Border sevens season kicks off in style

123rd annual Gala seven's at Netherdale.
123rd annual Gala seven's at Netherdale.

Berwick reached the semi-final of the Hawick Linden Sevens, only to be squeezed out 15-14 by eventual champions St Boswells.

Eight competing teams were split into two groups of four, with the top two qualifying for the semi-finals.

Berwick, who won the tournament last year, were runners-up in Pool A behind Selkirk.

Pool B was won by St Boswells ahead of the host club, who also qualified for the semi-finals. Selkirk beat Hawick Linden 17-14 in the first semi-finals.

The second semi was even closer as St Boswells pipped Berwick by a point winning 15-14 to put out the cup holders.

In the final Selkirk suffered as St Boswells launched into some excellent sevens running hard, looking for space and supporting the ball carrier. They were the best side on the day and romped to a 50-5 victory to claim the trophy. Tries were scored by Ian Dautry, Ryan Hogg, Dean McCracken (2), Ben Gilchrist, Steven Hill, Garry Douglas and Adam Haig with conversions by McCracken (2), Hill, Douglas and Haig.

Meanwhile Melrose warmed up for their own famous sevens tournament this weekend by winning the Gala tournament.

Melrose coach John Dalziel said : “The semi and final were against two really good teams, Gala and Watsonians. We played our best rugby against them after stuttering in the group. It’s just not easy turning the switch from fifteens to sevens”.

In the final, Melrose and Watsonians were level at half-time, Melrose having had touchdowns from Grant Runciman and Joe Helps, Andrew Skeen adding the extra points to both.

But with a strong second-half performance, Melrose added tries by Mill, Bruce Colvine, and South Africa Sevens cap Austin Lockington, all converted by Skeen.