12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The home of Scottish rugby has not been a happy hunting ground for Connacht with just one victory from eight previous visits, so this is a significant result in their push for a best ever finish in the RaboDirect PRO12.
Top scoring out-half Dan Parks converted Henshaw's late try and added a further penalty to rob Edinburgh of a losing bonus point, with the westerners avenging a 24-23 home defeat from earlier in the campaign.
Idle over the past two weekends, Connacht were keen to get back in the thick of things and a fourth minute penalty, positioned inside the hosts' 22, from Parks opened their account.
Within two minutes, man-of-the-match Greig Laidlaw booted an equalising three pointer from a similar range.
The Edinburgh skipper was on target again 10 minutes later, this time from longer range, after an offence at a scrum 35 metres from the Connacht try-line.
However, it was scrappy stuff and there were almost 19 minutes on the clock before either try-line came under threat.
The visitors produced a multi-phase effort that was easily repelled by the Edinburgh defence and when the ball was spun wide, the attack foundered on a knock on by Henshaw.
Edinburgh were looking marginally more threatening than the visitors and Tim Visser's first involvement in proceedings yielded another penalty which Laidlaw again steered between the sticks.
A brief flurry of attacking play by the hosts handed the Edinburgh scrum half a fourth attempt on goal which he again converted to extend his side's lead to nine points after half an hour.
The Scots had appeared to be gaining the upper hand, but the momentum swung in the opposite direction in the 32nd minute when Gavin Duffy broke clear and sprinted down the left flank before offloading for flanker Kearney to trot in for a try.
Parks added the extras but was instantly cast in the role of sinner when he offended on the edge of the Connacht 22. The former Scotland international earned a yellow card for his troubles and Laidlaw gratefully accepted the opportunity to land his fifth kick of the evening.
However, Connacht trimmed the deficit to two points at the interval when captain Duffy, playing on the left wing, took over from the sidelined Parks to boot an injury-time penalty.
Edinburgh, 15-13 ahead at the break, raced from the blocks at the start of the second period and Matt Scott came close to unlocking the Connacht defence. In the wake of that effort, Laidlaw registered his first miss of the match.
With his time in the sin-bin over, Parks returned to the fray and his first involvement was to bang over a penalty that nudged the westerners into the lead for the first time since the fourth minute.
With the clock ticking up to 52 minutes, he was on target once more - yet, once more, the game took a sharp twist and Connacht were soon up against it.
Edinburgh responded with a rare sortie into the opposition 22. An offence by Ronan Loughney resulted in the Connacht tighthead prop being shown a yellow card and Laidlaw booting penalty number six to bring the Scots back to within a point at 19-18.
Edinburgh's next attack produced a scrum and they shunted the short-handed Connacht pack back to earn another penalty which Laidlaw chipped over to leave the home side with a two-point lead entering the final quarter.
The ebb and flow continued and Parks restored a single point advantage with a neatly-taken drop goal, only to see that score cancelled out by an eighth successful penalty from Laidlaw.
With nine minutes left to play, Parks suffered his only miss of the night and that failure looked to have cost the visitors the match.
But, with four minutes to play, Edinburgh full-back Tom Brown fumbled and, in the disarray that followed, his opposite number Henshaw plunged over for the second Connacht try.
Parks added the conversion and then deprived Edinburgh of the bonus point when he thumped over a long range penalty with the final action of an absorbing encounter.
Connacht's fourth victory in their last five league games gives them a serious confidence boost ahead of next weekend's interprovincial derby against Ulster at the Sportsground.
|Edinburgh Rugby Score Card|
|Connacht Rugby Score Card|