Hawick made it five titles in a row after winning their own tournament at Mansfield Park yesterday with a 36-7 win over Jed-Forest in an unexpectedly one-sided final.
Runners-up Jed retain their lead in the Kings of the Sevens series but the would-be victors of this season’s competition must have suffered something of a shock when they absorbed the message of the scoreboard. But the truth was that Jed came up against a Hawick side that finally unlocked its potential to produce an impressive set of performances that always pointed to a tournament win.
Crucial to Hawick’s success was a fit-again Rory Hutton, whose clever running tore holes in opponents’ defences through the rounds. But in the final it was the teamwork of Hawick, the massive engine of Keith Davies, the sevens acumen of Greg Cottrell and the physicality of Bruce McNeil that counted.
Hawick cruised through the rounds with wins over Berwick and Peebles before overwhelming Selkirk in the second of the semi finals.
For their part, Jed had a harder route to the final, scraping past Kelso in the first round, subduing a gutsy Hamilton team in the quarters and then defeating Melrose in the semi final to set up an all Borders final against Hawick.
The expectation was that Jed, playing in their third final this season, would set the pace, but in the event it was Hawick who took hold of the game to build up an unbelievable 36--0 lead with tries from Davies, Cottrell (3), McNeil, and Gary Johnstone and three conversions from Hutton, Gregot Young’s try at the end, when Hawick were reduced to six men after McNeil was sin-binned being scant consolation for Jed.
RESULTS: First round Melrose 35 Whitecraigs 10, Hawick YM 0 Watsonians 31, Jed-Forest 12 Kelso 10, Hamilton 19 Dumfries 7, Hawick 31 Berwick 7, Peebles 22 Edinburgh Accies 7, Selkirk 31 Langholm 10, Biggar 10 Falkirk 27
Quarter-finals Melrose 19 Watsonians 12, Jed-Forest 26 Hamilton 0, Hawick 38 Peebles 10, Selkirk 22 Falkirk 7
Semi-finals Melrose 7 Jed-Forest 17, Hawick 36 Selkirk 10
Final Jed-Forest 7 Hawick 36