HELENSBURGH skipper Cammy Kerr says his injury-hit team’s defensive heroics were the crucial factor as the Greens chalked up only their second win of the season in dramatic and nailbiting fashion on Saturday.

An injury-hit Burgh side held out in the face of a late fightback by Clydeside rivals Clydebank to record a vital 14-10 victory at Ardencaple.

But the home supporters were well and truly put through the wringer as Clydebank thought they’d snatched what would have been the game’s winning score deep into injury time – only for the referee, who had awarded the visitors a penalty try just moments before, to disallow the Bankies’ second effort.

Kerr – who was himself missing from the Burgh XV due to a persistent foot injury – said afterwards: “With our injury crisis getting worse, we went into the game knowing we could beat Clydebank, but that it would be a tough shift.

“We did show some nice stuff in attack but sometimes let ourselves down with ball retention.

“It is hard to be consistent with so many injury-enforced changes.

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“Like Oban two weeks ago, it was a performance built on our defence. Clydebank never physically crossed our line and that was down to our boys sacrificing their bodies to keep them out.

“Everyone fought for each other and nobody let anybody down which is ultimately why we won.

“Our attitude was perfect. Going forward I only hope we haven’t picked up more bad knocks and we can start getting some boys back, which will make us stronger.”

As a Clydeside derby match with feisty exchanges, blood, guts and snotters flying everywhere, and a hugely controversial ending, this ramstoorie was certainly not one for the purists.

There wasn’t much silky rugby on show, with the ball skelped back and forth with abandon, and neither side building phases, in favour of solo stravaigs or lumpen plowters from the packs, none of which amounted to a hill of beans.

But the ding-dong battle delighted the large crowd all the way to as zany a finish as has been seen at Ardencaple for many a year.

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While Burgh’s win was built on outstanding defensive effort, the visitors were the better drilled side (must be something to do with going to training?) and enjoyed both territorial advantage and possession for much of the match.

Bankies took an early 3-0 lead but Burgh responded well, Alex Macauley showing astonishing speed in leaving his opposite winger for dead before Craig Calderwood was held up just short of the line – and when Clydebank infringed, Calum O’Brien tied the scores after 14 minutes.

Lock Adam Hepworth then prevented a certain Clydebank try before Sam King and David Sterry combined to put Dan Sellars away, but the referee had spotted a forward pass.

Then the breakthrough Burgh needed: from a ruck on the Bankies’ 10-metre line, the ball squirted out and Ali Rogers showed tremendous strength and determination to race clear of grasping tackles and swan-dive over the line, giving the hosts an 8-3 interval lead.

Clydebank began to threaten as the hour mark approached, one move only stopped by bold defence by Cammy King and the irrepressible Josh Burgess, before the Bankies then contrived to throw away two clear try-scoring opportunities through bad handling.

It turned a bit rambunctious as the referee lost patience, it seemed, with the niggle, and in turn he yellow-carded a Clydebank player for dissent and then Burgh sub Sam McGinn for a deliberate knock-on.

A contentious penalty award for Burgh, after Bankies had driven Burgh off their own scrum-ball, gave O’Brien sight of goal and it was 11-3 - and another penalty, this time for hands in the ruck, allowed the same player to make it 14-3.

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As the clock bonged for injury time, though, Clydebank won a scrum on Burgh’s 22, and forced the hosts backwards – and though they were still some metres from the line, the referee, to the disbelief of the home support, awarded a penalty try.

Four points in it, and with four minutes still to play according to the whistler, Bankies stormed back - only for a spilled pass to rob them of what seemed a certain try.

Then the defining moment: Clydebank surged into Burgh’s half, where a clever grubber ran in behind the home defence and was scooped up and grounded for the winning try.

Bankies went bonkers – but the referee cried “haud yer wheesht!” and ruled the scorer had been in front of the kicker, disallowing the ‘score’ and sparking Burgh bedlam.

Burgh: Sterry, Macauley, Rogers, O’Brien, Sellars, Bowman, Burgess, Jamieson, Cameron King, Ard, Sampson, Hepworth, Calderwood, Sam King, Wallace. Subs: Ramsay, Girvan, McGinn.

This Saturday, Burgh make the long trip to Wigtownshire by bus, hoping to win and pull further away from the Stranraer side. Kick-off is at 3pm.

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