Busby's last-gasp score seals the maximum return for 'A' team
Hartpury College 24-29 Ulster 'A'
They left it very late to secure the game, but David Busby's injury-time touchdown put Ulster 'A' in a good place ahead of Saturday's return British and Irish Cup fixture with Hartpury College at Ballymena's Eaton Park.
The five points puts Ulster second in Pool Five, on equal points with leaders Cornish Pirates - who play the Scarlets today after yesterday's postponement - with the province now halfway through the qualifying stages after three games.
Ulster's head coach Kieran Campbell praised his side's resolve for digging out the five-try result they needed at the Gloucestershire-based English Championship outfit which saw Ulster bag their second win and claim a first try bonus.
"We knew this was a pressure game," said Campbell.
"We had to get a result and we had to get a bonus point as anything less would have really made the pool difficult to get out of.
"But that bonus point result now puts ourselves in a really good position and another good result this week (in the concluding back-to-back round with Hartpury) gives us an excellent chance to qualify with the Pirates coming to us after Christmas," added Campbell.
His side certainly had to roll up their sleeves for this one.
After taking an early lead from a Matthew Dalton try, Ulster coughed up two scores later in the opening half to trail 12-7 when the sides turned around.
A touchdown from Callum Patterson then tied the scores two minutes after the restart before Rob Lyttle then raced over to put Ulster 17-12 ahead.
But, again, Hartpury came back and a converted try put them two points in front. Adam McBurney grabbed Ulster's bonus point score from a lineout drive with Johnny McPhilllips's conversion giving the visitors a 24-19 lead.
Hartpury claimed their bonus try on 67 minutes to, yet again, make it all square which seemed to be how it would end before Busby's late, late score ensured that Ulster returned home with maximum points.
Campbell was certainly pleased at the outcome from the side led by Greg Jones.
"The guys had bought into having to be relentless and I think we showed tremendous character and resolve," stated Campbell.
"We played very well in the first 20 minutes and got into a little lead.
"Unfortunately there were a few too many errors which let them into it.
"The second half we started very well and we needed to maintain that consistency and performance but unfortunately they grew back into the game.
"But we showed tremendous character to keep get the result in the 82nd minute," stated Campbell.
Ulster 'A': J Owens, D Busby, C Patterson, R Butler, R Lyttle, J McPhillips, J Stewart; T O'Hagan, A McBurney, T O'Toole, P Browne, M Dalton, C Ross, G Jones (capt)
Subs: Z McCall, E O'Sullivan, J McCusker, M Rea, A Cairns, D Shanahan, A Kernohan