Will Chudley helps Exeter to victory against his former club Newcastle
A 77th-minute try by former Newcastle scrum-half Will Chudley completed a hugely satisfying night on Tyneside for Exeter with a bonus point 32-19 victory - only their third Aviva Premiership win of the season.
England internationals Ollie Devoto and Thomas Waldrom and winger James Short plundered the other tries for the fired-up Chiefs, while fly-half Gareth Steenson weighed in with 12 points - three conversions and two penalties - as last season's beaten Premiership finalists regained a measure of their mojo at the expense of a much-improved Newcastle side.
Newcastle were roared on by their biggest home crowd of the season - 8,061 - but, despite tries from hooker Scott Lawson and full-back Alex Tait - failed to claim the consolation of a losing bonus point.
It was Exeter's first Premiership fixture since Semesa Rokoduguni's 88th-minute try consigned them to an agonising 13-10 defeat against Bath three weeks ago, but they got off to a flying start on a freezing night on Tyneside.
Newcastle were attacking on the Chiefs' 22-metre line when their England Saxons scrum-half Mickey Young flung out a telegraphed pass which Engla nd centre Devoto snaffled before racing clear for the opening try.
Steenson landed the conversion and, with just two minutes on the clock, Exeter held a 7-0 advantage. They were pegged back to 7-3 when Newcastle's Kiwi fly-half Mike Delany nailed a 40-metre penalty after 13 minutes.
Exeter enjoyed the lion's share of possession as the opening half progressed but they spurned a couple of line-out drives in the left corner and were made to pay when Newcastle cut loose on the counter-attack after 26 minutes.
Wing Marcus Watson, an Olympic silver medallist in Rio with England's Rugby Sevens squad in August, sliced through the Exeter defence with a diagonal run and, after lock Will Witty was stopped just short, Lawson followed up to score from close range and put Newcastle 8-7 up.
Delany hooked the conversion wide, which gave Exeter the chance to build a handy cushion before the interval. Waldrom, Exeter's New Zealand-born No 8, powered over from a line-out drive in the right corner after 33 minutes and Steenson's conversion gave the Chiefs a 14-8 lead.
Two minutes into the second half Steenson stepped up to nail his first penalty, stretching Exeter's lead to 17-8. They only held their nine-point advantage for three minutes, though, Delany stroking a penalty to cut the visitors' lead to 17-11.
After Newcastle lock Callum Green was yellow carded for deliberately playing the ball on the floor, Steenson's right boot made it 20-11 to Exeter.
As in the first half, the Falcons hit back. Flanker Mark Wilson did the damage with a crash ball break, paving the way for Tait to score after 56 minutes. Delany could have cut the gap to a single point but again hooked wide his conversion attempt.
Then, on the hour, Exeter opened up a 27-16 lead as Short exploited some lacklustre defending to score the Chiefs' third try which Steenson converted.
Delany kicked a penalty after 66 minutes and after full-back Phil Dollman spilt possession when diving over on the right, the livewire Chudley darted over from the blindside of a short-range scrum to clinch the bonus point after 77 minutes.