Last-gasp Hodgson penalty wins it for Newcastle, Sale see off Worcester

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Gloucester lost ground on the European qualification spots as Newcastle Falcons rallied late on to secure a dramatic 16-14 victory at Kingston Park on Friday.

Joel Hodgson's 80th minute penalty put the hosts ahead with no time for Gloucester to respond, the visitors having initially pulled clear in the second half through Tom Marshall's try.

The victory pushes the Falcons up onto 40 points, just one behind Gloucester, whose hopes of securing a place in Europe have taken a hit with just three games remaining.

Elsewhere, Sale Sharks distanced themselves from the bottom two with a hard-fought 36-26 victory over fellow strugglers Worcester Warriors.

Sam James was the star of the show with two tries for the Sharks, who ended their three-match winless streak to claim the triumph in ultimately convincing fashion.

Worcester always looked likely to struggle after surrendering a 14-7 first-half lead, Biyi Alo's late try adding some more respectability to the scoreline.