By Brian Dick, at Kingston Park

For beauty? Nothing. For honest endeavour and heartstopping drama? Four vital Premiership points and if bonuses could be awarded for trying extra hard, they'd deserve a couple of those too.

This was not Worcester's first, nor their prettiest, win of a fascinating maiden topflight campaign, but there is little doubt that it could be their most significant.

It not only lifted them into ninth place in the table, it dragged the other four teams, who thought they had done enough to steer off the fear of relegation, back into the equation and it also sent out a message to the rest of the league.

The eleven other Premiership outposts now know that the Warriors might be the newest club in the division, but they will not shut up shop and cease trading at the business end of the season.

That was a real danger here. After Leeds won at Gloucester on Saturday and dumped Worcester back into last place, the perception was that their toes would curl and they would dutifully accept the fate many had predicted for them since the season's start.

That they have not is a massive credit to their players and coaching staff because it would have been very easy to fold after the Tykes upped the ante at Kingsholm.

Like everyone at Worcester, head coach Andy Keast was aware that the saga in the Premiership's nether regions had reached its final act. Who would blink first?

"We all had a lot of pressure on us by the simple fact of where we are in the league and the points situation at the bottom," admitted Keast before going on to praise his players.

"That was certainly the biggest pressure game that the club has been involved in in their history.

"The effort they put in throughout the whole of the game was absolutely

fantastic, they stuck to the game plan meticulously. I cannot find the words to say how proud we are of them."

Newcastle director of rugby, Rob Andrew, was almost as impressed, particularly with the visitors' forwards.

"If they do get out of trouble then it will be down to their pack," said Andrew. "They have been very, very competitive and have done well this season, having decided how they are going to play."

This win was built with the bricks up front. Worcester might have been without two of their best players this season, tighthead Chris Horsman and lock Tim Collier, but their replacements, the aged Neil Lyman and Phil Murphy, embodied the selfless effort that characterised their eighth win of 2004-5.

They dominated in the lineout and scrums and foraged manfully in the loose. In some eyes, their performance was one of beauty.

The chief points scorers were Warriors fly-half James Brown, with two dropped goals and a penalty, and Falcons' former Australian international Matt Burke, who kicked two penalties and scored a late try.

Worcester started the game quite promisingly, winning a succession of penalties with which they were able to move themselves three-quarters of the way down the field and create an attacking platform in the hosts' 22.

Craig Gillies claimed a lineout, the inevitable drive made the inevitable yards and when scrum-half Matt Powell fed Giscard Pieters down the narrow side a try looked for the taking.

In his mind, however, the South African already caught the pass and covered the necessary five yards.

Unfortunately for him and his teammates, his hands had not and the chance was wasted.

Newcastle opened the scoring after 12 minutes,

following a clean break by inside-half Hall Charlton who noticed a chink of light close to a ruck deep in Worcester territory.

He was brilliantly scragged by the Worcester cover defence but their formation had been breached and Brown was forced offside in front of his posts. Burke stroked over for 3-0.

Four minutes later, the Falcons should have nicked the game's opening try when Brown floated the ball into midfield only for opposite number Dave Walder to race through and intercept.

He also thought the hard part had been done and, just as he looked to burst clear, the England international fumbled the chance away.

The Midlanders were struggling for rhythm and in need of a spark. It came, on the half-hour, from Frenchman Thomas Lombard.

The centre timed his run brilliantly on to the back of a driving maul and burst to within 20 metres of the home line.

Powell recycled quickly and possession slipped smoothly down the backline until the ball reached Pieters and he made no mistake, touching down in the corner. Brown's touchline conversion never stood a chance in the wind.

Four minutes from the interval, Burke punished Andre van Niekerk for holding on to the ball on the floor with a second penalty which made it 6-5.

It appeared as though that would be it for the half until Brown injected momentum into an almost lethargic Warriors' attack with an inchperfect dropped goal, giving the Sixways side an 8-6 halftime lead.

The second period was as scrappy and unedifying as any that can have been played this season, as Worcester fought for their Premiership lives and stifled the more creative instincts of the resident three-quarters.

A Brown penalty stretched the lead to 11-6 seven minutes after the restart but when Cory Harris bashed through Dale Rasmussen's attempted tackle on the left sideline and scored in the corner, Falcons were level. Brown repeated the impudent drop goal on the hour and Worcester were in front for keeps.

Pat Sanderson finished off a brilliant lineout take by Gillies five minutes before the end and when Tommy Hayes' conversion sailed over, the Warriors players celebrated as though something significant had happened. Like, perhaps, the biggest win in the club's history. Surely that's worth a point or two extra.

NEWCASTLE: Burke; May, Noon, Mayerhofler, Tait (Taione 40); Walder, Charlton (Grindal 71); Wilson (Quinones 40), Long (Thompson 56), Ward (Wilson 69), Gross (Parling 56), Grimes, Charvis, Harris ( McCarthy 76), Dowson. Replacements: Flood. WORCESTER: Delport; Pieters (O'Leary 40), Rasmussen, Lombard, Hinshelwood; Brown (Hayes 70), Powell (70); Windo, van Niekerk, Lyman (Sparks 59), Murphy (Blaze 73), Gillies, Vaili (MacLeod-Henderson 77), Sanderson, Hickey.

Referee: Mr A Rowden (RFU)