Glasgow Warriors 19 Ulster 20
Glasgow crashed to earth with a thump as they suffered another frustrating home turf defeat in the Magners League.
In the wake of their stunning triumph over the Scarlets, Sean Lineen’s troops had been confident of snuffing out the challenge of Ulster at Firhill.
But they were unable to recover fully from a disastrous spell at the end of the first half when they gave away two quickfire tries while down to 14 men.
The opening exchanges were jittery with both sides making a spate of basic mistakes as they tried to settle.
Niall O’Connor squandered an early penalty opportunity for the visitors – with Colin Gregor doing likewise at the other end.
Gregor made quick amends, however, by slotting an angled effort to put the Warriors in front.
Full-back Clint Schifcofske took over the boot duties for Ulster and was immediately on-target to level the contest with plenty of mistakes still being committed.
The penalty ping-pong continued as Ulster’s Ryan Caldwell was warned for killing the ball.
And Gregor confidently banged over the kick to restore the home advantage.
Schifcofske again levelled the issue – but in controversial circumstances.
The offence took place inside the Ulster half, however scrum-half Paul Marshall “stole” 10 metres behind the referee’s back to make sure it was within range of his marksman.
There was a further setback for Glasgow when prop Moray Low was yellow-carded for a professional foul.
And the Belfast brigade made the most of their extra man by creating a try on the stroke of the interval.
Their gamble in spurning a kick at the posts paid handsome dividends as flanker David Pollock plunged over in the wake of fine link-work by Marshall and Robbie Diack.
Schifcofske added the extras – before the Warriors were floored by two more blows in stoppage time.
First, slipper Ally Kellock hobbled off injured, then Scotland winger Simon Danielli scorched in for a second Ulster touchdown in as many minutes.
Schifcofske gleefully thumped over the conversion to open up a 14-point gap.
Glasgow needed to do something quickly after the restart to revive their prospects and Thom Evans obliged by shrugging off four challenges to streak over in the corner.
Gregor’s conversion was from the widest possible angle, but he made it look easy.
And when substitute Dan Parks clipped over another three points the tussle was well and truly back in the melting pot.
Glasgow piled on the pressure going into the crucial final stages and Parks narrowed the gap to a single point.
But he missed a last-gasp effort to complete a night of Warriors misery.