Hosts seal win to ensure Kings tournament goes to the wire

Clinton Wagman scores Selkirk's conclusive try in their final against Melrose (picture by Grant Kinghorn).
Clinton Wagman scores Selkirk's conclusive try in their final against Melrose (picture by Grant Kinghorn).

Selkirk burst through on Saturday to win their own 7s contest for the first time in five years – and helped ensure the 2018 Kings tournament goes to its final day.

It was an eventful day at Philiphaugh, with the hosts beating title holders Melrose in the final and favourites Watsonians denied an outright championship victory after losing in the semis to Melrose.

Boroughmuir were also disqualified for an infringement of the rules over the use of rolling substitutes, which handed a last-eight lifeline to defeated Hawick.

The outcome is it’s all down the last day of this year’s Kings of the Sevens at Jed-Forest on Saturday. Melrose could still clinch it but, if Watsonians win their first-round game, they’ll have amassed enough points to become champions.

Selkirk’s 7s convenor David Nichol said it had been a great tournament at Philiphaugh, sponsored by Selkirk Taxis.

“The weather makes all the difference, while the atmosphere was very good and Selkirk played really well on the day,” he said. “It was good to beat Melrose in the final – they beat us last year in the final, so it was good to get a bit of revenge in.”

Selkirk had reckoned the final would be “a good Border derby,” said Nichol. “When it’s a Border derby, anything can happen,” he said, adding that Selkirk probably produced their best form of the day in the final. “The Selkirk boys probably wanted it a bit more and played really well.

“It’s good that it takes it to final weekend for Jed this week. It’s good to see the Kings of the Sevens going to a final day, because it’s a good tournament.”

In the final, converted scores by Darren Clapperton for Selkirk and Craig Jackson for Melrose tied the half-time score at 7-7, before Clinton Wagman found the winning try for the home side.

The tournament trophy and medals were presented by Caroline McLaren, proprietor of Selkirk Taxis.

The Denzil Lloyd ‘Player of the Tournament’ Trophy was presented by Merle Heard, wife of Heard Hamilton Financial Planning Ltd director, David Heard. The tournament medals were kindly donated by the Cruickshank family, in memory of Jack Cruickshank, former Selkirk vice-president and secretary.

The Selkirk Sevens Cup will now be known as the ‘Edinburgh Medics of 81 Cup’, following a generous sponsorship deal. Results:

Round one – Gala 17, Edinburgh Accies 19; Hawick 12, Boroughmuir 36 (result reversed and Boroughmuir disqualified); Kelso 47, Stewart’s Melville 0; Peebles 7, Selkirk 31; Melrose 54, Hamilton 0; Powerbombs 47, Langholm 14; Berwick 0, GHA 22; Jed-Forest 14, Watsonians 19.

Quarter-finals – Edinburgh Accies 19, Hawick 15; Kelso 14, Selkirk 31; Melrose 47, Powerbombs 0; GHA 5, Watsonians 33.

Semi-finals – Edinburgh Accies 19, Selkirk 36; Melrose 15, Watsonians 10.

Final – Selkirk 12, Melrose 7.