Munster started the better of the two teams and dominated the opening forty minutes with the advantage of the wind.
The home side were relentless in their attack throughout the first half but could not find the field position to be clinical, possession was heavily in Munster's favour throughout the opening period and even Connacht losing their winger to the sin bin for a professional foul was not enough to open the flood gates. Dan McCabe and Ben Martin looked dangerous with ball in hand constantly testing the Connacht defence which held firm.
Munster full back Ben Martin and his opposite number Robert O'Beirn swapped penalties to leave the sides level 6-6 at half time.
The second half started with Munster right back to where they left off, Ian Fitzgerald was introduced and Ben Martin took a three point opportunity early in the second half to gain a precious lead in a tight game. Again Munster worked hard building patiently into the Connacht half only to be turned back time and time again right before they got into a scoring position.
With twenty minutes to go Connacht scored the decisive try, Munster were caught in automatic as Greg Faherty came from a long way out to brilliantly intercept a move, it was superbly read and an excellent individual try, jogging under the posts Robert O'Beirn had an easy two point conversion and the pressure was on Munster to produce a score.
With time running Munster just could not find a gap and the men from the West held out to be crowned champions for 2012.
Scorers Munster: Ben Martin 3 pens;
Connacht: Gary Faherty try, Robert O'Beirn con, 2 pens.
Munster: B Martin (Clonmel); G Carroll (Clonmel), M Kinsella (Waterpark), D O'Keeffe (Crosshaven), P Earlie (Kanturk); M Lyons (Clonmel), R Geary (Cobh Pirates); A Simpson (Richmond), M Cronin (Castleisland), M McInerny (Ennis); S Burke (Galbally), S Walsh (Clanwilliam); B O'Sullivan capt (Tralee), G Phelan (Richmond), D McCabe (Kanturk).
Replacements: P Ryan (St Senan's), F Lawlor (St. Senan's), B O'Neill (Kanturk), B Lyons (Thurles), I Fitzgerald (St Senan's), A Daly (Youghal), J McNamara (Richmond).
Connacht: R O'Beirn (Ballinasloe); K Corcoran (Westport), J Harrimate (Ballina), R Lee (Tuam), P Cosgrove (OLBC); J Murphy (Tuam), G Faherty (OLBC); J Walsh (OLBC), M Lee capt (Corrib), P McCreanor (OLBC); M Mullins (Loughrea), B Murphy(Monivea); W Cullinane (Loughrea), J Hayes, (Ballinasloe); S Burke (Tuam).
Replacements: M Ward (Tuam), A Lee (Ballina), R Coughlan (Monivea), J Moran (OLBC), A McNulty (Ballina), M Murphy (Ballina), D Dooley (OLBC), E Dowling (OLBC), T Moore (Ballina), C Hurst (Tuam).
Referee: M Correll (IRFU)