Hosts Jed fall short in concluding Sevens final

Action from one of the best games of the contest - Jed-Forest's semi-final against Gala (picture by Stuart Cobley)
Action from one of the best games of the contest - Jed-Forest's semi-final against Gala (picture by Stuart Cobley)

Home club Jed-Forest came up against an on-form Watsonians side on Saturday as the curtain fell on the 2017 Kings of the Sevens tournament.

The Myreside club, already declared champions for this season, won 36-19 in the final at Riverside, having taken a fairly commanding lead in the first half.

Nevertheless, Jed head coach Jammy McFarlane praised his side for travelling all the way to the final and almost delivering a perfect treat for their own fans in bringing the season to a close.

“I thought they showed a great amount of skill, effort and enthusiasm,” he said. “The boys are disappointed obviously that they came up short in the final but I think you have to credit Watsonians – they have been terrific right through the whole series and they backedit up by coming out on the last day and winning the last trophy.

“Disappointed as we were, all due credit to Watsonians, as they were the better team and we have no argument with that.”

McFarlane admitted Jed looked “dead and buried” in their semi-final against Gala, which, he said, was their first real test in the competition.

A Jed kick in front of the posts early on was missed, but Lewis Young eventually won it for the hosts with a touchline conversion, making the final score 17-15.

“The first round was fairly pedestrian,” said McFarlane. “The game was against a President’s VII – a scratch team thrown together pretty much on the day.

“Musselburgh were a bit tougher in the next game but the semi-final was the first real challenge for us, against Gala, and we showed an enormous amount of character to come back and win that with the last kick of the game.”

Dwayne Burrows opened the scoring for Gala but Rory Marshall and Robbie Yourston notched tries to put Jed 10-5 in front at half time.

The Maroons hit back with touchdowns from Gregor Hunter and Ross Coombe, but Jed displayed the character and courage referred to by their coach with a try from Robbie Shirra-Gibb, which squared the scores, before Young added the extras from wide out to send Jed into the final.

Watsonians had earlier taken care of Kelso, Edinburgh Accies and, in the semi-final, Melrose, by 19-14.

In the final, they powered into a 24-7 interval lead with two tries from Reiss Cullen and one each by Scott McKean­ and Rory Steele, with Lewis Young replying for Jed.

Tom Hart and McKean scored further tries for Watsonians in the second half, with Young and Gregor Law responding for Jed-Forest.

McFarlane added the weather had been good and there was a good enthusiastic crowd on the day. “I think they enjoyed the semi-finals and final, as they were particularly good competitive games,” he said. Results:

First round - Selkirk 10, Edinburgh Accies 19; Kelso 5, Watsonians 28; Langholm 14, Berwick 31; Melrose 33, Howe of Fife 7; Peebles 12, Musselburgh 25; Jed-Forest 47, President’s VII 12; Hawick 12, Hamilton 22; Gala 47, 2 Sub Tigers 5.

Quarter-finals - Edinburgh Accies 5, Watsonians 17; Berwick 7, Melrose 48; Musselburgh 19, Jed-Forest 33; Hamilton 7, Gala 50.

Semi-finals - Watsonians 19, Melrose 14; Jed-Forest 17, Gala 15.

Final - Jed-Forest 19, Watsonians 36.