Sevens win in the rain erases Melrose cup pains

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)
Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

New Melrose head coach John Dalziel praised his players’ spirit as they overcame eight days of hurt to lift the Peebles Sevens.

The Greenyards men were the stand-out team at The Gytes during an afternoon of rugby affected by gusty showers and tiredness at the end of a long season.

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

They triumphed 35-10 in a one-sided final over a Selkirk side bidding for their second sevens win in two days, after success at Langholm on Saturday.

The sevens victory was Melrose’s first this season and not only hauled them to within five points of leaders Gala in the Kings of the Sevens table, but eased the pain of the club’s Scottish Cup and Border League final losses.

Dalziel told The Southern: “It has been a tough eight days and the guys are still hurting.

“But they showed great spirit to stand up and play the way they did today.”

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Selkirk coach Graham Marshall was not disappointed in his team’s showing, despite being well beaten in the final.

He added: “It is so difficult to play two competitions in two days, so I am pleased with the performance.

“We competed with Melrose for half the game which was a great effort, as they are a really good side.

“Eight ties in two days is a lot of rugby, but we I think we have made people sit up and respect us again after this weekend’s results.”

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Callum Anderson produced a sidestep which would have bamboozled Lionel Messi for the first score of the final, but the Souters came roaring back as Darren Clapperton and Gavin Craig crossed the line for a 10-7 lead.

However, just before the break, a loose pass from Scott Hendrie allowed Fraser Thomson to intercept and race in. The try gave Melrose a vital 14-10 half-time lead which they never looked like losing in the second period.

Tiredness was evident among the Selkirk ranks when they lost a scrum against the head, allowing man of the tournament Bruce Colvine to dive over.

Colvine then unselfishly set up Joe Helps to seal the win, before Andrew Skeen hacked the ball on to score under the posts. Skeen added the conversion for a 100 per cent record with the boot in the final.

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Melrose’s campaign began with a comfortable 26-0 triumph over Gala, especially sweet after the Border League Cup final defeat five days earlier.

In the second round, the Premiership side brushed away the challenge of Hawick, who still looked to be recovering from Saturday night’s playoff win celebrations.

Reigning Kings of the Sevens champions Jed-Forest fancied their chances of breaking their sevens season’s winless run in the semis, and were well in the tie at half-time, trailing 12-7.

But, once again, scrum-half Colvine played a pivotal role in guiding his team through, scoring a try in the process.

Selkirk edged out Peebles 12-5 in the other semi. A poor tie was settled by two Fraser Harkness scores.

The home side had been impressive in the quarter-finals, knocking out Heriot’s 17-14.

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Howe of Fife caused a first-round shock when Steve Wilson’s last minute score knocked out Watsonians, but Selkirk proved too strong for the Cupar squad in the second round.

Action was delayed after Preston Lodge failed to show for the first game of the tournament against Hawick.

The East Lothian club have won the tournament twice in the past, but their no-show means it is unlikely they will be lining up at The Gytes in 2014.

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by  Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)

Peebles, UNITED KINGDOM. - 28/04/13: 'Kings of the Sevens 'Round 6'Peebles 7s'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance / � 2013)