The match's first quarter was dominated by Ulster, but, frustratingly, its end saw the visitors trailing on the scoreboard and already deprived of two key players after early injuries picked up by Pedrie Wannenburg and Ian Humphreys.
Before his untimely exit, the outside-half kicked Ulster into an early lead with a fourth minute penalty after Edinburgh had strayed offside. However, the Scots looked lively from the restart, and a home try on eight minutes was only prevented by a crunching last-gasp tackle from Trimble on Tim Visser.
Humphreys was then able to extend the lead on 12 minutes with a second penalty, but a series of Ulster errors deep in their own half after a loose pass allowed Nick De Luca the simplest of tries, converted by Greig Laidlaw to make the score Edinburgh 7 Ulster 6. A Laidlaw penalty moments afterwards then stretched the gap to four points, but Ruan Pienaar, taking over kicking duties from the recently-replaced Humphreys, reduced it to a single point again just shy of the 20-minute mark.
Ulster were back in the lead on 27 minutes after a terrific team score, Best's sheer determination carrying him over the line after intricate build-up play between the forwards and backs, with stand-out work from Cave and Ferris in particular. Pienaar's conversion missed narrowly, but Edinburgh barely had time to draw breath before Ulster struck again with a sublime counter-attack.
The try was made thanks to a superb leap-and-take from Trimble after a searching box kick by Humphreys' replacement Paul Marshall. The Ireland international made good ground on his wing before supplying Ferris on his shoulder, and the flanker pulled off a subtle flick of the ball to allow Tuohy to touch down another aesthetically-pleasing score. Pienaar's conversion attempt once again missed by inches, but his team were in a comfortable position at Edinburgh 10 Ulster 19.
Edinburgh played the half out pushing for a second close-range try, and with Ulster penalised in the dying seconds, Laidlaw was able to kick his team back into contention by reducing the arrears to six points.
Half-Time Score Edinburgh 13 Ulster 19
Ulster started the second half in exhilarating form. Pienaar restored the nine-point lead with an inch-perfect penalty on 44 minutes, and Trimble wasted no time from the restart, tormenting Visser and the rest of the Edinburgh defence once again after another probing kick from Marshall. Trimble crossed the whitewash for try number three, and Pienaar's conversion squeezed between the posts to set the score at Edinburgh 13 Ulster 29.
Pienaar added to the Edinburgh pain on 53 minutes with a penalty from directly in front of the posts, but a second soft try was conceded just before the hour mark, replacement prop Alan Walker picking up a dropped ball metres from the line to dive over and land the score. Laidlaw's conversion kept the tie alive at Edinburgh 20 Ulster 32.
With a four-try bonus point now the main target, Ulster spurned three points 15 minutes before time, Pienaar kicking for touch from a penalty rather than going for the posts. However, the attack broke down with a handling error, and Ulster had to bide their time a little longer. A similar opportunity presented itself five minutes later, and Chris Henry looked to have grabbed the bonus after good line-out organisation from Ulster, before play was pulled back for a marginal knock-on in the build-up.
The elusive bonus point was finally secured in the 76th minute, and the excellent Marshall was once again instrumental, showing a great reading of the game to identify the space, time his pass astutely, and supply Darren Cave for score number four. Pienaar's conversion put the result beyond any doubt at Edinburgh 20 Ulster 39.
The scoring ended with a last-minute penalty from Pienaar's boot, and - the nature of the two tries conceded aside - the result served as a fierce warning shot to next Friday's Heineken Cup visitors to Ravenhill, the Leicester Tigers.
Full-Time Score Edinburgh 20 Ulster 42
(15 - 9) C Paterson; T Brown, N De Luca, J King, T Visser; P Godman, G Laidlaw (c)
(1 - 8) A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross; S Cox, E Lozada; S McInally, R Grant, N Talei
Replacements (16 - 23) A Walker, K Traynor, J Gilding, G Gilchrist, A MacDonald, C Leck, M Scott, J Thompson
(15 - 9) S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, I Whitten, C Gilroy; I Humphreys, R Pienaar
(1 - 8) T Court, R Best, J Afoa; J Muller (c), D Tuohy; S Ferris, C Henry, P Wannenburg
Replacements (16 - 23) A Kyriacou, C Black, A Macklin, L Stevenson, W Faloon, P Marshall, P Wallace, A D'Arcy
|Edinburgh Rugby Score Card|
|Nick de Luca||1||5|
|Ulster Rugby Score Card|