While the home side had the better of the first half territorially, Edinburgh's defence against the English side's big, powerful runners was first class. On the few occasions when Northampton did get a sniff of the Edinburgh line, they were let down by poor handling, passing up several gilt-edged chances.
Edinburgh, themselves keen to go on the offensive, suffered a setback after 15 minutes when the Scotland centre Matt Scott was helped off the field with an ankle injury sustained in a crash-ball attack. This forced a minor reshuffle, with Piers Francis and Greig Laidlaw each moving out one place, and young Sean Kennedy coming on at scrum-half.
The new scrummage engagement laws seemed to work well. However, Kennedy was caught out by a new incentive to eliminate squint feeds; his second put-in resulting in the award of a penalty.
It was Edinburgh who ended the half in the lead, however, Laidlaw kicking the simplest of penalty goals after the Saints forwards had gone over the top at a defensive ruck.
The visitors' advantage lasted only two second-half minutes, Northampton curing their handling problems with an exciting thrust. Centre George Pisi made the crucial yards through a spreadeagled Edinburgh defence, before offloading to brother Ken, who stormed over for a try, which Stephen Myler converted.
Edinburgh hit back and another ruck infringement by the home forwards offered Laidlaw the penalty chance, which he took to make it a one-point game, 10 mintues into the second half.
After the hour, both sides decided to run their considerable benches and, when Northampton were illegally halted some 30 metres out, Myler punished Edinburgh.
The fresh faces gave the home side new impetus and as the game entered its final minutes, their increasing command was emphasised when England cap Phil Dowson completed a spell of intense pressure with a try, Myler converting.
The final minutes were all Saints but, as they had done throughout the match, Edinburgh defended with determination and not until the dying seconds did Saints' intense pressure pay off, Dowson bursting through for his second try, converted, with the last kick of the match, by replacement Sam Olver.