Jed come back from Viking scare to take pole position at Scremerston

Berwick sevens tournament. Jed-Forest captain Darren Gillespie with the Berwick Sevens Cup and winning team.
Berwick sevens tournament. Jed-Forest captain Darren Gillespie with the Berwick Sevens Cup and winning team.

JED-FOREST won the Berwick Sevens on Sunday and in the process jumped to the top of the Kings of the Sevens table with their victory over Selkirk.

However, they found their route to the final less than straight forward, having to overcome a 12-point deficit against the marauding Danish Vikings in the quarter-final at a sunny Scremerston.

The Souters, too, had to come from behind in the last eight, coming up against the home side, who showed they are no pushovers in the shortened form of the game.

Throughout the day the Berwick crowd had enjoyed some cracking rugby, but unfortunately the final failed to live up to the competitive nature of many of the earlier matches, with Selkirk apparently suffering from having less time to recover before the final.

Darren Gillespie, Jed’s captain for the day, scored in the corner early in the tie, but the final then descended into something resembling more of a 15-a-side game, with a number of scrums and play bogged down in midfield.

Midway through the first half, however, Ian Chisholm streaked through the Selkirk defence from inside his own 22 to score unopposed and converted himself.

Just before half-time, Ryan Godsmark struck for Selkirk to cut the deficit to seven points, stepping free from a tap tackle, he managed to stay on his feet and cross over the whitewash.

Jed had looked the more lively of the two finalists, but Selkirk were by no means out of it.

Fraser Harkness showed impressive defensive qualities, not for the first time that day, to make a last-ditch tackle as the Riverside Park men piled on the pressure early in the second half.

Selkirk then looked set to level the scores when Godsmark broke free down the right wing. He skipped past one defender on halfway, passed inside to Rory Aglen, who then returned it out to Godsmark.

He beat another man before throwing a long ball inside to Rory Banks, who was clean through and en route to splitting the posts when Ian Heard blew his whistle for a forward pass.

Shortly after that, Lewis Young took the ball at a great angle on halfway and sprung through the Selkirk defence to score between the posts, leaving Chisholm with the easiest of conversions to extend Jed’s lead to 14 points.

Young added another as the game slipped away from Selkirk and, although the try was unconverted, the scoreline of 24-5 and direction of the game suggested that there was only one likely winner.

A late Gillespie try sealed the win before Rory Banks scored a consolation for Selkirk, which brought about the final whistle and the start of Jed’s celebrations at winning the Berwick Sevens for the third time in its nine-year history.