JED-FOREST had played 33 tournaments without a final win up until the Berwick tournament last Sunday, and at Langholm on Saturday they won again, beating Dumfries, the surprise package of the day, in the final to increase their lead in the Kings of the Sevens table.
They had to work hard for the win, knocking out Selkirk 15-10 in the semi-final thanks to a late try by Lewis Young, and the lead changed hands several times in their quarter-final against Peebles before they won 19-15.
In the first round they disposed of a President’s VII 29-0 but in the other half of the draw Premier Three team Dumfries were busy going about their business, knocking out fancied Hawick (who included Stuart and Ryan Hogg, Bruce McNeil and Garry Johnstone in their line-up) by 19-14 after racing to a half-time lead of 19-0. Their next scalp was Edinburgh University (last year’s finalists) who were soundly beaten 22-0, before they dumped a makeshift Melrose team out of the competition in the semi-final by 24-7.
Kelso were looking to retain the title they won last year, but were pipped in the first round by Melrose 15-14.
So, early on we knew we would have a new name on the trophy, but no one thought that Dumfries would have a say in proceedings.
Winger Rory Steele and Kenny Henderson were superb all afternoon, but the whole squad caused problems for their opponents and, like Edinburgh University last year, proved that they are more than capable of being involved in the Kings circuit, and, hopefully, will be given invites to next season’s events as they certainly deserve to be given a chance to join in.
They were a credit to the club and were very competitive. Alas, the word is that, because of the distance involved in travelling, they are unlikely to take up any invitations that might come their way, preferring to treat their Langholm success as a one-off venture into the sevens arena.
But it was Jed who made it through to give them their biggest test in the final, and man of the tournament Iain Chisholm once again played out of his skin to help his team to the trophy.
His tactical kicking was immaculate and he was involved in all aspects of the game.
The whole squad played their part, the Young twins were on fire, Ross Goodfellow led by example, and the class of Darren Gillespie along with the hard work of Michael Weekley gave Jed the edge at a rain-soaked Langholm.