Newcastle 21 (13)
Tries: Visser, Mayerhofler
Pens: Burke (3)
London Irish 26 (20)
Pens: Everitt (7)
London Irish fly-half Barry Everitt kicked seven penalties to guide his side to a narrow away win at Newcastle.
Tim Visser had got the Falcons off to a decent start when he raced on to Toby Flood's kick for a brilliant try.
Newcastle's ill discipline proved their undoing and, with David Wilson in the sin-bin, Rikki Flutey took advantage to touch down and restore Irish's lead.
Mark Mayerhofler scrambled over late on but Matt Burke missed the extras and another Irish penalty sealed the win.
Newcastle boss John Fletcher
"We have to get back to basics and we have to do it quickly but there's no need to panic.
"You have to win your home games in this league and a losing bonus point is no consolation.
"We shouldn't be relying on Matt Burke kicking goals to win us matches, but we should have won the game.
"To do that you need the ball and it's hard when you don't win your own line-outs.
London Irish coach Brian Smith
"It was a close-run thing and we were lucky.
"We knew Newcastle would come at us late in the game and had Matt Burke kicked his goals we would probably have lost."
Newcastle: Burke; May, Noon, Mayerhofler, Visser; Rudd, Grindal; Morris, Long, D Wilson; Oakes, Buist; B Wilson, Woods, Dowson.
Replacements: Dickson for Grindal (69), Ward for Morris (48), Thompson for Long (53), McCarthy for Buist (41).
Not Used: Williams, Tomes, Dillon.
London Irish: Horak; Ojo, Catt, Flutey, D Armitage; Everitt, Rees; Hatley, Russell, Skuse; Kennedy, Hudson; Roche, Magne, Leguizamon.
Replacements: Geraghty for Catt (32), Fitter for Hatley (58), Coetzee for Russell (50), Lea'aetoa for Skuse (47), McCullen for Magne (79), Murphy for Leguizamon (58).
Not Used: Bishop.
Referee: M Fox (RFU)