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Falcons secure last-gasp success to keep unbeaten run going
NOAH Cato scored from the final play of the game as Newcastle Falcons maintained their 100 per cent record in the most dramatic of fashions with a 17-15 win over Bedford last night.
Falcons were trailing by five points going into the final minute at Kingston Park, but Cato, who only left Northampton on a loan deal at the end of last month, swooped to level the scores.
Jimmy Gopperth, who had earlier been sin-binned, landed the conversion to keep Newcastle's unbeaten run going, but Dean Richards' side were pushed hard for the second weekend in succession.
As had been the case against Rotherham, they came out on top, but there will be concerns that some of their early-season dominance has dissipated as the end-of-season play-offs approach.
Falcons fell behind in only the second minute when Myles Dorian landed a penalty after Will Welch was penalised for a late tackle, and Bedford extended their lead to six points shortly after the half-hour mark when Mark Atkinson slotted a drop goal.
However, Newcastle hit back with one of the strangest tries ever seen at Kingston Park to get their noses in front on the stroke of half-time.
Gopperth's penalty attempt struck both posts and the crossbar before rebounding into the hands of Jamie Helleur, who was able to cross for the simplest of tries.
Gopperth's conversion made it 7-6, but Bedford regained the lead when Dorian scored his second penalty of the night 15 minutes after the interval.
A flare-up involving a number of players from both sides resulted in Gopperth and Ally Hogg being sent to the sin bin along with Bedford's James Stephenson, and the Championship's second-placed side stretched five points clear when Atkinson landed his second drop goal in the 66th minute.
Dorian's third penalty looked to have inflicted Falcons' first defeat of the season, but Cato's dramatic late intervention ensured the hosts were able to celebrate a two-point win when Gopperth held his nerve with the extras.
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