Ulster fly-half David Humphreys opened the scoring with a dropped goal after Dragons scrum-half Gareth Baber tried to take a quick tap and knocked the ball on - a move which pretty much summed up the opening exchanges. Dragons fullback Montgomery missed the chance to equalise when Ulster lock Matt McCullough was sin-binned for a professional foul, but the kick going wide was justice for the visitors. McCullough was the victim of a controversial call from referee Andy Ireland and three points would have simply rubbed salt into the wound.
Humphreys ignored the one-man deficit to double the score with a penalty goal on the half-hour mark, but Dragons skipper Jason Forster was on the end of a long passage of play to score under the posts in the final seconds of the half. Craig Warlow's conversion gave the home side an incredible 7-6 lead at halftime despite having hardly any possession and even less territory. Montgomery extended the lead with a penalty goal into the wind, and the Ulster coaches began clearing their bench in the 50th minute to reverse the one-way scoring.
It took 10 minutes, but the changes had an effect when the Ulster side kept their composure during a series of attacking phases and fullback Bryn Cunningham found some space on the right-hand side to power his way over the try-line. Ulster ignored the wind in their faces as they tried to take control of the match, with scrum-half Kieran Campbell leading the charge, ably supported by backrowers Roger Wilson and Neil Best.
Wilson was unlucky to be the man singled out for the crucial penalty in the 77th minute, though, and Montgomery made no mistake as his side regained the lead. Ulster had the last bite of the cherry with an attacking lineout in injury time, but couldn't find their way through a determined Dragons defence who kept their line and composure under control.
Dragons: P Montgomery; G Wyatt, N Brew (S Tuipulotu 83), S Winn, B Breeze; C Warlow, G Baber; R Snow (A Black 62), S Jones (J Richards 62), C Anthony (R Thomas 62), L Charteris, P Sidoli, J Ringer (M Veater 72), J Forster (capt), R Oakley
Scorers: Try - J Forster; Pens - P Montgomery 2; Con - C Warlow
Ulster: B Cunningham; T Bowe, P Steinmetz, K Maggs, T Howe; D Humphreys, K Campbell; S Best, R Best (P Shields 50), R Moore (R McCormack 52), G Longwell (R Frost 50), M McCullough, C Feather (capt) (G Pfister 29-32), N Best, R Wilson
Scorers: Try - B Cunningham; Pen - D Humphreys; DG - D Humphreys
Halftime: Dragons 7-6
Yellow card: M McCullough (Ulster)
Referee: Andy Ireland (Scotland)