Ulster booked their place in the European Cup semi-final for the first time with a stirring home victory over the inaugural tournament champions at Ravenhill.

With the game played out in front of a packed, vocal house, Ulster surged into a 9-0 half-time lead and then had to withstand the expected strong Toulouse response before holding out for a famous success.

Full-back, Simon Mason, landed three penalties and skipper, David Humphreys, who injured his shoulder making a match-saving tackle near the end, was on target with two drop goals.

The visitors scored the game’s only try through second row, Fabien Pelous, which was converted by Stephane Ougier, while Yann Delaigue added two penalties.

“There's no reason why we can't go all the way now,” said Ulster Head Coach, Harry Williams. “It's been a long representative season, but as it stands, we have a maximum of two games left. That's the way we are looking at it, so we might as well finish in style.

“Look what we have achieved. Nobody would have thought that we would be in this position at the start of the season.”

The combination of Mason’s accurate place-kicking, Gary Longwell’s excellence at the line-out and Humphreys’ tactical acumen proved too much in the end for the French club.

“It was definitely worth all the agony,” said the injured Humphreys who, for over an hour after the game, was a ghastly white colour with pain etched on his face.

“Once I heard the final whistle, the pain eased quite considerably. But the backing from the crowd was simply immense. It was wonderful,” said the Ulster skipper who must now have a large question mark hanging over his participation in the semi- final.