Newcastle Falcons slipped to a second European Rugby Challenge Cup defeat in three matches as they went down 25-10 to unbeaten Connacht at the Sportsground on Friday night.
The Aviva Premiership Rugby side now lie second in Pool 1 although third-placed Brive will leapfrog them if they beat Russian outfit Enisei-STM, who are yet to earn a point in Europe this term, on Saturday.
An attritional first half in Galway saw Connacht fly-half Jack Carty outscore his opposite number Craig Willis by three penalties to one.
And although Carty made it 12-3 soon after the break, the Falcons responded as Richard Mayhew drove his way over the tryline following a line-out thrown to the front.
Willis nailed the touchline conversion to cut the deficit to 12-10 but that was as close as Newcastle got with Carty slotting two more penalties to move beyond one score ahead.
Connacht currently lie second in their domestic league after an impressive start to the season and ensured a third consecutive triumph in Europe on 74 minutes as Danie Poolman danced his way over the whitewash and Carty added the extras to wrap things up.
Connacht 25 Newcastle Falcons 10
Penalties: Carty 6
Referee: Thomas Charabas