’Sonians so good – but have they left it too late?

Kelso 7's
Kelso 7's

With their second win in successive weekends at Kelso – and a semi final appearance the next day at Earlston (see page 26) – Watsonians put themselves in with a chance of belatedly challenging for the Kings of the Sevens title along with Hawick, Melrose and Jed-Forest.

Mike Ker was given the man of the match award for the Kelso tournament, although there were many contenders including team-mate Jack Ferguson and Jed’s Darren Gillespie to name just two.

Kelso 7's

Kelso 7's

It’s a young side who have certainly grown in confidence and their performances are really coming together, but realistically both Watsonians and Hawick are all but out of the running, and it will once again come down to Jed-Forest and Melrose to slug it out on the final day of the season at Riverside Park.

Kelso opted for the pool rather than the knockout system for their tournament – the Poynder Park side were the first to do this back in the 1970s for their centenary tournament and both the Tweedsiders and Gala have used it this season.

It has certainly ensured that, with two matches guaranteed for each side, nobody has pulled out of their competitions and it is easier to get 12 teams together rather than 16.

Personally, I would go one step further and introduce (where possible) a plate competition on the back pitches and retain knockout rugby throughout the day, with the plate final being played on the main pitch before the cup final, giving extra time for the cup finalists to prepare. Just a thought, but worth considering.

Kelso 7's

Kelso 7's

The seeding system at Kelso worked perfectly, with the supposed top teams in each of the four groups of three meeting in the final of the trio of games in each pool.

It kept the momentum going and effectively provided the organisers with a knockout match in each of the last pool games.

So, Watsonians put out Selkirk, Hawick edged out hosts Kelso 24-21, Jed-Forest eliminated Gala and Melrose took the scalp of Edinburgh Accies.

Watsonians were too strong for Hawick in the semi-finals, running out 24-7 winners, while in the other semi it was yet another close game between Jed and Melrose, with Jed going through 19-17 to claim their sixth consecutive win over the Greenyards outfit in six tournaments.

Kelso 7's

Kelso 7's

Sadly, there were two high-profile casualties in the match – Gregor Young damaged his shoulder and Bruce Dick ended up in hospital having torn ligaments in his ankle. Both players will miss the rest of the campaign.

The final was a repeat of the Peebles climax six days earlier. This time it was a much closer affair, but the Myreside men did enough to get the 10 points, winning 33-28.

You can see the highlights of the final on Borders Rugby TV at www.BordersRugby.net.

Jed-Forest: D. Gillespie, M. Weekley, G. Taylor, R. Goodfellow, I. Chisholm, R. Hogg, G. Young, L. Young, D, Grieve, D. Gobby.

Kelso 7's

Kelso 7's

Watsonians: M. Rennie, D. Dunitt, H. Grant, J. Ferguson, R. Steele, T. Hart, S. McKean, P. Tuali, B. Walls, M. Ker.

Kelso 7's

Kelso 7's