The Borderers made it to the final of Percy Park’s elite sevens contest, part of the North Shields club’s 150th anniversary celebrations, but lost out 22-17 to the only team to beat them on their way there, an old boys’ team from Newcastle School for Boys captained by Matthew Jenkinson.
Head coach Fraser Harkness wasn’t too disheartened by that defeat, telling Borders Rugby TV it was just good to see the regional team back in action and get a new generation of players involved.
“The boys actually knuckled down well and showed a real lot of heart against Tynedale and that semi-final maybe just took a wee bit more out of us with that extra time, but we’ve come down here and we’ve got a few young boys, a few first-timers, and it’s all about experience. They’ll learn from that,” he said.
“Finals are a bounce of the ball, but to be 17-5 up, you really need to see that out. We never got out of our half in the second half of the game and that’s frustrating.
“It’s never nice losing, but we’ve played well today. We got better as the tournament went on.
“There’s no shame in what’s happened. You come away and get beat, but you’ve just got to get on with it.”
The Borderers’ squad on Saturday comprised Gary Munro, Finlay Scott, Liam Scott, Struan Hutchison, Finlay Wheelans, Archie Pilcher, Donald Crawford, Bruce Colvine, Andrew Grant-Suttie, Ryan Cottrell, Callum Anderson and Lewis Walker, a late replacement for Gregor Young after he was forced to pull out due to injury.
They lost 29-19 to the old boys’ team in their first pool match but then went on to beat Tynedale 26-19 and Akuma Beavers 45-5, then Northumbria University 22-17 after extra time in the semi-finals before having the same scoreline inflicted on them in reverse in the final.