A last-gasp penalty from Alex Goode handed Saracens a dramatic 15-13 victory over Newcastle at Kingston Park to top the Aviva Premiership.
It was cruel for a Falcons side who battled their way back from 9-3 down to lead 13-12 courtesy of a Luke Fielden try before conceding a late penalty under severe pressure, with Goode slotting the kick.
Newcastle were lucky to be just 6-3 down at half-time after Goode missed two penalties in two minutes before the break.
The Saracens fly-half kicked a second-minute penalty to get his side moving while Jimmy Gopperth missed an easy chance to level four minutes later.
A blistering run through the middle from Saracens' Noah Cato's nearly led to a breakthrough and when Newcastle stepped offside Goode kicked his second penalty.
Almost immediately Andy Saull caught Luke Eves with a high tackle. However, Gopperth again failed to convert, the penalty hitting the post before Saracens were able to clear. He was given a chance to make amends two minutes later when Saracens held on in the ruck and it was third time lucky for Newcastle to get on the board at 6-3.
Saracens forced Alex Tait to take a poor touch and drove the maul for a penalty, but Goode missed the chance to extend the lead two minutes before the break. He was off target again after another pulverising drive led to a penalty on the cusp of half-time.
Another dominant driving maul just after the restart led to yet another penalty and this time Goode made it 9-3. Gopperth also found his radar, pulling it back to 9-6 with a 40-metre kick when Saracens piled in offside.
Nevertheless, much of the early second half play was in the Saracens half and when Newcastle finally won a line-out, Micky Young slipped through and Eves surged away to send in Fielden for the try.
Gopperth converted for 13-9 before Goode landed his fourth penalty leaving Newcastle needing to hang on for fully 15 minutes. It looked like they had until Goode again held his nerve to steal the win.