Sevens circuit looks forward to a Muckle Toon welcome

Melrose celebrate their third victory on the Ko7s circuit at Milntown
Melrose celebrate their third victory on the Ko7s circuit at Milntown

The Langholm Sevens get under way on Saturday with the first tie at 2pm and club chairman Kenneth Pool said everything is set for another excellent tournament.

The Milntown club is looking forward to welcoming many supporters from the Borders and further afield, and Pool added: “The club is delighted that Edinburgh Woollen Mill will once again be sponsoring the event and we look forward to greeting their many guests on the day.

“With 16 teams competing for the Scott Cup, there is great anticipation of some excellent ties, and the Kings of the Sevens competition is hotting up.”

This is the 97th Langholm tournament, the first having been played in 1908 and, with the exception of the war years, the only time they were not held was due to the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001.

Hopefully, the weather will hold for what should be a great family day out.

The Langholm club, which was formed back in 1872, has found it tough over the last few seasons: lack of employment has forced many young people to leave the town and player numbers have been scarce, but there is always a good turnout of enthusiastic local and visiting sevens followers to the Milntown ground.

The club has invited Orkney back after they played well last year before going out narrowly to Jed-Forest. The other guest side is the Pigbarians, an invitational charity team based in Scotland who could be a surprise package, with much depending on who they have recruited for their line-up.

Melrose defeated Edinburgh Accies 28-12 in last year’s final, but are due to play Heriot’s in the BT Premiership play-off final on Saturday, so much will depend on their selection. Edinburgh Accies have been beaten finalists on the last two occasions and they lost to Gala in the Berwick Sevens final on Sunday, so will be determined to go one better.

After excellent wins at their own tournament and at Scremerston on Sunday, Gala will be the likely favourites at Milntown, but if Jed-Forest can get back to the form they showed to reach the semi-final at Melrose, they will be a big danger.

Gala are at present top of the Kings of the Sevens table with 23 points, with Jed-Forest on 15, then Accies on 10.