Updated at 22.29

Gloucester 14

Connacht 7

CONNACHT’S CHALLENGE CUP adventure ended tonight as the western province failed to overturn a 14-0 half-time deficit against Gloucester in Kingsholm, despite a much-improved second-half from the Irish side.

In the second half, a penalty try was awarded after a maul towards the line was illegally impeded to give Connacht hope, with Jack Carty converting in front of the posts to make it 14-7.

Mils Muliaina arrested at Kingsholm Stadium after Connacht defeat to Gloucester

The visitors rallied with the pressure on their opponents intensifying as the game wore on, however the hosts ultimately held on for a spot in the semi-final.

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The Premiership side bossed territory throughout the first 40 minutes, with the visitors’ pack unable to get an attacking foothold.

Some loose kicking from out-half Carty didn’t help Connacht’s cause in the first quarter and after 20 minutes of resistance, one such kick was punished by the hosts.

The deadlock was broken by a touch of class from Welsh international James Hook. The number 10′s show and go after taking a loose Jack Carty kick prised open the Connacht defence and he found the pass inside to Charlie Sharples who headed for the posts.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Hook was also responsible for the second score of the game, sending a left foot grubber through the Connacht defence. The ball would sit up kindly for centre Bill Meakes to collect and cross the whitewash.

A difficult task for Connacht was made more difficult after 30 minutes when All Black Muliaina limped off to be replaced by Darragh Leader. The injury came after Mick Kearney was forced to pull out of the game late due to a toe injury.