Celtic League: Week 17: Friday, March 4Ulster 30 Glasgow 3, RavenhillScorers: Ulster: Tries: Simon Best, Tommy Bowe, Kevin Maggs, Tyrone Howe; Cons: Adam Larkin, Paddy Wallace; Pens: Larkin 2Glasgow: Pen: Calvin Howarth
Ulster drew within a point of eighth-placed Connacht at Ravenhill, as Ireland internationals Bowe, Howe, Simon Best and Kevin Maggs crossed the Glasgow whitewash in a second half onslaught.
The Scots - without a win in nine away trips - provided little opposition in truth, but the win was a vital one for Mark McCall's side, with trips to Munster and Cardiff, and home ties with The Borders and 2004 winners Llanelli still to come.
McCall has targeted five wins, and this was an ideal start, with a bonus point racked up and just an 11th-minute Calvin Howarth penalty conceded.
Adam Larkin, deputising for the match-tied David Humphreys, replied in kind on 16 minutes, but a late miss apiece from the kickers meant the sides went in at the break, on a 3-3 scoreline.
A refreshed Ulster watched Larkin put them in front on 43 minutes, and then prop Best capitalised on a 54th-minute turnover to burrow over.
The conversion saw Ulster 13-3 up, and with Bowe - slaloming over on a 50-metre rampage for his sixth league try - and Maggs - taking advantage of Kieran Campbell's quick tap - both on target, the home side were motoring.
The visitors had lost all interest at that stage, and were harshly pinged by substitute Ben Prescott's sin-binning.
Howe's late try - his second score against Glasgow this season - was then converted by substitute Paddy Wallace as the men in white chalked up their second four-try bonus point of the league campaign.
(15) Bryn Cunningham(14) Tommy Bowe(13) Kevin Maggs(12) Paul Steinmetz(11) Tyrone Howe(10) Adam Larkin(9) Kieran Campbell(1) Ronan McCormack(2) Paul Shields(3) Simon Best(4) Gary Longwell(5) Matt McCullough(6) Campbell Feather (Capt)(7) Neil Best(8) Roger Wilson
Replacements used: Andy Ward for Feather (60 mins), Tom Barker for Longwell (72), Paddy Wallace for Larkin (73). Not used: Rory Best, Rod Moore, Neil Doak, Scott Young.
Glasgow: Colin Shaw; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Scott Barrow, Gareth Maclure; Calvin Howarth, Graeme Beveridge; Kevin Tkachuk, Scott Lawson, Andrew Kelly, Andrew Hall, Dan Turner, Steve Swindall, Paul Dearlove, Cameron Mather (Capt).Replacements used: Sam Pinder for Beveridge (56 mins), Ben Prescott for Kelly (60), Kenny Logan and Andrew Wilson for Shaw and Swindall (both 63), Andrew Henderson for Barrow (64), Fergus Thomson and Joe Beardshaw for Lawson and Turner (both 68), Kelly for Dearlove (73-75).
Sin-bin: Ben Prescott (Glasgow) (68 mins)HT: Ulster 3 Glasgow 3; Attendance: 6,215Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Edinburgh 13 Connacht 16, Murrayfield
Connacht made it two-out-of-two for the Irish provinces, as former international fly-half Eric Elwood kicked a crucial 77th-minute penalty - his third of the night - to help the westerners edge hosts Edinburgh.
Elwood was involved in Connacht's sole try, as a 33rd-minute forward rob saw the veteran feed John O'Sullivan, and his chip through was pounced on by left winger David Slemen for the touch down.
Michael Bradley's side led 10-0 at the break - with Elwood punishing the hosts for not rolling away on 11 minutes, and converting Slemen's effort - the former Orrell back's first league try - to hand Michael Bradley's side a decent buffer.
Edinburgh - unbeaten in their last four games - would have scored on 28 minutes, but for Conor McPhillips' brilliant try-saving tackle on Ben MacDougall.
Phil Godman had a chance to reduce the deficit with a 40-metre penalty before the break, but was wayward and 35-year-old Elwood immediately punished him on the restart - drilling over a 25-metre penalty shot.
The 42nd-minute infringement which led to Elwood's second penalty saw Edinburgh lock Alastair Kellock sin-binned for handling on the ground.
Nonetheless, just eleven minutes later Connacht also lost Matt Lacey to a yellow card, and subsequently their lead was whittled away.
A multi-phase drive saw Craig Smith breach the Connacht line on 46 minutes, and two penalties from Godman and Kiwi Brendan Laney levelled it up at 13-13, with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Some dogged defence helped Connacht's line remained intact, and with a superb 20-metre maul from the visitors paving the way for a needless infringement from the Scots, Elwood slotted the crucial kick.
The win - Connacht's first since January - sees them now lie level on 35 points with both Edinburgh and Glasgow above them.
Edinburgh: Brendan Laney; Simon Webster, Marcus Di Rollo, Ben MacDougall, Craig Joiner; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Craig Smith, Nathan Hines, Alastair Kellock, Alasdair Strokosch, Simon Cross, Todd Blackadder (Capt).Replacements used: Alasdair Dickinson and David Callam for Jacobsen and Strokosch (both 56 mins), Paul Boston for MacDougall (60), Michael Pyke for Webster (70), Fergus Pringle for Kellock (74). Not used: Andrew Kelly, Rory Lawson.
(15) Matt Mostyn(14) Conor McPhillips(13) Darren Yapp(12) Mark McHugh(11) David Slemen(10) Eric Elwood(9) Chris Keane(1) Dan McFarland(2) John Fogarty(3) Stephen Knoop(4) Christian Short(5) Andrew Farley (Capt)(6) Michael Swift(7) Matt Lacey(8) John O'Sullivan
Replacements used: Ted Robinson for McHugh (5-19 mins), John Muldoon for Swift (37), Brendan O'Connor for O'Sullivan (half-time), Bernard Jackman for Fogarty (60), Robinson for Yapp (69), Adrian Clarke for McFarland (81). Not used: Tony Buckley, Mike Walls.
Sin-bins: Alastair Kellock (Edinburgh) (42 mins), Matt Lacey (Connacht) (53)HT: Edinburgh 0 Connacht 10; Attendance: 3,046Referee: Hugh Watkins (Wales)
Friday's other result:
Newport-Gwent Dragons 42 The Borders 15, Rodney Parade