Width of the post denies Connacht dramatic win over Glasgow

Width of the post denies Connacht dramatic win over Glasgow

Glasgow Warriors outlasted Connacht in a gripping Guinness PRO14 opener at the Sportsground where Stuart Hogg's 73rd-minute drop goal handed them a 27-26 bonus-point win.

The hosts' replacement fly-half Craig Ronaldson had a last-gasp chance to pinch the result but his long-range penalty agonisingly bounced wide off the left post.

A hectic attack-driven first half, which began with Tommy Seymour's try after only 62 seconds, finished 23-17 in Connacht's favour.

Jack Carty kicked 13 points to add to tries from Cian Kelleher and Finlay Bealham, while George Turner and co-captain Ryan Wilson took Glasgow's try tally to three.

Carty's third successful penalty edged Connacht closer to a winning start under new head coach Andy Friend, but the visitors bounced back from recent Scotland debutant Adam Hastings' sin-binning to bag their fourth try through replacement Adam Ashe and Hogg coolly supplied the match-winning kick.

Width of the post denies Connacht dramatic win over Glasgow

Seymour won the race onto Hogg's chip kick to silence the home crowd almost immediately, with Tiernan O'Halloran and Matt Healy both outpaced by the Scotland winger. Peter Horne's conversion faded to the left and wide but Dave Rennie's men had signalled their intent.

Connacht got no reward for a surging break by new captain Jarrad Butler, but Oli Kebble's lineout infringement allowed Carty to split the posts in the 11th minute.

DTH van der Merwe's blunder in conceding a lineout saw the hosts press hard with Carty's deft kick playing in winger Kelleher for a converted try.

Those seven points were swiftly handed back when Glasgow hooker Turner ghosted clean through from a close-in ruck, and Bealham joined his fellow front rower on the scoresheet with a memorable 21st-minute rumble to the line via Caolin Blade's pinpoint pass.

Width of the post denies Connacht dramatic win over Glasgow

Gaps continued to appear in both defences, Jonny Gray being held up short before Warriors co-captains Wilson and Callum Gibbins combined to drive over to the left of the posts.

Horne miscued his conversion effort and two closing penalties from Carty, either side of some improved defending from Connacht, gave his side a six-point half-time lead.

A nippy run from Matt Healy preceded Carty's third successful penalty in the 42nd minute, as Glasgow's indiscipline continued to let them down in the third quarter.

The pace of the game slackened in the sunny conditions and Carty crucially suffered his only miss off the tee after his opposite number Hastings had seen yellow for a high tackle on Blade.

Glasgow survived a searing Kelleher break through midfield, and on their first return to the Connacht 22, Ashe piled over for the bonus point score from a well-executed 64th-minute lineout maul.

Hogg converted and despite Connacht standing firm through 28 defensive phases, Glasgow kept pressing and were rewarded with Hogg's superbly-struck drop goal.

That proved to be the match-winning score for the Scots, whose bench certainly had the greater impact.

With Kelleher and Ultan Dillane in talismanic form, Connacht had two late opportunities to respond, the best of them after Grigg had infringed at a ruck but Ronaldson's radar was just off from 45 metres out.

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