An injury-ravaged Connacht side went down at the Sportsground to a title-chasing Newport-Gwent Dragons team who secured a bonus point at the death.
Connacht, with Mark McHugh, Darren Yapp and David Hewitt forced to cry off an already depleted fifteen, trailed 19-7 at the break having played against the wind.
The Dragons ran in three tries in the opening 18 minutes from Nathan Brew, Percy Montgomery and Hal Luscombe with Connacht responding with a fine try from Matt Mostyn.
Connacht defended stoutly throughout the second quarter and look good for victory when the deficit was reduced to 19-14 after 53 minutes when Mostyn got in for his second try against his former colleagues.
However, Montgomery responded with two penalties before Craig Warlow secured a vital bonus point for the vistors in the dying moments.