Gala, having missed out on league and cup honours this season could find compensation in sevens success. Yesterday, the Maroons made an emphatic statement of intent to win the D S Dalgleish Kings of the Sevens by triumphing in their own tournament at Netherdale with a 38-12 victory over Hawick in a final that was tighter than the score suggested.
The two finalists were by far the quality teams in the tournament although Edinburgh, after a shock defeat to Heriot’s in the pool stages, found their strength by cruising through the Bowl final with a 40-0 victory over Watsonians.
The Maroons’ progress to the semi-finals was with wins over Kelso and Currie in the pool stages and then a 17-14 win over Edinburgh Accies after trailing 14-0 to the Raeburn Place side. Hawick got past Jed-Forest and Selkirk in the pool stages before beating Heriot’s 26-10 in the cup semi-final.
But the Greens’ win against Heriot’s came at the price of injuries to Neil Renwick and Gary Johnstone which weakened their team for the final against old rivals Gala. Even so, Hawick drew first blood in the final with a try by John Coutts. Tries by Chris Auld, Grant Somerville and Gary Graham gave Gala a 19-12 lead, Hawick’s other first half try coming from Keith Davies.
Then, in the second half, tries by Gavin Young, Somerville and Ben Murray completed Gala’s victory.
“It was down to hard work throughout the tournament,” said Gala skipper George Graham, who admitted: “This is the first sevens trophy I’ve ever won.”
Gala Sevens results:
Pool 1: Melrose 10, Watsonians 20, Melrose 0 Edinburgh Accies 30, Watsonians 19 Edinburgh Accies 24.
Pool 2: Gala 36 Currie 0, Gala 29 Kelso 7 , Currie 22 Kelso 7.
Pool 3: Jed-Forest 28 Selkirk 26, Jed-Forest 12 Hawick 19, Selkirk 28 Hawick 31.
Pool 4: Edinburgh Rugby 17 Heriot’s 24, Edinburgh Rugby 29 Peebles 24, Heriot’s 35 Peebles 10.
Cup semi-final: Edinburgh Accies 14 Gala 17, Hawick 26 Heriot’s 10. Final: Gala 38 Hawick 12.
Bowl semi-final: Watsonians 12 Currie 0, Jed-Forest 12 Edinburgh Rugby 27. Final: Watsonians 0 Edinburgh Rugby 40.
Plate semi-final: Melrose 21 Kelso 7, Selkirk 10 Peebles 17. Final: Melrose 19 Peebles 14.