Charlie Hodgson's deadly right foot put the boot into Leinster in the same way he had done to Cardiff as he dropped a match winning goal with a minute left to play in a Heineken Cup thriller at Lansdowne Road.
It was the England outside half's late, late drop shot gave Sale a 26-24 victory over the Welshmen, but this time his 30 metre effort hauled his side back from the dead to record a single point victory and silence a 20,000 strong home crowd.
The Sharks couldn't have picked a tougher place to try to break their away duck in the Heineken Cup than Dublin because the Lions hadn't lost a home Pool match since losing to Llanelli five years ago.
Their opening victory over Biarritz in Pool 3 made it 14 games without defeat and they knew that a third successive victory would put them in control of their destiny as they aimed to reach the knock-out stages for the second successive year.
But despite a bright start, it was the Sharks who had the extra bite, no doubt with the recent criticism of them by owner Brian Kennedy still ringing in their ears.
The extra muscle displayed by Alex Sanderson's beefy pack put the home side unxder intense pressure and by the break it was the English Premiership side asking all the questions.
Charlie Hodgson kicked the visitors into a third minute lead with his first penalty, but five minutes later Leinster revealed the true extent of their attacking repertoire as flanker Keith Gleeson steamed away from a Sale line-out on his own 10 metre line.
The ball was quickly worked from right to left and Brian O'Driscoll twice linked with Gordon D'arcy to create an opening for John McWeeney.
The wing drove into the Sale 22 before he was finally brought to earth two metres out. The ball came back, Eric Miller was stopped on the line by Jason White but skipper Reggie Corrigan was on hand to bag the try.
Brian O'Meara's conversion was a formality and Sale were lucky not to suffer even more soon after when hooker Andy Titterrell cleared stamped on the face of Miller at a ruck infront of the home posts 20 metres out.
If that typified the Sharks' 'take no prisoners' approach, there was also plenty of skill attached to their performance as they crafted two superb tries to grab the lead. Mark Cueto was just held up in the right corner and the try came on the other side of the field when fellow wing Steve Hanley handed the scoring pass to the outstanding White.
Hodgson added the conversion to grab the lead and then levelled the scores with his second penalty after O'Meara had kicked a goal and D'arcy had dropped a goal.
Then came the try of the half as Cueto burst through the middle and, after recycling the ball wide out on the left, the Sale back line worked lock Chris Jones over at the right corner flag for a try which Hodgson converted superbly.
All the momentum in the second quarter had been with the visitors and Sanderson's side started the second half with equal conviction and, when Lions No 8 Victor Costello was sent to the sin-bin seven minutes after the re-start for killing the ball at a ruck, it looked as though it was all over for the Irishmen.
But Hodgson pulled his 35 metre penalty shot wide of the posts and five minutes later O'Meara gave the home team new heart with a wide angled penalty that cut the gap to four points.
The Lions got even more encouragement moments later when Welsh referee Nigel Whitehouse sent Dean Schofield to the sin-bin for pulling down a Leinster line-out. O'Meara should have cut the gap to one point with another penalty, but he was just wide.
It didn't matter, though, because the little scrum half was quick to make amends with a drop goal from point blank range to set up a thrilling finish.
O'Mear's third penalty strike, eight minutes from time, restored the lead for the Lions after 45 minutes of playing catch up.
Leinster Lions 22 Sale Sharks 23 HT: 13-20 Attendance: 20,000
Leinster Lions: Try - R Corrigan; Con - B O'Meara; Pens - B O'Meara (3); DGs - G D'Arcy, B O'Meara
Sale Sharks: Tries - J White, C Jones; Cons - C Hodgson (2); Pens - C Hodgson (2); DG - C Hodgson
Leinster Lions: G Dempsey; J McWeeney, B O'Driscoll, S Horgan, G D'Arcy; C Warner or M Leek, B O'Meara; R Corrigan (capt), S Byrne, P Coyle, M O'Kelly, B Gissing, E Miller or A McCullen, V Costello, K Gleeson.
Replacements: J Moran, G Hickie, A McCullen or Des Dillon, S Jennings, B O'Riordan, M Leek or B Burke, D Quinlan.
Sale Sharks: J Robinson; M Cueto, C Mayor, G Bond, S Hanley; C Hodgson, B Redpath; A Sheridan, A Titterrell, S Turner, C Jones, D Schofield, J White, S Pinkerton, A Sanderson (capt)
Replacements M Cairns, K Yates, B Stewart, I Fullarton, M Lund, V Going, R Wigglesworth
Heineken man of the match: Bryan Redpath (Sale Sharks)
Match points: Leinster Lions 1 pt; Sale Sharks 4 pts