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Dublin: 17 °C Wednesday 19 September, 2018
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Connacht pull off Cardiff comeback as Lam's men get back to winning ways

The western province showed great character to snatch victory in Wales.

John Muldoon celebrates victory.
John Muldoon celebrates victory.
Image: Camerasport/Ian Cook/INPHO

Cardiff Blues 13

Connacht 19

CONNACHT LEFT IT late to get back to winning ways with a dramatic 19-13 triumph at Cardiff Blues today.

The scores were locked at 13-13 heading into the final two minutes after the boot of John Cooney and a Matt Healy try had hauled the Guinness Pro12 champions back into the contest.

Nick Williams had burrowed over and Gareth Anscombe kicked eight points to move the Blues three points clear.

Jack Carty missed a late drop goal, but Tiernan O’Halloran showed him how it was done moments later to snatch victory.

And Craig Ronaldson’s penalty in the final act sealed a deserved victory for Pat Lam’s side.

Anscombe fired the Blues in-front with a penalty after Connacht’s Cooney had missed from the same range with his first attempt.

The New Zealand-born Wales international stretched his side’s lead to six points, before Williams burrowed over the line after a destructive break from Willis Halaholo.

Anscombe landed the conversion to make it 13-0.

Tiernan O'Halloran is tackled by James Down and Seb Davies Source: Camerasport/Ian Cook/INPHO

But Healy pulled the Galway side back into the contest just before half-time. Hooker Tom McCartney broke free in midfield and almost got over the line himself before Carty found Healy in space for an easy run-in.

Cooney then landed a pair of penalties to level the scores at 13-13 with 17 minutes remaining.

They then spurned two golden opportunities to snatch victory when Niyi Adeolokun and Healy knocked on metres from the line.

The win looked to have gone when Carty missed a late drop goal, but O’Halloran struck before Ronaldson’s long-range penalty put the gloss on the 19-13 triumph.

Cardiff scorers: N Williams try; Anscombe con; Anscombe 2 pens.

Connacht scorers: Healy try; Cooney con, Cooney 2 pens; O’Halloran drop-goal; Ronaldson pen.

CARDIFF BLUES: M Morgan, B Scully, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, R Williams (T James), G Anscombe, L Williams (capt) (T Williams), R Gill (M Thomas), K Dacey (M Rees), A Peikrishvili (S Andrews), J Hoeata (S Davies), J Down, M Cook, J Navidi, N Williams (S Bennett).

CONNACHT: T O’Halloran, N Adeolokun, S Ili (T Farrell), C Ronaldson, M Healy, J Carty, J Cooney (C Blade), D Buckley (R Loughney), T McCartney (D Heffernan), JP Cooney (F Bealham), Q Roux, J Cannon, S O’Brien (N Dawai), J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt).

Referee: Marius Mitrea.

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James Candy

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