A spirited Ulster have been edged out 21-18 by Leinster in a heartbreaking European Champions Cup quarter-final defeat at the Aviva Stadium.
It was Ross Byrne's late penalty that proved the difference as Ulster left Dublin with their heads held high.
A frantic game got off to swift start when Kieran Treadwell touched down Ulster's first try just five minutes in.
It was top work by captain Rory Best that charged down Garry Ringrose's attempted clearance and allowed Treadwell to win the race and get the try.
John Cooney's first successful kick of the day had Ulster seven ahead but on 10 minutes, Adam Byrne scoring after Jacob Stockdale had been forced into touch after gathering the rebound.
Ross Byrne's conversion was wide, as was a penalty kick that followed soon after but a massive blow for Ulster arrived in between as Best was forced off injured just 16 minutes in.
Ulster reacted well, Cooney's penalty opening up a 10-5 lead and when Michael Lowry looked to have increased the gap by touching down, he was thwarted by the officials as the play was called back for a knock-on by Marcell Coetzee.
Two Byrne penalties looked to have edged Leinster a point clear for the break but, on 38 minutes, Cooney's kick made it 13-11 to Ulster at half-time.
Ulster again thought they had got a second try of the day shortly after the restart, this time through Stockdale, but, trying to ground the ball one-handed after bulling through three tackles, the TMO ruled it out.