A try from former Ireland underage international Ian Nagle was converted by Manning and the New Zealand-born number 10 also landed three first half penalties, helping the hosts to a 16-7 half-time lead.
Sale opened the second half with a try from full back Scott MacLeod, which Charlie Hodgson converted and when the England-capped out-half landed a simple 63rd-minute drop goal, the Sharks looked set for victory.
However, Munster, who had a raft of newcomers and promising talents on from the start, refused to buckle.
When Sale conceded the penalty just inside their half, they could have been forgiven for thinking it would not affect the outcome.
But Manning landed his fifth successful kick to put his side in front and then they defended superbly to deny the English visitors.
Amongst the large attendance was Sprinboks centre and Munster's latest signing Jean de Villiers, who watched the game alongside his new team-mates Denis Fogarty, Tomas O'Leary, Denis Hurley, Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and Ronan O'Gara.
de Villers is over for a two-day visit before flying back to rejoin the South African Tri Nations squad.
MUNSTER: Scott Deasy; Danny Riordan, Tom Gleeson, Paul Warwick (capt), Danny Barnes; Jeremy Manning, Toby Morland; Dave Ryan, Damien Varley, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Ian Nagle, Nick Williams, Tommy O'Donnell, Kieran Essex.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Julien Brugnaut, Dave O'Callaghan, Eoghan Grace, Conor Murray, Andrew Burke, Finbar Ahern, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Hayes, Ronan O'Mahony, Declan Cusack.