Newcastle 26-25 Northampton: Falcons hold on to move seven clear of London Irish
Newcastle edged past play-off chasers Northampton at Kingston Park
The Falcons took a 20-11 lead into the break thanks to tries from Alex Tait and Chris Harris
Goode then extended his side’s lead to 15 points with two penalties
Despite Saints captain Lee Dickson touching down twice, Newcastle held out for a one-point victory
Newcastle Falcons held off a second-half Northampton Saints fightback to move further clear of 12th place after a 26-25 triumph.
The win lifts Falcons above Worcester and gives them a seven-point cushion over London Irish, who lost to second-placed Exeter on Sunday.
But Saints, who had come into the game on the back of five wins from six, will be unhappy with allowing the game to get away from them after exchanging points in a free-flowing first half.
Dean Richards’ men were excellent in the first half and deservedly took a 20-11 lead into the break via Alex Tait and Chris Harries tries, while Andy Goode added the rest from the tee.
In contrast, the Saints struggled to find the form of the previous two weeks but did manage 11 points before the interval through Jamie Gibson’s touchdown and two Stephen Myler penalties.
Northampton improved significantly after the break, despite Goode adding two further three-pointers, as Lee Dickson scored twice, but it wasn’t enough to snatch the win.
Newcastle struggled in the early part of the campaign but have picked up in recent weeks, securing impressive home victories over Bath, Harlequins and Leicester Tigers.