Cardiff Blues responded to Head Coach Danny Wilson’s rallying cry to produce a response with a battling and proud display to take the game to the wire.
Centre Gavin Evans scored a first half try as Blues took a half-time lead and led going into the final 15 minutes courtesy of the accurate boot of Rhys Patchell.
Two quick-fire tries from Ryan Grant and visiting skipper Jonny Gray wrestled back control for the Warriors before a thrilling finale.
A penalty try, after Stuart Hogg’s deliberate knock on stopped a certain score, saw Blues cut the lead back to five points.
And a tense final five minutes saw the hosts throw everything at Glasgow before having to settle for a deserved losing bonus point.
As BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park welcomed back rugby, it was the visitors that were straight on the attack with a series of penalties eventually resulting in Russell nudging them into a 3-0 lead.
But back came the hosts with a high ball well taken by Ellis Jenkins, after Russell’s high steepling kick got caught in the wind, and Patchell soon leveled up the scores.
The game had started at a high tempo with returning centre Gavin Evans producing a big hit on Scottish full back Stuart Hogg and when the ball spilled out it almost landed to the waiting Alex Cuthbert.
Sam Warburton was in the thick of the action as he hacked a ball through and James Down won the race to pick up possession before Turnbull made a line break.
When Cuthbert bounced off a Pat MacArthur tackle another infringement on the floor allowed Patchell to put the home side ahead for the first time.
The home pack was really producing with a series of drives up the middle before big wing Taqele Naiyaravoro produced a superb take to take Fish’s high kick and put Glasgow back on the front foot as the breathless opening continued.
Lloyd Williams, who earlier in the week signed a new deal, reacted first to mop up a stray lineout, as he ripped the ball away and tore into space.
And a penalty for offside allowed Patchell to kick from halfway and land a huge penalty for a 9-3 lead at the midpoint of the half.
However, a penalty, for a push in the back off the ball as Hogg chased his own kick, allowed Russell to head to the corner, with the Scottish playmaker producing a pearl for a five-metre lineout.
The initial drive was held up over the line after a free kick at the lineout, but after Williams stopped the sniping Grayson Hart there was no halting Fiji ace Nakarawa who jumped over the ruck with the ball in one hand to dot down. Russell, though, hit the left hand post with the conversion.
Home back row Jenkins produced a thumping hit to rock Glasgow midfielder Peter Horne and cough up ball as Blues looked for an attacking platform while the visiting expansive offload game looked a threat at all times.
The home side then struck for the first time with Tom James making the initial line break. The ball was quickly picked up by Fish and, with the penalty won, it was spun down the line by Down to Evans who hit the pass at full tilt and smashed over.
The game continued to swap from end to end as Rey Lee-Lo’s grubber spat up to Fish to collect while a chip ahead from Hogg sat up kindly too but this time Patchell and Evans mopped up the problem before Williams hurriedly cleared.
Patchell slotted a monster long range kick from inside his own half to extend the lead two minutes before the break.
But it was Glasgow who had the final word of the opening half with a slicing break up field from wing Tommy Seymour finished off out wide by the hard running Naiyaravoro to cut the lead back to two points at 17-15.
Russell’s early second half penalty put Glasgow back ahead before Lee-Lo’s nasty kick in behind forced Hogg to concede a lineout.
Cardiff Blues looked to take advantage of a strong attacking platform, but a grubber kick in behind from Fish deflected up off the turf into the path of Mark Bennett who led a counter attack.
Williams stripped the ball off Naiyaravoro while Fish twice broke the line from deep with cutting runs, the second resulting in a penalty.
Wings James and Cuthbert combined to release Lee-Lo before a heart in mouth moment for home fans as Russell intercepted a Williams inside pass to race clear, but Patchell superbly raced back to drag him down ten meres out and stop a certain try.
Kristian Dacey pumped his legs to break tackles and when Ryan Wilson was yellow carded, for persistent team penalties against Glasgow, Patchell sent Blues back ahead to huge cheers with another successful penalty.
Three minutes later he added another as the home fans sensed a famous victory over the champions.
Yet Glasgow showed all their title winning character to come again and two tries in four minutes from Grant and Gray – both from close range – swung the pendulum back their way.
One last wave of home attack saw yet another twist as Hogg raced out of the line and knocked on with a try looking a certainty. Referee sent him to the sin bin for ten minutes and awarded the penalty try.
That was to spark a frantic finale as phase after phase of attack from Blues saw them push Glasgow back for five minutes, but one last steal saw the Scottish side victorious.
06m Russell p 0-3
08m Patchell p 3-3
13m Patchell p 6-3
20m Patchell p 9-3
27m Nakarawa t 9-8
32m Evans t 14-8
38m Patchell p 17-8
39m Naiyaravoro t Russell c 17-15
42m Russell p 17-18
60m Patchell p 20-18
63m Patchell p 23-18
70m Grant t Russell c 23-25
74m Gray t Russell c 23-32
76m Russell p 23-35
79m Penalty t J Evans c 30-35
Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Rey Lee-Lo (J Evans 77), 12 Gavin Evans (Isaacs 47), 11 Tom James, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lloyd Williams (Knoyle 75); 1 Gethin Jenkins (Hobbs 73), 2 Kristian Dacey (Rees 65), 3 Taufa’ao Filise (Mitchell 55), 4 Lou Reed (Hoeata 55), 5 James Down, 6 Ellis Jenkins (Vosawai 75), 7 Sam Warburton, 8 Josh Turnbull
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Craig Mitchell, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Manoa Vosawai, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Jarrod Evans, 23 Tom Isaacs