Although Ulster made all the running in the opening five minutes, Glasgow were first to open their account, thanks to an acutely-angled Duncan Weir penalty from the right wing. Unruffled by this minor setback, Ulster continued to apply pressure on their hosts deep in their half, and although no clear try-scoring opportunities were carved out, the feeling was that Glasgow were there for the taking.
A good break from the left- and right-wing tandem of Danielli and Andrew Trimble on 16 minutes looked promising until Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos intervened with a try-saving tackle on Ulster's own flying Scotsman Danielli. Nevertheless, Ulster finally capitalised on their superior possession on 20 minutes thanks to a penalty from Ian Humphries, who shrugged off an earlier knock to his lower back to strike a true kick.
With parity restored at Glasgow 3 Ulster 3, the visitors were unfortunate to be penalised in front of the posts on 25 minutes for an adjudged high tackle by Kyriacou, and the grateful Weir was on hand to kick his side back in front. A further penalty for crossing three minutes later was duly dispatched by the Warriors' promising young fly-half, leaving Ulster six points adrift on the half hour when, realistically, they could have hoped to be ahead.
As the half drew to a close Ulster maintained their pressure deep in Glaswegian territory, and earned their reward on 39 minutes with the award of a highly kickable penalty after a Warriors infringement on the home '22'. Humphreys' kick inexplicably spun wide of the left-hand upright, and Ulster trotted off at half-time rueing their lack of penetration and ability to convert possession into points.
Half-Time Score Glasgow 9 Ulster 3
With Glasgow penalised seconds from the restart for illegally coming across the Ulster front row in an early scrum, Humphreys atoned for his pre-interval miss by kicking his side right back into contention. But a D'Arcy knock-on straight from the restart gave Glasgow the scrum deep in Ulster territory, and a powerful tackle from Faloon on Warriors Number 8 Ryan Wilson was needed to stamp out the danger and force the knock-on from Glasgow in their turn.
Poor organisation at the line-out, not for the first time in the encounter, blighted two more Ulster attacks until a further Glasgow indiscretion on 52 minutes enabled Humphreys to tie the game at Glasgow 9 Ulster 9. On the hour mark Ulster put together some excellent lead-up play with Paul Marshall, D'Arcy and Nevin Spence all making valiant contributions to a promising break through the axis of the field, before Dan Tuohy was penalised for holding onto the ball just a little too long in the tackle.
Two errant long-range Humphreys penalty attempts came and went as the 70th minute approached, and the misses were to prove costly as, two minutes later, a rare Glasgow foray into the visitors' half saw Troy Nathan pick up a looped pass and dive into the corner for the game's solitary try. Weir's missed conversion kept a glimmer of hope alive for Ulster with the deficit sitting at only five points.
The Scots intelligently counted down the dying minutes with slow ball in the Ulster half, biding their time until they were able to craft a drop-goal opening in the 79th minute. Weir executed the kick to perfection, putting even a losing bonus point out of Ulster's grasp. The defeat leaves Ulster smarting from five losses in nine Pro12 matches this term, and needing a much more positive result next Friday at home to the Scarlets to keep them in contention for a top four place come the end of the season.
Full-Time Score Glasgow 17 Ulster 9
(15-9) S Hogg; D Lemi, T Nathan, G Morrison, F Aramburu; D Weir, H Pyrgos;
(1-8) J Welsh, P MacArthur, M Cusack; T Ryder, A Kellock (c); R Harley, J Barclay, R Wilson
Replacements: F Gillies, R Grant, M Low, R Gray, C Fusaro, C Cusiter, A Dunbar, C Shaw
(15-9): A D'Arcy; A Trimble, D Cave, N Spence, S Danielli; I Humphreys, P Marshall
(1-8): T Court, A Kyriacou, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller (c), D Tuohy, R Diack, W Faloon, P Wannenburg
Replacements (16-23): N Brady, C Black, A Macklin, T Barker, M McComish, I Porter, P Jackson, I Whitten
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|Ulster Rugby Score Card|