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Spirited Ulster edged out as Leinster claim narrow European Champions Cup win at Aviva Stadium

Leinster 21-18 Ulster

Leinster v Ulster [Photos] Close

Leinster celebrate their second try while Ulster's Jacob Stockdale is crestfallen.

Leinster celebrate their second try while Ulster's Jacob Stockdale is crestfallen.

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Ulster's Kieran Treadwell scores their first try
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Ulster's Kieran Treadwell scores their first try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Ulster's Kieran Treadwell celebrates scoring a try with Stuart McCloskey
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Ulster's Kieran Treadwell celebrates scoring a try with Stuart McCloskey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster fans have every right to be proud of their team's efforts after defeat at the Aviva Stadium.

Ulster fans have every right to be proud of their team's efforts after defeat at the Aviva Stadium.

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Ulster fans 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Ulster fans Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Leinster's Rory O'Loughlin and Ulster's Rory Best scuffle after Ross Byrne try 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Leinster's Rory O'Loughlin and Ulster's Rory Best scuffle after Ross Byrne try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Leinster's Rory O'Loughlin and Ulster's Rory Best scuffle after Ross Byrne's try 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Leinster's Rory O'Loughlin and Ulster's Rory Best scuffle after Ross Byrne's try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Ulster's Rory Best and Leinster's Rhys Ruddock lead their teams out onto the pitch 
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Ulster's Rory Best and Leinster's Rhys Ruddock lead their teams out onto the pitch Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ulster's Kieran Treadwell celebrates scoring his side's first try as the visitors got off to a flying start at the Aviva.

Ulster's Kieran Treadwell celebrates scoring his side's first try as the visitors got off to a flying start at the Aviva.

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Leinster's Adam Byrne and Jacob Stockdale of Ulster
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Leinster's Adam Byrne and Jacob Stockdale of Ulster Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale.

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale.

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Leinster's Dave Kearney with Ulster's Darren Cave
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Leinster's Dave Kearney with Ulster's Darren Cave Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019
Leinster vs Ulster
Ulster's Rob Baloucoune with Leinster's Luke McGrath
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 30/3/2019 Leinster vs Ulster Ulster's Rob Baloucoune with Leinster's Luke McGrath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Leinster's Jack McGrath kicks the ball out to end the game during the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

Leinster's Jack McGrath kicks the ball out to end the game during the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

PA

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale at the end of the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale at the end of the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

PA

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale and Leinster's Adam Byrne during the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

Ulster's Jacob Stockdale and Leinster's Adam Byrne during the European Champions Cup quarter final match at Aviva Stadium, Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 30, 2019. See PA story RUGBYU Leinster. Photo credit should read: Donall Farmer/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.

PA

Rory Best after leaving the pitch injured during their Champions Cup quarter final at the Aviva Stadium (Donall Farmer/PA)

Rory Best after leaving the pitch injured during their Champions Cup quarter final at the Aviva Stadium (Donall Farmer/PA)

PA

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Leinster celebrate their second try while Ulster's Jacob Stockdale is crestfallen.

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.

Adam Byre made the visitors pay when he scored a converted try for 18-13 but Luke Marshall levelled just two minutes into his first appearance of the season.

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Cooney couldn't quite add the extras but those wouldn't have mattered once Byrne kicked what proved to be the winning penalty with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Here's the game as it happened:

 


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