Third win keeps Gala Wanderers top of table

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GALA WANDERERS claimed their third semi-junior sevens title of the season, winning the Hawick PSA/Wanderers tournament at Mansfield Park on Saturday.

On their way to the final they beat Edinburgh BATs and Hawick Select before coming up against hosts PSA in the semi-final.

The earlier rounds contained some exciting rugby, Hawick Wanderers looked good in defeating a good Currie side and then putting Jed Thistle to the sword in a pulsating tie. PSA looked good in the early rounds, firstly disposing of Berwick Colts and then defeating Kelso Harlequins 19-0, getting revenge for their semi-final defeat the previous week.

The highlight of the first round for the home crowd was the PSA/Wands select defeating Haddington Colts in extra time. They then put up a brave performance against Gala Wands losing 25-0.

In the first semi-final, Gala Wands just held off PSA’s late charge and looked a safe bet for the final, leading 17-0 midway through the second half. But PSA scored two quick tries to get within a score, leaving a nerve-racking final few seconds for the young Maroons.

Selkirk Youth club put paid to Hawick Wanderers challenge. Their earlier ties had taken too much out of them and they never really threatened to beat a strong Selkirk side.

So Gala Wands again faced a showdown against old rivals Selkirk Youth Club. Wanderers started off the stronger, sailing into a 24-0 lead with tries by Fraser Welsh, Liam Scott and a brace from James Parker. Youth Club began to find their feet and scored a crucial try just on half time to give them a lifeline.

The second half saw Selkirk strike first with a converted try to reduce the Gala lead to just 10 points, but another try from Fraser Welsh gave the Gala boys some breathing space at 31-14.

Youth Club threw everything at Gala now, producing two further tries to reduce the deficit to just five points which the Gala boys managed to hold on to, winning 31-26.

Gala Wanderers’ James Parker was deservedly voted Player of the Tournament.

A first for Borders Semi-Junior Sevens was the introduction of a bowl competition for first-round losers. The secondary tournament was played out on the adjacent Mansfield Haugh pitch and Peebles beat Edinburgh BATsin the final.

Gala Wanderers: B. Reevley, G. Hamilton, L. Scott, G. Miller, R. Jeffrey, J. Parker, M. Howarth, J. Irvine, M. Lemmon, F. Welsh.