Melrose confirm superiority at Poynder Park

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THREE trophies in the space of a week is not bad going for a club.

And anyone who thought that Melrose were beginning to feel the effects of a championship title win against Ayr, a Border League victory against Selkirk and a quarter-final appearance at the Peebles Sevens – all in just five days – could only sit back in awe and admire their sevens squad as they turned up at Kelso and blew away the current leaders of the Kings of the Sevens table, Jed-Forest 57-7 in the final to add that trophy to their season’s haul.

As we now know, a day later they also added Earlston’s trophy to the list to make it four out of four in eight days. It is nothing short of incredible and president Mike Dalgetty said that he was “so proud of every single one of the players” as he enjoyed the sight of them collecting more winners medals.

This is a squad which will go down in history – let’s make no mistake about it. A highly professional set-up at the club has reaped dividends as the boys wearing black and yellow simply love playing rugby with each other and for each other and will not rest until the very last game of the season has been completed.

“Yes, we’re all tired,” said veteran player Jamie Murray, “but we just keep going and we all have a hunger for more.”

It must be a very special feeling to be part of Melrose Rugby Club.

By the sounds of things there will be a need to replace the likes of Fraser Thomson and others next season as their careers develop, and this will offer other local players the opportunity to step up and play at the next level. Let’s not beat about the bush – playing for this club right now is a very attractive proposition for any local player.

The Greenyards men judged this tournament spot-on. They conserved as much energy as possible in the earlier rounds, only doing enough to secure safe passage to the final.

It can be a plan which backfires, as we have seen many times before, and there was some stuttery uncharacteristic play on a few occasions.

Some spectators even said that they didn’t think Melrose would beat Jed in the final because their form going into that game didn’t set the tournament alight – even the majority of the media assembled were tipping Jed to win, based on their more comfortable route to the final.

How wrong we were!

Melrose scored in less than a minute through Allan Dodds, conceded a try a few moments later, and then lit the blue touch paper.

And when they did they were awesome.

They ran their rivals ragged with a nine-try blitz, including four from Callum Anderson, three by Allan Dodds and one apiece from Fraser Thomson and John Dalziel. It was a masterclass and a joy to watch, unless, of course, you were a Jed supporter.

Melrose are certainly the team to beat as we go into the final two tournaments in the Kings of the 7s series at Selkirk and Jed-Forest, but writing off the other two is something that Craig Chalmers’ will not be doing.

The Souters and the Royal Blues will be doing everything they can to win their own tournaments and, hopefully, we will have another incredible end as we did last year when one of three teams could win the overall crown on the final day.

For the record at Poynder Park, Melrose beat Watsonians 22-14, Edinburgh University 31-12 and Edinburgh Accies 17-12 en-route to the final, while Jed disposed of all Border opposition.

They began with a 19-7 win over Peebles, then knocked out Hawick 28-10 and Kelso 29-5, but the extra 20-minute rest enjoyed by them before meeting Melrose didn’t swing the balance in their favour.