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Ulster Rugby: Ulster lose narrowly 30-25 to Connacht

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster were not quite knocked from their top of the table perch at the Sportsground last night but certainly still hit the ground with a bump after Connacht enjoyed a rare 30-25 victory over their northern neighbours.

With the hosts back to showing the form that brought them the Guinness PRO12 last year, Ulster could not overcome a sloppy first-half showing that saw them ship three tries. While they managed a trio of their own, Gilroy crossing in the first 40 before Rory Best and Jared Payne produced a quick-fire double after the turn, man-of-the-match Cian Kelleher secured the spoils after his second of the night. Ulster thought they had risen from the canvas for a second time when Paddy Jackson went over only for the effort to be ruled out.

In truth, however, and especially after such an emphatic start, the men in green were good value for the win that halted Ulster's run of five consecutive victories.

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