Edinburgh once again fell just short with a furious comeback but plunged to an eighth successive defeat, losing to Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht at Myreside last night.
Down 22-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining having gifted their opponents much of their points, the capital side scored three quickfire tries to get within reach but were unable to overhaul the Irish side in the dying minutes.
Hamish Watson was again a huge hero for the home side but it was another game lost that could or should have been won, and Edinburgh have yet to win in the league in 2017 or since they moved to Myreside.
The home side suffered a blow by losing Cornell du Preez before kick off but once again it was their own basic errors that had them struggling.
Early promise came to naught with Weir missing an easy penalty touch and then the stand-off missed a routine penalty chance.
Inevitably on Connacht’s first attack they won a penalty and stand-off Steve Crosbie kicked them ahead, while Edinburgh’s response with a fine driving maul ended abruptly when Weir carelessly fumbled a simple pass.
The home side then suffered two huge blows when Crosbie booted a penalty from near halfway to double is side’s lead, and on the half hour Connacht’s first foray into the Edinburgh 22 saw Marmion snipe around the fringes and send Eoin McKeon cantering through a huge gap untouched to score under the posts, Crosbie converting.
Edinburgh’s woes deepened when Weir missed another simple penalty chance and Crosbie was on target with a third penalty kick for an easy 16-0 half-time lead.
The home side finally got Rory Scholes away on a weaving run at the start of the second half but Bundee Aki hauled him down and won a turnover to end the danger, and Crosbie kept the pressure on with two more penalties to take Connacht out to 22-0 ahead.
Edinburgh at least got on the scoreboard via a penalty try, O’Halloran coming off the line too quick to stop a two man overlap after Damien Hoyland had made good ground and referee Dan Jones going between the posts after checking with the TMO and being satisfied a try would have been scored.
The full-back was yellow carded as Weir converted and suddenly Edinburgh had a lift, scoring a second try within three minutes as the indefatigable Watson spun out of tackles close to the line and got the touch down under the posts, Weir again converting.
Connacht tried to run out some clock while down a man but Edinburgh were suddenly flying and Watson’s elusiveness again set up the chance for Glenn Bryce to get the third try with six minutes remaining, although Weir missed the conversion.
That left Edinburgh needing a fourth try to win but they were unable to win field position and another fumble in midfield eventually brought Connacht relief.
Edinburgh: G Bryce; D Hoyland, C Dean, P Burleigh, R Scholes; D Weir, N Fowles; M McCallum, R Ford (Capt), S Berghan; F McKenzie, B Toolis; V Mata, H Watson, V Fihaki.
Replacements: S McInally for Ford 53, K Bryce for Berghan 71, G Gilchrist for McKenzie 60, J Ritchie for Mata 69, S Hidalgo-Clyne for Fowles 66, T Brown for Scholes 69, J Rasolea for Burliegh 60.
Connacht: T O’Halloran; N Adeolokun, E Griffin, B Aki, D Poolman; S Crosbie, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, D Robertson-McCoy; Q Roux, A Browne; E McKeon, J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: S Delahunt for McCartney 51, JP Cooney for Buckley 69, F Bealham for Robertson-McCoy 42, J Cannon for Roux 65, S O’Brien for Muldoon 65, C Blade for Marmion 60, J Carty for Crosbie 63
Ref: D Jones (WRU)