Melrose hoist Sevens trophy against hosts Selkirk

Melrose, winners of the Selkirk Taxis Selkirk Sevens, by defeating the hosts 29-24 in the final (picture by Grant Kinghorn)
Melrose, winners of the Selkirk Taxis Selkirk Sevens, by defeating the hosts 29-24 in the final (picture by Grant Kinghorn)

Selkirk came within a whisker of winning their own Kings of the Sevens tournament on Saturday, but it was Melrose who raised the trophy for the third time in four years.

The Greenyards men drew on strength and experience to defeat the hosts 29-24 in the final at Philiphaugh.

Selkirk manager Tom Ramage got it almost perfectly right when he said playing before their home crowd, and in front of their friends and families, could well bring the best out in his players, and he correctly predicted they might get to the semis and the final if they made a good start.

However, the Rose fended off a couple of Souters’ fightbacks in the final to keep themselves on course for second place, behind Watsonians, in the overall Kings of the Sevens 2017 tournament, with the final round due at Jed-Forest this Saturday.

Melrose’s Ruairidh Campbell was also named player of the tournament.

The BT Premiership runners-up, Border League champions and BT Cup winners led 17-10 at the break, thanks to tries from Fraser Thomson, George Taylor and Campbell, while Darren Clapperton and Ciaran Whyte went over the line for Selkirk.

Further touchdowns from from Campbell, Neil Irvine-Hess and Craig Jackson sealed victory for Melrose, although the Souters gallantly cut the gap to 24-19 in the last minute with scores from Clapperton and Tythan Adams.

En route to the final, Melrose defeated Peebles, GHA and Gala, while Selkirk got past Berwick, Boroughmuir and Powerbombs.

Champions-elect Watsonians were beaten by Gala in the second round.

First round - Hawick 17, Edinburgh Accies 26; Jed-Forest 19, Powerbombs 24; Kelso 5, Boroughmuir 26; Selkirk 46, Berwick 0; Melrose 43, Peebles 0; GHA 24, Stewart’s Melville 0; Watsonians 38, Biggar 12; Gala 50, Langholm 0.

Second round - Edinburgh Accies 19, Powerbombs 33; Boroughmuir 7, Selkirk 29; Melrose 31, GHA 5; Watsonians 19, Gala 22.

Semi-finals - Powerbombs 14, Selkirk 14; Melrose 26, Gala 17.

Final - Selkirk 24, Melrose 29.