Connacht 10-14 Gloucester
Connacht (7) 10
Gloucester (11) 14
- Burns 3
Gloucester picked up their first win of the Heineken Cup campaign as they held off struggling Connacht in the Pool 6 clash at the Sportsground in Galway.
Two Freddie Burns penalties gave Gloucester a 6-0 lead by the 16th minute and James Simpson-Daniel added a try for visitors on the half-hour.
A Gavin Duffy try and five points from Niall O'Connor's boot reduced the gap to one point after 43 minutes.
However, Burns scored his third penalty on 74 minutes as Gloucester held on.
Gloucester's win ended a run of four straight defeats for the Premiership club and consigned the Irish province to their ninth successive reverse.
The visitors, who started without former England captain Mike Tindall, took an eighth-minute lead as Burns landed a penalty from halfway.
O'Connor and Burns then both missed penalty chances before the Gloucester fly-half added to his team's lead with a 16th-minute kick.
Connacht's first-half display was not helped by sloppy line-out work and Gloucester pressure resulted in Simpson-Daniel's 31st-minute try.
Skipper Luke Narraway went close to scoring before a superb offload from Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu sent Simpson-Daniel over in the corner.
Connacht hit back with a try of their own three minutes later as O'Connor's kick over the Gloucester defence bounced kindly for Duffy who scored under the posts.
O'Connor added the conversion to cut Gloucester's lead to four points but the visitors almost scored a second try before the break, Charlie Sharples running out of space as he chased a Henry Trinder grubber kick.
The Connacht fly-half punished an offside infringent to further reduce Gloucester's lead three minutes after the restart but that was as good as it got for the home side.
A powerful couple of scrums and a line-out maul got Gloucester back into scoring range but they turned down a kickable penalty and Connacht's committed defence kept them out.
Burns punished Rodney Ah You's offside on 72 minutes by slotting his third penalty as Gloucester had little difficulty in holding on for for the win which keeps alive their faint hopes of qualification for the knockout stages.
Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath: "We knew it was going to be tough - a three to five-point game - but I thought we were probably the dominant side, particularly in the set-piece.
"After the six weeks we have had, and we have lost a few, hopefully that can turn around the season for us because we need to push on with two home games.
"There were some big performances from a lot of people but not necessarily flash - just honest hard-working performances, and we needed that."
Connacht: G Duffy (capt); M McCrea, K Tonetti, D McSharry, T O'Halloran; N O'Connor, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Loughney; M McCarthy, G Naoupu; D Gannon, J Muldoon, R Ofisa
Replacements: F Vainikolo for O'Halloran 59, P O'Donohoe for Murphy 59, A Flavin for Reynecke 66, R Ah You for Loughney 40, M Kearney for M McCarthy 74, E McKeown for Ofisa 38.
Not Used: D Buckley, M Jarvis.
Gloucester: O Morgan; C Sharples, H Trinder, E Fuimaono-Sapolu, J Simpson-Daniel; F Burns, R Lawson; N Wood, S Lawson, D Chistolini; P Buxton, J Hamilton; B Deacon, A Hazell, L Narraway (capt)
Replacements: J May for Trinder 66, M Cortese for Lawson 72, R Harden for Chistolini 61, W James for Buxton 72, A Qera for Hazell 56.
Not Used: D Murphy, N Runciman, T Taylor.
Referee: N Patterson (SRFU)