PICTURE GALLERY: Newcastle Falcons 25 Northampton Saints 22

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Saints played their part in an historic afternoon in the north east as they took on Newcastle Falcons in the first Aviva Premiership match to be staged at St James’ Park, the home of Newcastle United FC.

It was a great occasion and an exciting game, but it ended in another frustrating defeat for Alan Gaffney’s men, who were pipped 25-22, despite outscoring their hosts by three tries to one.

A crowd of more than 30,000 turned out for the clash, which saw Saints score tries through David Ribbans, Rob Horne and Nafi Tuiitavake, but they were undone by the boot of former England man Toby Flood, who slotted 20 points for the home side.

Chron photographer Sharon Lucey travelled to the north east to take in the game, and here is a selection of her images from the match.