SOMEN Tchoyi's sensational second-half hat-trick completed a stunning Albion fight-back and brought a fitting end to a memorable Barclays Premier League campaign.
Powder-puff defending enabled Newcastle to surge into a 3-0 lead after 47 minutes thanks to efforts from Steven Taylor and Peter Lovenkrands plus a Jonas Olsson own goal.
But Tchoyi gave the Baggies hope when he netted his fifth and sixth goals of the season in the 62nd and 71st minutes.
And he became only the second Albion player to score a Premier League treble - after Robert Earnshaw at Charlton in 2005 - when he headed home a dramatic equaliser in the last minute.
Newcastle hit the headlines in February for clawing back a four-goal deficit against Arsenal, but this time they were on the receiving end as the Baggies produced a real never-say-die display to finish the campaign in the heady heights of 11th place.
Most of the nation's attention today was focussed on the 'Survival Sunday' fixtures, which would decide which two of five clubs would be joining West Ham in the Championship next term.
But there was still much more than pride to play for on Tyneside, with both teams, who were promoted automatically 12 months ago, still in with a chance of a top-ten finish as 12th entertained 11th - separated by a single point.
Roy Hodgson made four changes - two enforced. The men to make way were Gabriel Tamas (minor knock), Peter Odemwingie (ankle) plus benched duo Simon Cox and Jerome Thomas. Abdoulaye Meite, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Tchoyi and James Morrison all earned recalls.
Toon boss Alan Pardew made one alteration, with Danny Guthrie replacing the injured Jonas Gutierrez.
The 2,800 Baggies fans camped high up in the away end were certainly in buoyant mood as they celebrated 'Newcastle Brown Day', this season's fancy-dress theme in tribute to club-record goalscorer and appearance maker Tony 'Bomber' Brown.
It made for a great atmosphere inside St James' Park and it was United who threatened first. Guthrie won a third-minute midfield tussle with Paul Scharner before feeding Shane Ferguson, who charged forward before shooting straight at Scott Carson from 20 yards.
But Albion soon settled into their passing stride and came mightily close to snatching a seventh-minute lead.
Jose Enrique inexplicably conceded possession to Tchoyi inside his own box and the former Red Bull Salzburg star pulled the ball back for Fortune, who saw his goalbound effort cleared off the line by Steven Taylor.
However, Albion fell behind on 16 after they failed to clear a Ryan Taylor corner.
Chris Brunt's attempted clearance struck Lovenkrands who then headed the loose ball goalwards and Steven Taylor swept home from close range.
It was slightly rough on Hodgson's men, who immediately set about restoring parity, but Youssouf Mulumbu was well off target with a 20-yard effort in the 21st minute.
Newcastle launched another attack of their own moments later and Olsson had to make a vital interception inside the six-yard box to thwart Shola Ameobi's fine left-wing run and cross.
There was no lack of effort from either side, but this game still had a real end-of-season feel to it, with chances at a premium at both ends.
That said, in the 28th minute, Carson was relieved to see Lovenkrands tamely volley a difficult opportunity straight at him on the turn from Enrique's lofted ball forward.
Albion were clearly missing the cutting edge of 15-goal top scorer Odemwingie and his replacement, Fortune, was not getting the rub of the green, seeing three offside decisions go against him in quick succession.
The half finally came to life in the final ten minutes as Newcastle got well on top.
Brunt did well to block Ameobi's fierce effort on the edge of the Albion box before Nicky Shorey saw his clearance ricochet off Lovenkrands and inadvertently put Ameobi clean through.
Carson raced off his line to push the Toon striker wide and his acute shot was cleared off the goalline by Meite.
The Albion No.1 then showed great reflexes to tip over Guthrie's 25-yard piledriver.
The Baggies were being swamped and Steven Taylor headed just wide from Fabricio Coloccini's left-wing cross.
Albion almost clawed themselves level against the run of play on 38 when Brunt controlled Tchoyi's sweet ball over the top and held off Steven Taylor, only to see his left-footed effort well saved by Tim Krul.
