Newcastle Falcons beat London Wasps 10-14 at Adams Park on Saturday but lost the Aviva Premiership relegation battle.
Newcastle have a lifeline however as they will only be relegated if Bristol win the championship on May the 30th as they are the only championship team that has a stadium that fulfills Premiership requirements.
Needing a bonus-point win in High Wycombe to leapfrog above their opponents, the Falcons managed half to complete only half the job, touching down twice in the second half through James Fitzpatrick and Peter Stringer.
A third win in four meant only disappointment, however, as a side that had scored 24 tries previously all season had left themselves with too much to do.
Now the inaugural winners of the Premiership back in 1998 will have to sit and wait to see if they are dropping down a division next year, their fate hanging on whether Bristol manage to win the Championship.
There was no lack of effort or commitment in the first half but the opening 35 minutes of scoreless rugby contained all the evidence needed to show why these two clubs have found themselves embroiled in a relegation battle all season.
Fly-half Nicky Robinson edged Wasps ahead as the half was drawing to a close though and moments later the home side's electric back three burst into action to give them some much-needed confidence and a 10-0 lead at the break.
It is no secret that this Falcons team struggle more when the game breaks up and Richard Haughton exposed their frailties by running the ball from full-back and beating a host of defenders before offloading to Robinson, who fed Christian Wade to coast over in the corner.
A yellow card for Wasps prop Ben Broster and a subsequent try from Newcastle centre Fitzpatrick 15 minutes into the second half after good work from Stringer did give the visitors some faint hope.
But, despite creating a few more opportunities with the sheer desperation of their play, they never really looked capable of scoring the four tries necessary to secure their Premiership survival.
They did, however, win the match with a late try from Stringer, who sniped from the base of a ruck to touch down from just a metre out.
It wasn't enough to keep the men from the North East in the top flight though as they finish bottom of the Premiership and will potentially slip down to the Championship by a solitary point.
Final Score Wasps 10 (10) Newcastle 14 (0)
Tries: Fitzpatrick, Stringer
Conversions: Gopperth 2
Referee: Wayne Barnes (106th Premiership game)
15. Richard Haughton , 14. Christian Wade , 13. Elliot Daly , 12. Dominic Waldouck , 11. Tom Varndell , 10. Nick Robinson , 9. Charlie Davies , 1. Tim Payne , 2. Tom Lindsay , 3. Ben Broster , 4. Richard Birkett , 5. Marco Wentzel (c) , 6. Joe Launchbury , 7. Sam Jones , 8. Billy Vunipola
Replacements , 16. Vladislav Korshunov , 17. Zac Taulafo , 18. Simon McIntyre , 19. Ross Filipo , 20. Tinus Du Plessis , 21. Nic Berry , 22. Will Robinson , 23. Chris Mayor
15 Greg Goosen, 14 Corne Uys, 13 Jamie Helleur, 12 James Fitzpatrick, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Peter Stringer, 1 Jonny Golding, 2 Rob Vickers, 3 Euan Murray, 4 James Hudson, 5 Tim Swinson, 6 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 8 Adam Balding
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Grant Shiells, 18 James Hall, 19 James Goode, 20 Taiasina Tu'ifua, 21 Mark Wilson, 22 Chris Pilgrim, 23 Tom Catterick