Glasgow turned the Celtic League on its head as they produced a surprised 27-25 win over Ulster at Hughenden.
The home side emerged victorious in this top versus bottom battle with a fabulous display of defensive relisinece to keep put Alan Solomons’ league leading side.
Ulster appeared to be on course to complete the treble over Hugh Campbell’s men until a dramatic home revival. Warriors snatched two converted tries, then produced a heroic defensive performance to seal the win.
Celtic Cup winners Ulster had given instant notice of their intentions by breaching the home defence with ease after just two minutes, but Paul Steinmetz’s touchdown was snuffed out by referee Nigel Owens for a marginally forward pass from Adam Larkin.
The visitors kept up the early pressure and broke the deadlock with a Larkin penalty, but the Warriors responded in positive fashion to level the contest with a long-range strike by Calvin Howarth, back in action after a shoulder injury.
The province looked the more controlled outfit as they strung together phases galore but, with the Glasgow defence more assured, they had to rely on another penalty by Larkin to edge back in front.
Ulster took full advantage of the temporary absence of Jon Petrie, Graeme Morrison and Graeme Beveridge by creating the first try, flanker Neil Best being driven over by his pack-mates in the wake of a penalty line-out.
Glasgow mounted a series of promising attacks of their own, but all they could show for their efforts was another Howarth penalty, although wing Sean Lamont outstripped the Ulster defence from 60 metres for a wonderful solo score.
Even better was to come a minute later as Alan Bulloch galloped over following great work by Metcalfe and Rory Kerr. Howarth added both goals to complete the quickfire turnaround of fortunes.
Glasgow had grabbed their third try through Lawson in the wake of an expertly executed kick, chase and tackle by Metcalfe. Howarth again slotted the kick.
Matt McCullough went over for Ulster with Paddy Wallace converting to set up a tense finale. The jitters set in when Scott Young added another in stoppage time, but Glasgow held on.