, with Mordt converting to give the Sarries a 20-12 lead at the break.
The second half started with a string of kicking exchanges, before Saracens kicker Mordt was taken off with a blood injury for Sam Stanley.
Saracens were temporarily down to 14 men when Sheriff was given a yellow card for persistent fouling at the breakdown in the 47th minute.
Sale made their numerical advantage count five minutes later when McKenzie broke through the Saracens last line of defence to score, converted by Davies.
And the home side took a two point lead in the 57th minute when Cipriani slotted the penalty through the posts from distance to add to his 16 points in their first LV= Cup fixture.
But Saracens were back in front a couple of minutes later when Spencer scored the penalty from a similar position at the other end.
The Sharks nearly profited from a long bursting break by substitute Will Addison, but his pass landed in Saracens hands in the final quarter.
Sale were rewarded for a spell of possession in their opponent’s half, with a central penalty, which Cipriani’s replacement Miller duly converted in the 73rd minute.
Minutes later Spencer screwed his right sided penalty attempt wide to keep the score at 25-23 to the Sharks and solid defensive work in the final five minutes saw Sale hang on.