Exeter claimed just their third victory of the Premiership season as they got the better of Newcastle, winning 32-19 at Kingston Park.
Will Chudley’s late try secured the maximum for the Chiefs, who move into the top half of the Premiership as a result. Newcastle meanwhile find themselves still hovering above the relegation places after a match in which they so easily could have won some points.
Exeter got off to a storming start thanks to Ollie Devoto, who sped past the entire back line in double quick time to dot down and hand the Chiefs the lead three minutes in, with Gareth Steenson converting the easiest of kicks from the tee.
Newcastle put their first points on the board 10 minutes later with Mike Delany slotting home following an innocuous-looking foul.
The game then descended into a match of few chances as the cold night appeared to take its toll on the players. But, with half an hour on the clock, Falcons edged in front with an unconverted try from hooker Scott Lawson following good work from Will Witty and Sam Lockwood.
However, with half time fast approaching, Exeter took back their lead through none other than the in-form Thomas Waldrom.
Early in the second-half, the visitors extended the lead via the boot of Steenson, who made no mistake from the tee to further extend their half-time lead to nine points.
A second Delany penalty brought Falcons back into the contest, but their hopes of getting something from the game looked slim once Callum Green was sent to the sin bin.
His teammates had other ideas though as they raced up the other end to put Alex Tait through for a try. Delany missed the chance at the extras, but there just four points now separating the two teams.
The momentum would not last forever though, and soon Exeter were back out in front by a margin as James Short finished off a fine team move with Steenson making no mistake from the tee.
With the match coming to its dying embers, the hosts were not settling for a losing bonus point, but punting men on the attack led to them leaving empty handed as former Falcon Chudley touched down with the final score of the game.
Tries: Lawson, Tait
Pens: Delany 3
Tries: Devoto, Waldrom, Short, Chudley
Cons: Steenson 3
Pens: Steenson 2
Newcastle Falcons: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Marcus Watson, 13 Dominic Waldouck, 12 Juan Pablo Socino, 11 Sinoti Sinoti, 10 Mike Delany, 9 Michael Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Will Witty, 4 Calum Green, 3 Jon Welsh, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Sam Lockwood
Replacements: 16 David Nelson, 17 Rob Vickers, 18 David Wilson, 19 Glen Young, 20 Opeti Fonua, 21 Sam Egerton, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Vereniki Goneva
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Ian Whitten, 11 James Short, 10 Gareth Steenson (c), 9 Will Chudley, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Kai Horstmann, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Jonny Hill, 4 Mitch Lees, 3 Harry Williams, 2 Jack Yeandle, 1 Ben Moon
Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Greg Holmes, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Ben White, 21 Jack Maunder, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Lachie Turner
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant Referees: John Meredith, Gareth Copse
TMO: Trevor Fisher