Selkirk celebrating their first final victory at Earlston Sevens since 2007 (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

In photos: Selkirk victory at Earlston Sevens takes Kings of 7s title race to wire

Borders rugby’s Kings of the 7s title challenge is now looking set to go to the wire after front-runners Jed-Forest’s three-game winning streak was brought to a halt at Earlston Sevens on Sunday.

The Jedburgh side were beaten 19-14 by Melrose in their semi-final after edging out Watsonians 17-15 in the quarter-finals and seeing off Peebles 33-0 in round one.

The five points they picked up for getting that far keep them in pole position to take the title for the sixth time, however, as, with 48 points from seven rounds, they’re now within 13 points of clinching it.

That means they don’t have to win either of the two remaining rounds – at Selkirk this coming Saturday and at their Riverside Park home ground a week later – to take the title so long as they make it to both finals.

Third-placed Selkirk’s 26-5 final win at Earlston’s 90th sevens tournament against Melrose, the most successful side in the history of the Kings of the 7s, puts them in with a shot at a third title if Jed slip up, taking their points tally up to 35.

Selkirk beat the Powerbombs 26-12 in round one, GAC 7s 33-0 in the quarter-finals and Gala 14-12 in the semis to get to the final.

Sunday’s beaten finalists, currently in second place with 38 points, also remain in contention to add to the eight titles they’ve won since 1994.

Besides Jed-Forest, Melrose saw off Edinburgh Accies 33-7 and Gala YM 54-5 en route for the final.

Finlay Wheelans, drafted in from the Selkirk Youth Club semi-junior side and named as player of the tournament on Sunday, said he was delighted to help the senior Souters pick up their first final win at Earlston since 2007 and ninth overall, telling Borders Rugby TV: “It’s quite amazing, to be fair.

“It’s been a big step up, but the older lot have been amazing – you couldn’t fault them – at speaking to us younger boys, helping us along when times have been tough, just bringing us on, and being part of such a great group of boys really makes a difference.

“It’s been a pretty special day. Obviously, everyone’s really happy, and going into next week off the back of this gives all the boys a load of confidence, which I think is what was really needed, especially after a double weekend. Bodies are sore, energy levels might not be as high, so it was excellent, a very good day.”

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