City clubs rule in Borders contest

Champions at Jed and champions overall - Watsonians (picture by Bill McBurnie)
Champions at Jed and champions overall - Watsonians (picture by Bill McBurnie)

The plaudits rang out for Watsonians as they celebrated with a double in the Jed-Forest Sevens at a rain-soaked Riverside Park on Saturday to add the Jed trophy to their Kings of the Sevens Cup.

Watsonians’ commitment to the Borders circuit is second to none, as are the efforts of Boroughmuir and Edinburgh Accies, the city clubs setting an example in the heart of local rugby.

Five victories, one runners-up spot, one semi-final and three quarter-finals was testament to their dedication and prowess in a beleaguered sevens hit by delayed cup games.

But they, along with Boroughmuir and Accies, put the emphasis on the sevens at the end of a long season.

Watsonians, who made it five successes out of 10 in the Ned Haig Kings of the Sevens and three titles in a row by bringing the curtain down on the Borders circuit by defeating Jed-Forest 31-5 in the final, sent out a lesson to Borders clubs on what they have to achieve to equal their city neighbours.

And they did it without coach Mike Ker, and who has taken over as coach from dad Andrew – both of whom missed the tournament. But, as always, manager David Harris was there. “We work hard and have used around 20 players,” he said.

“It has been a great season and we love the sevens. The boys love to play and there is a great team spirit. I am very proud of them.

“Kelso gave us a very hard game in the first round, and we kept our best form for the final.”

There was disappointment for Jed, whose season was hit by having to play league games.

Director of Rugby, Kevin Barrie, said playing 15-a-side games in April did not help them, as well as injuries to Gregor Young and Monty Mitchell ahead of the final.

It was the third time in four seasons that the same clubs had met in the final.

Two tries from Ben Robbins and one by Lewis Berg and two Ali Harris conversions put Watsonians 19-0 ahead at the break. After the interval, Berg scored twice again to seal the tie despite a Rory Marshall consolation try and Charlie McKill receiving a yellow card.

Jed called on Edinburgh Accies duo Richard Mill and Jamie Sole,as injury replacements, while Watsonians included Darren Gillespie, and the city side were in total control from the kick-off.

In the first of the semi-finals, Watsonians, who earlier defeated Kelso and amilton, knocked out Boroughmuir, while Jed held off a late challenge from Edinburgh Accies in the other semi with a late Lewis Young try.

Gala showed their best form of the sevens’ series before losing to Edinburgh Accies but Hawick, Selkirk and Langholm offered little opposition, and it was left to Jed to sustain a real challenge.

The runners-up spots in the Kings series were filled by Boroughmuir, Edinburgh Accies and Melrose.

Results:

First round – Kelso 7, Watsonians 10; Peebles 5, Hamilton 38; Hawick 5,

Boroughmuir 14; Langholm 5, Border Park 38; Selkirk 0, Edinburgh Accies 45; Gala

19, Heriot’s 17; Melrose 38, Berwick 0; Jed-Forest 38, Musselburgh 0.

Second round – Watsonians 41, Hamilton 5; Boroughmuir 38, Border Park 12;

Edinburgh Accies 19, Gala 12; Melrose 7, Jed-Forest 24.

Semi-finals – Watsonians 19, Boroughmuir 12; Edinburgh Accies 17, Jed-Forest 24.

Final – Watsonians 31, Jed-Forest 5.

Were you there on Saturday? See if you can spot yourself in our crowd shots ...

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