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RaboDirect PRO12: Glasgow secure 20-14 victory over Ulster
Glasgow teed-up an intriguing RaboDirect PRO12 run-in as they edged out leaders Ulster 20-14 to slash their advantage at the top of the table to just four points.
Gregor Townsend's men, fresh from last weekend's record-breaking 60-3 mauling of Newport-Gwent Dragons, completed their sixth successive league victory to ensure a thrilling climax to the league campaign.
Yet they flirted with disaster as stand-off Peter Horne missed all five of his goal attempts, including an embarrassing conversion effort late in the second half while stationed dead centre and just 15 yards from the posts.
However, tries from Tim Swinson, Tommy Seymour, Peter Murchie and Nikola Matawalu were enough to hold off a determined Ulster side who could only manage three successful penalties from Ruan Pienaar and Stuart Olding's second-half touchdown.
The victory thrilled a capacity 5,600-strong crowd that included Rangers manager Ally McCoist, but there were worried looks as the hosts' South African wing DTH van der Merwe was stretchered off wearing a neck brace and oxygen mask eight minutes into second half following a clash of heads.
Thankfully the early prognosis from Glasgow's medics was positive and his immediate withdrawal had only been precautionary.
Pienaar kicked Ulster into the lead with a penalty before Swinson claimed the opening try for Glasgow, swallow-diving over the line for his third score in two games after his double against Dragons.
Pienaar edged Ulster back into the lead with another penalty and the scores remained as such until two minutes before the break when Warriors scrum-half Matawalu robbed Pienaar as he waited for the ball to emerge from a scrum and handed over to right wing Seymour for a simple finish.
Just 31 seconds into the second half full-back Murchie chased down Paddy Wallace's kick five meters from his own try line and snaffled up the loose ball to extend Glasgow's lead to nine points.
Pienaar was able to add a third penalty of his own to bring the scores to 15-9 and they finally found their way over the tryline on 67 minutes as Olding made the most of an overload down the right to score in the corner.
Just as it looked set for a tense finish, however, Glasgow struck again as Matawalu collected a stunning offload by substitute Sean Kennedy just as he hit the deck to run in under the posts.
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 19th September|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Ulster|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Zebre vs Ulster|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:35||Ulster vs Edinburgh|
|Saturday 11th October|
|17:05||Ulster vs Glasgow|
|Saturday 18th October|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|19:45||Leicester vs Ulster|
|Saturday 25th October|
|13:00||Ulster vs Toulon|
|Saturday 1st November|
|TBC||Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:35||Ulster vs Ospreys|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:35||Munster vs Ulster|
|Saturday 6th December|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|TBC||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 13th December|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Ulster|
|Saturday 20th December|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Ulster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com