IT POURED at Riverside yesterday but it failed to rain on Jed-Forest’s parade as the hosts rose to the occasion of the final round of the Kings of the Sevens competition to win their own tournament with victory over Melrose in a quality final.
But it was Melrose who emerged as this season’s winners of the D S Dalgleish Kings of the Sevens title at the end of the ten-round competition in which the Greenyards side showed consistency and flair.
Jed came through the top half of the draw with wins over Berwick and Heriot’s before knocking out title aspirants Watsonians in a bruising semi-final that produced only one score, a try by Jed’s veteran scrum half Ross Goodfellow, reflecting the wet conditions and the tension generated by the occasion.
For their part Melrose had a comfortable win over Hillhead/Jordanhill and then made no mistake against Selkirk in the quarter finals. Then in the second semi final Melrose faced a Gala side without their key attacker, George Graham, who had been shown the red card in the quarter-final against Kelso after English referee Dave Charlton had spotted a punch being thrown in a fracas involving Kelso’s Greg Minto. In the event Gala were not the force they had been and capitulated to Melrose in a 12-26 defeat.
In the final Jed led 14-7 at half time with tries from Robert Hogg and Goodfellow, both converted by Ian Chisholm, to a try and conversion by Andrew Skeen for Melrose. Then in the second half Jed increased their lead with a try by Lewis Young from a clever kick by Goodfellow, a penalty by Chisholm and then a final try, this time from teeneager Glen Young, one of the stars on the circuit and a tall forward who ought to be considered for the Scotland sevens squad, for a 27-7 win.
Jed-Forest 7s draw: Jed-Forest 32 Berwick 0, Heriot’s 19 Hawick 15, Hamilton 40 Langholm 5, Watsonians 22 Peebles 5, President’s V11 Selkirk, Melrose 42 Hillhead/Jordanhill 0, Kelso 22 Edinburgh University 15, Gala 31 Edinburgh Accies 7. Quarter final: Jed-Forest 28 Heriot’s 12, Hamilton 7 Watsonians 12, Selkirk 7 Melrose 19, Kelso 24 Gala 12. Semi final: Jed-Forest 5 Watsonians 0, Melrose 26 Gala 12. Final: Jed-Forest 27, Melrose 7
Final teams: Jed-Forest: G Young, M Weekly, D Grieve, D Wallace, I Chisholm, R Hogg, L Young, C Gillan, D Gobby, R Goodfellow.
Melrose: G Dodds, R Mill, R Ovens, B Colvine, A Skeen, A Dodds, C Anderson, A Nagle, S McCormick, J Helps.
Referee: A Ireland.
Final Kings of the Sevens positions: 1. Melrose 52pts, 2. Watsonians 46, 3. Gala 44, 4. Jed-Forest 39, 5. Selkirk 38.