The Eagles very nearly came undone after falling 17-8 behind after 49 minutes, but fought back admirably, scoring a converted try when down to 14-men and kicking a penalty with just seven minutes to go, which gave them the one point lead which they held onto, despite the Bulldogs missing a 75th minute penalty to retake the lead.
The match started at a slow pace, with Eagles flyhalf Divan Nel's 12th minute penalty the most interesting aspect of the opening half hour.
The final 10 minutes of the half then finally saw the action kick up a notch as the visitors fought back well to take a lead into the half time break.
First Bulldogs flyhalf Aphiwe Stemele missed a 31st minute drop goal attempt, but his side didn't have to wait long to get on the scoreboard as flank Onke Dubase crashed over two minutes later for the opening try of the match, with Stemele's extras putting them 7-3 up.
On the stroke of half time Stemele then slotted a penalty to put his team 10-3 ahead going into the break.
Another cracking 10 minutes then followed after the break as first the home team hit back through captain and no 8, Wayne Wilschut, with an unconverted try in the 44th minute to bring them within two.
The Bulldogs however surged ahead again as wing Sipho Nofemele went over in the 48th minute, with Stemele's extras giving them a solid nine point lead.
The Eagles were then dealt a blow in the 57th minute as substitute prop and former Bulldogs player Lwando Mabenge was yellow carded adding to their woes.
Despite being a man down the home team kicked up the pressure, which eventually told in the 65th minute as replacement-forward Anton Smit powered over, with replacement-back Gerhard Nortier nailing the conversion to make it a two point game with 14 minutes left.
The Bulldogs were then pinged for ill-discipline with centre Sonwabiso Mqalo yellow carded in the 72nd minute, with Nortier punishing the transgression with a successful penalty to put his side back into the lead with seven minutes to go.
Stemele then had a chance to be a hero with five minutes remaining, but his missed penalty proved to be the Bulldogs final chance to snatch the win, with the home side holding on over the dying minutes of the match.
The win sees the Eagles move temporarily up into fifth place on the South section log, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s matches, while the Bulldogs remain in seventh place.
SWD - Tries: Wayne Wilschut, Anton Smit. Conversion: Gerhard Nortier. Penalties: Nortier, Divan Nel.
Border - Tries - Onke Dubase, Sipho Nofemele. Conversions: Aphiwe Stimele (2). Penalty: Stimele.