Hawick produce some Milntown magic to notch second sevens win

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)
LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

HAWICK lifted the Scott Cup in a thoroughly entertaining Edinburgh Woollen Mill Langholm sevens tournament at Milntown, beating Melrose 31-10 in the final.

The dry conditions were perfect for the abbreviated game and the crowd were treated to plenty thrilling action. Hawick emerged victors not only through skill, but also sheer determination and commitment.

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

It was a second success at Langholm for Hawick skipper Bruce McNeil who was also in the 2009 winning side, as was Michael Robertson. Also in the winning seven on Saturday was Neil Renwick, and his father Jim was delighted, having been in the winning team against Melrose 30 years ago.

Melrose led 10-5 at half-time in the final with touchdowns from Ross Ovens and Fraser Thomson, to one from Rory Hutton.

But Hawick found a new lease of life in the second half and ran in tries from Renwick, McNeil, Greg Cottrell and Lee Armstrong, with three converted by Hutton.

Cottrell was presented with the Archie Smith Memorial Cup for player of the tournament by Billy Smith.

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

Hawick certainly had no easy run to the final.

They had a more comfortable than expected opener against Edinburgh Accies, but then came a firecracker of a tie against holders Jed-Forest, and who had disposed of Dumfries.

Jed produced a sparkling first half with Robert Hogg and Ross Goodfellow running in tries to put them 10-0 up at the break.

Hogg secured another try which Iain Chisholm converted, but Hawick stormed back and tries from Renwick, McNeil and Keith Davies, with a Hutton conversion, forced extra time at 17-17.

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

Both sides looked like scoring but tremendous tackling kept them at bay and it was five minutes into extra time before Renwick eventually raced in to put Hawick through 22-17 and Jed failed to reach the final for the first time on the spring circuit.

In the semi-final Hawick faced a Watsonians side that had edged out Carlisle Barbarians 10-5 in extra-time and earlier went through by virtue of a conversion 17-15 against Selkirk.

The English select outfit had crushed Langholm in the first round.

Gary Johnstone, Craig Russell and McNeil, plus two conversions by Hutton gave Hawick a comfortable 19-0 lead.

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

Watsonians suddenly began to click and Jamie Niven, Scott McKean and Tom Hart secured tries, all of which were converted.

But tries from Cottrell and Johnstone saw Hawick into the final.

In the top half of the draw, Melrose reached the semi-finals at the expense of Berwick and Peebles, the latter making it a stiff test before going out 24-17.

Melrose then faced a Gala side fresh from recent Scottish Cup and Border League success and had disposed of Kelso.

Gala went in front with a Fraser Hunter try, but Melrose soon took the upper hand with tries from Andrew Skeen (3) and Nick McGrath. Craig Robertson was to the fore with a try for the Maroons, but Melrose held out 26-17.

Hawick: B. McNeil, D. Grieve (Jed-Forest), M. Robertson, G. Cottrell, R. Hutton, G. Johnstone, N. Renwick, L. Armstrong, C. Russell, N. McColm. Not in final: K. Davies (injured).

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

LANGHOLM, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28 / April / 2012 : 'Border League / Heineken Kings of the Sevens'Round 5'Langholm Sevens'''(Photo by Rob Gray / digitalpic / Freelance )'(� 2012)

Melrose: N. McGrath, G. Runciman, R. Ovens, B. Colvine, B. Dick, A. Skeen, F. Thomson, C. Hardie, J. Helps, S. McCormick.

Results

First round: Peebles 36 Musselburgh 7; Melrose 31 Berwick 12; Gala 31 Hawick YM 5; Kelso 17 Edinburgh University 12; Langholm 5 Carlisle Barbarians 43; Watsonians 17 Selkirk 15; Hawick 36 Edinburgh Accies 12; Jed-Forest 26 Dumfries 10.

Quarter-finals: Peebles 17 Melrose 24; Gala 34 Kelso 14; Carlisle Barbarians 5 Watsonians 10 (aet); Hawick 22, Jed-Forest 17 (aet).

Semi-finals: Melrose 26 Gala 17; Hawick 33 Watsonians 21.

Final: Melrose 10 Hawick 31.