Connacht 30 Ulster 25
Connacht's season appears to be back on track after a 30-25 Pro12 win over Ulster at the Sportsground on Friday night.
The defending champions endured a rocky start to the campaign and were facing an Ulster team that came into this game unbeaten.
But man of the match Cian Kelleher struck for two tries to ensure head coach Pat Lam's first win over Ulster in his time in Connacht.
The home side looked well in control at half-time in Galway, leading 22-8, but they conceded two tries in a matter minutes shortly after the restart which saw the game levelled up at 22-apiece.
Connacht held their nerve though and Kelleher slid in for the decisive try.
Pic of the night as @bundeeaki12 celebrates a huge win for @connachtrugby over Ulster! #ConvsUls @IrishRugby @ConnachtClan pic.twitter.com/FTsoJlnHpX— Inpho Photography (@Inphosports) October 7, 2016
Jack Carty, James Connolly – an early replacement for Eoin McKeon, and Kelleher all crossed the line in the first half for Connacht.
But Craig Gilroy ensured that Ulster weren’t cut adrift at the break when he touched down while the home side were down to 14 men with Conor Carey in the sin bin.
This flowing, end-to-end game really burst into life when Ireland pair Rory Best and Jared Payne dotted down for Ulster tries early in the second half.
Given their rocky start to the season Connacht could easily have buckled, but they didn’t panic and another try from Kelleher and a penalty from Carty sealed the bonus-point win.
It also ensured that the final unbeaten record in the Pro12 was ended and gave Connacht their first win over their northern neighbours since 2012.
Ulster remain on top of the table, though either Leinster or Munster could overtake them depending on what happens in Saturday's Irish derby game at the Aviva Stadium while Connacht are up to seventh.
The visitors welcomed Ireland wing Tommy Bowe back into their side for the first time since March following a long injury lay-off, while Craig Ronaldson returned for the home side.
Ronaldson wasn't supposed to play at all this weekend, but an injury crisis forced his promotion back into the first team squad earlier than expected.