Pro12: Connacht 3-10 Ulster
|Connacht (0) 3|
|Ulster (3) 10|
|Try: Williams Con: Jackson Pen: Jackson|
A late Nick Williams try gave Ulster victory over Connacht in a tight low-scoring Irish interprovincial derby at the Sportsground in Galway.
Number eight Williams drove over the line in the 77th minute after centre Luke Marshall was tackled just short of the line and set the ball back.
Paddy Jackson, who kicked the only points of the first half, converted.
For Connacht, it was a first home defeat of the season as Ulster moved up to third place in the Pro12 table.
Les Kiss's side lie three points adrift of second-placed Connacht, with another key derby against Munster to come at Kingspan Stadium on 2 January.
The hosts enjoyed most of the possession and territory early on, but were unable to breach the Ulster defence.
The visitors turned down two kickable penalties and home centre Craig Ronaldson then missed with a kick at goal on the half-hour mark.
Three minutes later, Jackson landed the first points of the game with a well-struck penalty to give his side a narrow half-time advantage.
Ronaldson was off-target with a second penalty attempt in the 49th minute, while five minutes later Andrew Trimble knocked on with the line at his mercy after trying to collect a Marshall pass around his ankles.
Marshall was then sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate trip on USA international fly-half AJ MacGinty.
The replacement number 10 brought the sides level with his 64th-minute penalty but Cardiff Blues-bound back row forward Williams barged over for the 10th Pro12 try of his career after Marshall made ground towards the line.
How they lined up
Connacht: T O'Halloran, N Adeolokun, B Aki, C Ronaldson, M Healy, J Carty, K Marmion, F Bealham, D Heffernan, N White, U Dillane, A Muldowney, J Muldoon (capt), J Connolly, E Masterson.
Replacements: S Delahunt, R Loughney, R Ah You, A Browne, S O'Brien, I Porter, AJ MacGinty, R Parata.
Ulster: L Ludik, A Trimble, L Marshall, S McCloskey, R Scholes, P Jackson, R Pienaar; A Warwick, R Herring (capt), W Herbst, A O'Connor, F van der Merwe, R Diack, S Reidy, N Williams.
Replacements: J Andrew, C Black, R Lutton, S Mulholland, R Wilson, P Marshall, I Humphreys, S Arnold.