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Saturday, 30 November, 2002, 16:35 GMT
Ulster hang on for victory
Ulster's replacement hooker Paul Shields is congratulated by number 8 Tony McWhirter after his try
A smiling Paul Shields celebrates Ulster's opening try
Celtic League, quarter-final:
Glasgow 17-20 Ulster

Ulster squeezed into the semi-final of Celtic League for the second successive season with the narrowest of victories over Glasgow at a rain-lashed Hughenden.

Ulster will now travel to Thomond Park to face Munster in the semi-final after last season's beaten finalists despatched Connacht 33-3 on Friday evening.

It was the appearance after the break of skipper Andy Ward and paceman Ryan Constable that turned Ulster's fortunes.

Ulster outscored Glasgow by two tries to one, but it was David Humphreys's penalty in the 65th minute that divided the sides at the end.

  Match details:
Glasgow 17 (14)
Tries: Steel
Pens: Hayes 4
Ulster 20 (10)
Tries: Shields, Ward
Cons: Humphreys 2
Pens: Humphreys 2
Glasgow put out their stall in the opening quarter and had Ulster under tremendous pressure.

That pressure told when Hayes pushed over a second minute penalty.

Both defences were stubborn to say the least, although Ulster were the side that were working the harder.

Humphreys brought Ulster level against the play with a 40-metre penalty in the 12th minute, but it was Glasgow with their pack showing authority, in the driving seat.

Ulster, though, could have stolen away for the opening try in the 21st minute when a great break by Humphreys put Shane Stewart away.

However, the centre failed to spot winger James Topping steaming up on his right and with a free run to the line.

Ulster's Ryan Constable
Ryan Constable set up try for skipper Andy Ward
Ulster stepped up the tempo and could well have scored only for winger Scott Young to be bundled into touch at the left-hand corner.

But the opening try of the game came from the visitors thanks to great awareness by scrum-half Neil Doak, who was doubtful right up to the start of the game with an allergy.

Doak saw a gap, sprinted through, and found support in replacement hooker Paul Shields who dummied his way over at the posts for Humphreys to convert.

But it was Glasgow who dominated the run-up to the break.

First Hayes rifled over his second penalty in the 34th minute then winger Jon Steel sprinted over after an excellent bout of inter-play by forwards and backs.

Hayes sent Glasgow in at half-time with 14-10 lead with his third penalty in injury time.

Four minutes on the restart and Hayes applied his big boot again to push Glasgow seven points ahead.

Ireland fly-half David Humphreys was stand-in captain for  Ulster against Glasgow
David Humphreys kicked the winning penalty
Glasgow began to turn the knife with their pack given Ulster's usually reliable scrum a bit of a rough ride.

But Ulster charged right back into contention in the 58th minute with that marvellous try by Ward.

Ulster were pinned in their ''22'' but the ball found its way to replacement Constable who sprinted 50 metres clear, and excellent support work allowed Humphreys to put Ward over.

Humphreys converted to level the game, and in the 65th minute his second penalty put his side ahead.

Despite conditions, it was a rip-roaring affair with Hayes keeping Glasgow on tenterhooks by missing penalties well within his compass.

But Ulster hung on for victory following a never-say-die defensive performance in which they showed great character to deny Glasgow in final minutes.


Glasgow: S Moffat, J Steel, A Henderson, T Hayes, G Metcalfe, C Howarth, G Beveridge, D Hilton, G Bulloch capt, L Harrison, N Ross, A Hall, G Simpson, D Macfadyen, J Petrie.
Replacements: B Daly, C Blades, R McKay, A Wilson, C Black, R Reid, A Bulloch.

Ulster: B Cunningham; J Topping; S Stewart, J Bell, S Young; D Humphreys, N Doak; J Fitzpatrick, M Sexton, R Kempson, M Blair, J Davidson, W Brosnihan, N McMillan, T McWhirter.
Replacements: S Best, P Shields for Sexton (25), M McCullough, A Ward for McWhirter (47), K Campbell, A Larkin, R Constable for Stewart (47)

Referee: Nigel Williams (Wales).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC's Michael McNamee reports
Committed performance by Ulster
Ulster captain David Humphreys
''There was nothing between the two sides''

The final

SEASON STATS

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING RUGBY
Links to more Celtic stories are at the foot of the page.


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