But Newcastle stormed straight upfield and added a controversial second.
In the 39th minute, Ameobi headed a loose ball into the Baggies box and Lovenkrands' shot on the turn was parried by Carson. Unfortunately, the effort still looped goalwards and although Carson got back to scoop it away, the referee's assistant adjudged the ball to have crossed the line - despite the Baggies keeper's protests.
Three minutes later, Albion came mightily close to reducing the arrears when Fortune saw his acute drive blocked on the goalline by a combination of Krul and Coloccini, after Tchoyi had cleverly dummied Mulumbu's pass.
Carson had to pull off a smart save to keep out another fierce Gurthrie drive before Albion again went close in the dying seconds, with Morrison swivelling smartly from Shorey's pass and firing inches wide of the far post.
Hodgson replaced Meite with Pablo Ibanez at half-time but the Spaniard had barely been on the field when Newcastle made it 3-0.
The usually rock-solid Olsson, with no-one near him, totally lost his bearings as he attempted to clear Enrique's harmless centre and he miscued into the bottom right-hand corner of Carson's net.
Albion regrouped but Mulumbu hacked a half-chance well wide after United had only partially cleared a Brunt corner.
Another Brunt set-piece wreaked havoc in the United box, with Scharner, Ibanez and Olsson all coming within a whisker of converting the skipper's free-kick.
On the hour-mark came a proud moment for teenage midfielder George Thorne, who was granted his Premier League debut as a replacement for Scharner.
Two minutes later, the Baggies pulled a goal back.
Tchoyi beat the offside trap to race onto Steven Reid's throughball and the Cameroon international calmly slotted home his second of the season against Newcastle, having netted against them at The Hawthorns in December.
Albion still looked jittery at the back and another Olsson error presented a clear chance for Ryan Taylor, but the centre-half recovered in the nick of time to block the right-midfielder's eight-yard shot.
Moments later, Lovenkrands poked just wide from Ryan Taylor's low centre.
But, incredibly, it was 3-2 in the 71st minute.
Tchoyi, despite looking marginally offside, controlled Reid's centre at the back stick before holding off Coloccini and blasting an unstoppable 12-yard yard drive into the roof of the net.
Albion were buzzing and, on 75, Olsson towered at the back stick to head over from Brunt's corner.
Newcastle rallied briefly and Ibanez denied Ameobi a certain goal on 79 with a wonderfully-timed last-ditch challenge before Ryan Taylor went close with a free-kick.
But Albion weren't to be denied a memorable point.
In the final minute, sub Ishmael Miller back-heeled to Olsson whose pinpoint cross and was headed home by Tchoyi at the far post - his fourth goal against Newcastle this term.
Incredibly, Albion could even have won it deep into stoppage time when Reid headed over from Brunt's corner.
Mark Halsey's final whistle was greeted by huge cheers from the away fans, who can now look forward to a second successive season of top-flight football with plenty of optimisim.
NEWCASTLE (4-4-2): Krul; Simpson, Coloccini, S Taylor, Enrique; R Taylor, Guthrie (Best 72), Barton, Ferguson (LuaLua 64); Ameobi, Lovenkrands (Smith 70). Subs not used: Soderberg (gk), Ranger, Tavernier, Kuqi.
ALBION (4-4-1-1): Carson; Reid, Meite (Ibanez HT), Olsson, Shorey; Tchoyi, Scharner (Thorne 60), Mulumbu, Morrison; Brunt; Fortune (Miller 72). Subs not used: Myhill (gk), Cox, Thomas, Jara.
GOALS: NEWCASTLE - S Taylor (16), Lovenkrands (39), Olsson (own goal, 47). ALBION - Tchoyi (62, 71 & 90).
REFEREE: M Halsey (Hertfordshire).
ALBION STARMAN: Somen Tchoyi.
HAT-TRICK HERO...Tchoyi strokes home his first
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