Glasgow, with a try advantage of 3-2, and inspired by double try scorer Tom Evans, took their chances well and in defence stopped Leinster’s luminaries from lighting up the game with trenchant tackling.
Leinster will rue missing a prime scoring chance in the first half and moreover two second-half penalty misses from Filipe Contepomi but it was up front that the real battle was lost to a Glasgow pack that looked much the hungrier.
It was Glasgow who opened the scoring with a try by right wing Hefin O’Hare, after Shane Horgan was forced to carry over a kick from outside half Dan Parks.
From the ensuing scrum Glasgow’s speedy wing Tom Evans drew in the midfield defence and when the ball was recycled Parks had time to throw out a monstrously long pass to the unmarked O’Hare to stroll over.
Almost immediately Leinster clawed back three points with a penalty goal from Contepomi.
But a similar effort from Parks after a Leinster forward was caught using his hands in the ruck restored the five points advantage for Glasgow.
Then Glasgow profited from a series of errors. First Shane Horgan tried to keep the ball in play from a poorly placed kick only for Glasgow centre Scott Barrow to intercept.
Parks then put in a kick that bounced in the in-goal area. Speedster Tom Evans, taking advantage of another Leinster attempt to flip the ball back, pounced for the try.
But Leinster quickly atoned as number 8 Jamie Heaslip broke clear before delivering to Gordon D’Arcy for the Ireland centre to race in under the posts, leaving Contepomi with the easiest of conversion attempts.
The points dividend for a strong start to the second half by Leinster quickly followed as D’Arcy danced through the Glasgow defence to score a second try with Contepomi’s conversion opening up a four point lead for the visitors.
Glasgow hit back with a Parks penalty and after John Barclay knocked on with the line at his mercy, the Scotland outside half hit a second successive penalty goal following a fracas that had ended with Leinster prop Stan Wright being sent to the sin-bin.
Glasgow quickly cashed in with a spectacular solo try from Evans. Parks’ conversion then gave the hosts a 26-17 lead.
A second penalty success by Contepomi brought Leinster to within a converted score of victory but hard though the visitors tried they could not find a way to score.
Glasgow scorers: Tries: O’Hare, Lamont, Evans. Cons: Parks. Pens: Parks 3.
Lamont, O’Hare, Morrison, Barrow, Evans, Parks, Beveridge, Va’a, Thomson, Murray, Newman, Kellock, Swindall, Barclay, Beattie. Replacements: Tckachuk for Va’a (58), Lawson for Thomson (47), Wilson for Swindall (79), MacFadyen for Beattie (33).
Leinster scorers: Tries: D’Arcy 2. Cons: Contepomi 2. Pens: Contepomi 2.
Dempsey, Horgan, D’Arcy, Warner, Hickie, Contepomi, Whitaker, Wright, Blaney, Green, Hogan, O’Kelly, Jowitt, Gleeson, Heaslip.
Replacements: Kearney for Dempsey (77), Fitzgerald for Hickie (70), Corrigan for Green (55), Finegan for O’Kelly (50), McLaughlin for Jowitt (70).
T Hayes (Wales).
Llanelli Scarlets earned an easy 53-11 bonus point victory over the Borders at Stradey Park to keep their Magners League title hopes alive.
They cruised into third place with this nine-tries-to-one success. The home side were rampant in the first half earning their bonus point 30 minutes in after scoring their fourth try, going in at half time 26-6 up.
And Edinburgh Gunners battled to a 30-20 win over in-form Newport-Gwent Dragons at Murrayfield.
Lynn Howells’ men showed plenty of grit to come from behind and clinch a bonus-point win.