The former Leicester player looked sharp on his comeback following a summer knee operation, but Newcastle's hopes of causing an upset in the Pilkington Cup next Saturday when they face Harlequins were dented when their No 8 Dean Ryan, another recruit this season, limped off after 10 minutes with a calf injury. He had an operation on the same calf five weeks ago.
There is also a doubt over the fitness of the captain, Ross Wilkinson, who damaged ribs.
The game saw a direct competition between two Scottish scrum-halves - Newcastle's Gary Armstrong, who formed a formidable half-back pairing with Rob Andrew, just shading a lively contest with Derrick Patterson.
Newcastle were heading for victory until Patterson ran two quick penalties late on, leading to a try and a match-winning conversion.Reuse content