Jed Forest won the Berwick Sevens when they beat Edinburgh Accies in the final at Scremerston on Sunday.
And it was wing-man Rory Marshall who emerged the hero, bagging himself a hat-trick of tries in the showpiece game, which they won 24-20.
The tournament was the fourth in the Kings of the Sevens series, and Jed’s victory lifted them to the top of the table. The three previous winners were Watsonians, Edinburgh Rugby and Hawick, who had triumphed in their own competition for the eighth time in nine years just 24 hours previous.
Watsonians and Hawick both went out in the first round, beaten by Gala and late entrants Boroughmuir, who along with Earlston stepped in at late notice after two sides, including Berwick’s local rivals Duns, withdrew just days prior to the event.
The hosts beat Earlston 27-5 in the first round, but exited the competition in the quarter-finals, beaten 26-5 by Boroughmuir.
The city side eventually went out in the semi’s, losing narrowly 15-12 to Jed. This was despite the fact they raced into a 12-0 lead after three minutes.
In the final Jed’s Marshall took only 40 seconds to cross the whitewash for the first time, with Ian Chisholm adding the conversion. But Accies hit back and three tries of their own, from Jack Paterson, Jamie Winks and Alex Glashen, all of which were unconverted, saw the capital side storm into a 15-7 half-time lead.
However, in the second half Jed had the edge, and on a pitch which played heavy all day, thanks to rain throughout the week leading up to the event, the Borderers fitness came to the fore and two more tries for Marshall, one of which was converted by Chisholm,saw them take a 19-15 lead.
Michael Weekly then went over for 24-19 before Accies added another late try, but it came too close to the final whistle to save them.
Results (from quarter-finals): Gala 19, Selkirk 7; Edinburgh Accies 34, Kelso 0; Boroughmuir 26, Berwick 5; Jed Forest 24, Melrose 17.
Semi-finals: Edinburgh Accies 21, Gala 12; Jed Forest 15, Boroughmuir 12;
Final: Jed Forest 24, Edinburgh Accies 20.