Hawick made it an incredible six titles in a row after winning their own tournament at Mansfield Park with an emphatic 31-17 win over Gala in a quality final that had hugely impressive individual performances from the Greens’ stand-off Rory Hutton, their key forward Keith Davies and their prolific try scorer Neil Renwick.
The Greens looked the team of the tournament as they came through the lower half of the draw in style, disposing of Berwick with what was essentially a warm-up tie before raising their game to defeat Watsonians by 24-14 in the quarter final. Against Heriot’s in the second of the semi finals, Hawick warmed further to their task, establishing a 21-5 half time lead before finishing off the Goldenacre side with a 35-17 win.
For their part Gala, who never really produced a convincing sevens style of rugby, struggled in the quarter finals before knocking out Kelso with a 19-12 win. Then in the semi-final, Gala came from behind after Jed-Forest, missing their international sevens star Lewis Young, had opened with a converted try by Glen Young, the Maroons scores by George Graham, Lee Millar and Euan Dods booking their place in the final.
Elsewhere, the Dutch team Rugby Mads suffered a quick exit, losing 40-15 to Edinburgh Accies, who again looked to be providing a city challenge, but Accies were eventually undone by another Edinburgh side, Heriot’s, who won 33-28 in extra time with a try by Fraser Brown.
In the final it was Renwick who was the points provider with a hat-trick of tries, backed up by touchdowns from John Coutts and Davies and three conversions from the Greens’ playmaker, Hutton, Gala’s tries coming from Millar (2) and Grant Somerville.
First round: Gala 33, Edinburgh Univ 0; Kelso 28, Hawick YM 19; Jed-Forest 31, Berwick 0; Selkirk 24, Melrose 15; Hawick 26, Peebles 5; Watsonians 41, Ponteland 0; Heriot’s 22, Biggar 7; Edinburgh Accies 40, Rugby MADS 15.
Quarter-finals: Gala 17, Kelso 12; Jed-Forest 15, Selkirk 12; Hawick 24, Watsonians 14; Heriot’s 33, Edinburgh Accies 28.
Semi-finals: Gala 19, Jed-Forest 7; Hawick 35, Heriot’s 19.
Final: Hawick 31, Gala 17.