FIRM pitches and glorious sunshine greeted boys from all nine Borders secondary schools when they arrived at Hawick’s Wilton Lodge Park on Saturday morning.
The annual South Schools Sevens for S1, S2 and Under-15 boys also attracted a large crowd, all of whom will have left having been thoroughly entertained.
In pool A of the S1 tournament Peebles HS sneaked through against home side Hawick. In pool B Selkirk edged a cracking tussle with Earlston. Both teams served up a scintillating final, with Selkirk proving worthy title winners.
In the S2 Pool A, all five schools battled hard with the Galashiels Academy versus Hawick tie proving to be the outstanding match.
The Academy made it to the final by the odd score. They met Earlston, who had locked horns with Kelso, Selkirk, and Berwickshire to get to the final. Both teams served up a feast of tries with the S2 title going to Gala.
In the Under-15 tournament, Pool A saw Kelso make it to the final with Selkirk running them close.
Pool B was dominated by home side with Earlston second. In the final, both teams threw all they had at one another. Hawick proved to have the stronger runners, however, and took the Junior Sevens title by 38-19.
Following the final, all teams met at Bill McLaren’s famous green hut – how he would have been proud of the quality of rugby and the excellent sportsmanship on display – and were presented with their medals by Scottish internationalist Scott McLeod, home on holiday from his new adventure at Kobe Steelers, Japan.
It was then left to South Schools president David Changleng to bring the morning to a close. He did so by highlighting that he was delighted that six different schools had been represented in the finals.
He thanked the eight Borders Rugby Society referees and then went on to describe a unique achievement by a South Schools teacher.
Changleng told the assembled audience: “Mr George Jack of Selkirk has served schools rugby as a player, as a teacher, as a referee and as an administrator. He has done so over an amazing period of 50 years. Just think boys, 50 years serving this amazing game.”
The president then called on all boys to form a guard of honour. Mr Jack left Wilton Lodge with three cheers from 270 boys ringing in his ears.
A fabulous ending to a great day for South Schools rugby.