Ryan Shortland's interception try handed Newcastle a relegation lifeline as they scrambled to a 19-10 victory over London Irish at Kingston Park.
Jimmy Gopperth also contributed 14 points as the Falcons came back from 10-6 down at half-time to win with 14 men after the sending-off of lock Adriaan Fondse in the 60th minute.
With Wasps losing to Exeter, the gap at the bottom of the Aviva Premiership between the Falcons and Wasps is now down to six points, but Newcastle now face two tough matches in succession with a trip to Leicester and home clash with Harlequins.
Falcons prop Jon Golding and London Irish number eight Richard Thorpe were also yellow-carded for fighting in the dying minutes of a game which became increasingly ill-tempered.
Sailosi Tagicakibau touched down for the Exiles, with Tom Homer kicking the rest of their points.