Ulster booked a place in the Heineken Cup final when they beat a determined Edinburgh team 22-19 at the Aviva Stadium.
Man of the match was won by former Springbok Ruan Pienaar after he kicked five penalties and a conversion.
Pienaar scored 17 points, with a perfect six out of six kicks, and dictated most of the Irish side's crucial assaults against an Edinburgh team undone by 16 handling errors.
Ulster's reward is their first European Cup final in 13 years on May 19 final at Twickenham against either Clermont or defending champions Leinster, who meet in France on Sunday.
"In the first half, we practically didn't have the ball, so in the second period we tried to keep it in hand and play in their half," said 28-year-old Pienaar.
"We showed a lot of courage. We knew what returning to the final meant for the fans."
Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley admitted his team had squandered the opportunity to become the first Scottish side to reach the final.
"We are disappointed and frustrated," said Bradley. "We had enough opportunities to build a bigger points total than we did.
"In the second half Ulster shut us down a little bit more and stifled our ability to play attacking rugby."
Pienaar, who went into the match having scored 54 points in the tournament this season, gave Ulster the lead with a 54-metre penalty in the sixth minute.
But Edinburgh fly-half Greg Laidlaw, with 82 points going into the semi-final, replied with two confident kicks of his own as the Scots went into a 6-3 lead after 12 minutes.
Ulster then grabbed the only try of the opening half on the 15-minute mark when South African number 8 Pedrie Wannenburg peeled off the back of a scrum to score from five metres with Pienaar adding the extras for 10-6.
Edinburgh, the first Scottish team to play in a European Cup semi-final, refused to buckle, taking the game to the Irish side who felt the pressure when full-back Stefan Terblanche was yellow-carded for a petulant punch.
Cool-headed Pienaar, however, eased the stress with another penalty for a 13-6 lead before Laidlaw deservedly kept the Scots in the tie with his third penalty of the half in injury-time after Ulster lock Stephen Ferris was penalised.
Laidlaw quickly cut the deficit to 13-12 five minutes into the second period, before Pienaar illustrated his international class.
A chip forward immediately put the Scots back under the cosh and they had to hold up lock Dan Tuohy and Wannenburg in quick succession on their try-line to keep the Irish at bay.
But Pienaar was soon slotting over his fourth successful kick for 16-12 which soon became 19-12 with another perfect pot through the uprights.
Edinburgh, dogged by more errors, conceded another penalty in the 75th minute when their scrum buckled under Ulster's superior physicality and Pienaar was again perfect with his sixth successful kick of the tie.
From that point, there was no way back for Edinburgh who had set the tournament alight by stunning four-time champions Toulouse 19-14 in the quarter-finals.
But they did have the consolation of grabbing a last-minute converted try from replacement Jim Thompson.
Final Score Ulster 22 (13) Edinburgh 17 (9)
Penalties: Pienaar 5
Tries : J Thompson
Penalties: Laidlaw 4
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Jerome Garces, Pascal Gauzere (France)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
Citing Commissioner: Alan Mansell (England)
Ulster Rugby: S Terblanche; A Trimble, D Cave, P Wallace, C Gilroy; P Jackson, R Pienaar; T Court, R Best, D Fitzpatrick, J Muller [capt], D Tuohy, S Ferris, W Faloon, P Wannenburg
Replacements: N Brady, P McAllister, A Macklin, L Stevenson, R Diack, P Marshall, I Humphreys, A D'Arcy
Edinburgh Rugby: T Brown; L Jones, N De Luca, M Scott, T Visser; G Laidlaw [capt], M Blair; A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Cross, G Gilchrist, S Cox, D Denton, R Rennie, N Talei
Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, J Gilding, S Turnbull, R Grant, C Leck, P Godman, J Thompson