Replacement backrow, Ali Birch’s last minute try was merely consolation for Ulster at Thomond Park on Saturday evening in a 24-10 reverse against Munster.
It marked the end of Ulster’s unbeaten run in the PRO12, but inspite of surrendering that 11-match 100 per cent record they remain top of the table and nine points clear of Scarlets.
Munster, who deserved their win, were largely disappointed not to have taken a try scoring bonus point having turned at the interval leading 10-3 and scoring two early second half tries.
Fielding a largely second string selection, the league leaders’ PRO12 record number of wins was ended by a Munster side that broke clear in the second half.
Starved of territory for long stretches of a pedestrian first period, a late spurt yielded a penalty try.
The gap was out to 14 points after Simon Zebo split the defence five minutes after the break, and Peter O’Mahony soon crashed over for the third try.
But Munster were unable to fashion a fourth for the bonus point, and Ulster gained a late consolation score when replacement Ali Birch finished off a fine three-man move.