NICK Macleod's late penalty miss meant Sharks came massively close to another Premiership scalp, as they fell just short in a 15-10 defeat against a formidable Saracens outfit.

Marc Jones' try towards the end of the first half was just deserts for a marvellous effort by the home side, but they were ultimately beaten by Charlie Hodgson's boot, as he kicked five penalties to down his former club.

The visitors started brightly but were met with some fearsome Sharks defending. Saracens were close to scoring an early try, but had to settle for just the three.

Sale ramped up the pressure. Just like their opponents though, Danny Cipriani's penalty was their only reward for a good period of play.

Jones, not satisfied with his successful throw from a lineout five metres out, then threw himself into the drive and emerged with the ball. As soon as Greg Garner lifted his hand to the air, the AJ Bell roared with delight.

Hodgson pegged back the lead with a penalty that the visitors had been pushing for. The former Sale man repeated the feat just a few moments later.

It was a controversial, and not very popular decision which put McCall's men in the lead. Henry Thomas, on his return from England duty, was penalised for a high tackle just past his own ten metre line, which Hodgson duly slotted.

Sale weren't about to give up the ghost despite going behind, and battled on strongly, trying their hardest to make something happen despite their lack of territory.