Ireland scrum-half John Cooney scored 12 points and pulled the strings as Ulster got their Champions Cup campaign off to a strong start with a dramatic win away at Bath Rugby.
Cooney – who appeared off the bench in four of Ireland’s five Guinness Six Nations games earlier this year – crossed for Ulster’s opening try at the Rec when he blocked a clearance kick, collected and darted over.
The conversion made it 7-0 and he also converted a second-half Rob Lyttle score before adding a 71st-minute penalty that gave the Irish side a 17-16 lead.
Bath could have won it at the death as Zach Mercer burst through and fed Semesa Rokoduguni but Jacob Stockdale brilliantly tracked back to tackle his opposite number into touch and hand Ulster a one-point victory.
Glasgow Warriors also opened up their campaign with a victory as they held off a resilient Sale Sharks side at Scotstoun to prevail 13-7.
Adam Hastings gave Scotland coach Gregor Townsend a timely reminder of his abilities ahead of the 2020 Guinness Six Nations as he booted two penalties and converted DTH van der Merwe’s try for a 13-0 half-time lead.
The fly-half provided Glasgow’s creative spark from the No.10 channel but Sharks battled back after the break as Coenie Oosthuizen rumbled over and AJ MacGinty’s conversion narrowed the gap to six points.
But the Warriors withstood a late Sale onslaught to take four points and get their European adventure off to a promising start.