Ulster put up a battling effort as they lost 3-19 to 1-15 against Connacht in the Interprovincial Hurling semi-final.
Two Neil McManus points helped Ulster lead 0-5 to 0-0 but Iarlaith Tannion struck Connacht's opening goal and McManus was sent off before half-time.
After trailing by three at half-time, Ulster levelled but Davy Glennon's goal put Connacht back in control.
Cormac Donnelly's penalty cut the margin to three points but Eanna Ryan's goal sealed Connacht's victory.
A surprise win over the Galway-dominated side looked in prospect as Ulster took an early five-point lead at Ballinasloe with Neil McAuley, Michael Armstrong and Karl Stewart adding to McManus' two scores.
Niall Burke opened Connacht's account and the home team had the better of the second quarter as they moved into a 1-8 to 0-8 lead by the break - helped by Tannion's goal.
Ulster suffered a huge blow before the break when star forward McManus was dismissed after getting his second yellow card.
The visitors started the second half well as Stewart and Armstrong pointed to cut Connacht's lead to the minimum and while Burke replied for Connacht, Ulster then managed to level.
However, Glennon's goal put Connacht in control again although Ulster had a glimmer of hope when Donnelly's penalty reduced the margin to three.
But any hope of a surprise result was ended by Ryan's goal.
Leinster will play Connacht in the decider after they defeated Munster 3-14 to 1-16 at Nowlan Park.
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