Connacht edge out Sale Sharks 20-18 at the Sportsground

Chris Ashton's try went in vain for Sale Sharks
Chris Ashton's try went in vain for Sale Sharks

Connacht 20-18 Sale Sharks, The Sportsground

Connacht managed to hold off a second half fightback from Sale Sharks as they sealed a thrilling 20-18 win in their European Challenge Cup clash at The Sportsground on Saturday.

The Irish side had a dream start Kyle Godwin (20') and James Mitchell (22') scoring tries while Jack Carty kicked both the conversions and a penalty as they scored 17 unanswered points.

As the half-time was approaching, Chris Ashton provided much needed breakthrough for Sale Sharks when he dotted down in the 40th minute and Faf de Klerk improved it as the teams went into the break with a 17-7 scoreline.

South African fly-half helped Sale Sharks revive their chances with a 50th minute try and kicked back to back penalties in the 62nd and 65th minutes to help Steve Diamond's side to a one point lead - first time in the game.

With just nine minutes left in the game, David Horwitz kicked the decisive penalty for Connacht as they went on to complete a two point victory.

Despite the defeat, Sale Sharks continue to top Pool 3 with 17 points with Connacht also attaining 17 points with the victory but are at second due to inferior points difference.