The hosts were forced to play catch up for long periods. They trailed 9-14 at the interval and 15-20 as the tie entered injury time before Tom Gleeson scored his side’s first try, converted by JJ Hanrahan.
Conor Finn and Tadgh Leader touched down for Connacht and Leader’s two conversions helped them to a five point interval lead with Declan Cusack kicking three penalties for Munster.
Hanrahan tacked on two second half penalties but Leader did likewise to keep Connacht five clear (20-15) entering the closing stages when prop Stuart Maguire was stretchered off with a neck injury. Happily, Maguire received a clean bill of health afterwards.
MUNSTER A: R O’Mahony; C Hircock, JJ Hanrahan, T Gleeson, L O’Dea; D Cusack, G Hurley; D Kilcoyne, D Fogarty, J Ryan; P Donnellan, D Foley; S Buckley, B O’Hara, P Butler.
Replacements: B Hayes for Foley, 38; J Cronin for Kilcoyne, 40; C Condon for Ryan, 40; C Sheridan for Hurley, 40; S Henry for Fogarty, 51; G Quinn McDonagh for Cusack, 44; D Moroney for Hircock, 63; C O’Hanlon for O’Dea, 63; J Shine for O’Hara, 77.
CONNACHT A: C Boland; J Loxton, R Henshaw, T Leader, C Finn; J Carty, D Moore; F Bealham, D Murphy, S Maguire; M Kearney, D Qualter; D Heffernan, A Conneely, E McKeon.
Replacements: K O’Byrne for Murphy, 51; M Dolan for Moore, 51; A Gaughan for Henshaw, 58; B Moylett for Qualter, 58; F Gormley for Finn, 65; R Cunningham for Conneely, 66; D Higgins for Maguire, 77.
Referee: M Black (IRFU).