The Queenshead Hotel in Kelso has narrowly missed out on being crowned Britain’s top rugby pub.
The Borders hostelry was one of four across the UK in the running to be named the Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens Rugby Pub of the Year.
The award went, in the end, to last year’s winner, the Merchant’s Inn in Rugby, giving it the accolade for the second year running.
It was one of four hostelries in contention for the Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens Rugby Pub of the Year and has beaten the Sup & Chow, Cheltenham, Queenshead Hotel, Kelso and Queen’s Arms, Edinburgh to win the prestigious prize.
Kelso regulars got behind their pub, as did the other entrants, in Edinburgh and Cheltenham, saying they each offered a special atmosphere, but it was the Merchant’s Inn that gained the largest share of the votes cast.
Douglas Hardie, president of Melrose Rugby Club said: “When we launched this competition last year, we could tell how loyal and supportive fans were of their locals - and we’ve had an even bigger response this year.
“We’re delighted so many people took the time and effort to vote and we could sense the pride and passion fans have for rugby and their local pubs from their feedback.
“It’s been great hearing about all the best pubs to grab a pint and watch the game, surrounded by fellow fans, and what came across loud and clear is that all the contenders pull out all the stops for supporters of the game.”
Offering his congratulations to the winning Warwickshire pub, Mr Hardie added: “For Sevens fans who can’t make it to Melrose, many will pitch up at their local pub to savour rugby action and, going by the feedback from our competition, the welcome and atmosphere they will receive will be almost as good as the real thing.”
The Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens takes place on Saturday, April 13 and is a great day out for families, couples and rugby fans who enjoy fast and exhilarating sporting action.
Clubs from across Scotland will be competing against each other this year, alongside international teams from England, South Africa and USA, for their chance to win the Aberdeen Standard Investments Melrose Sevens Ladies Cup.
If you can’t make it to Melrose, watch BBC coverage through BBC Scotland which is available outside Scotland on Freesat, Sky and Virgin Media.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit www.melrose7s.com. Keep up to date with the action on Facebook at www.facebook.com/melrose7s, Twitter @melrose7s and Instagram @melrose7s.