Melrose secured their second Kings of the Sevens title in the space of seven days after triumphing at Selkirk yesterday with a 38-17 win over Watsonians in a physical final, writes Alan Lorimer at Philiphaugh.
Watsonians may have lost the final but the Myreside men made up ground on their Kings of the Sevens rivals Jed-forest after defeating the Riverside men in the second of the semi-finals. That result means that next week’s tournament at Jed-Forest, the last in this gruelling series, will be a genuine final.
Melrose came through the top half of the draw, dismissing Peebles in the first round before knocking out their neighbours, Gala, in the first of the quarters. Then in a tense semi-final, a try in extra-time by Joe Helps gave Melrose a 24-19 victory over a Selkirk side that produced its best form of the season.
For Watsonians, a first-round win over Hamilton resulted in a quarter-final tie against the guest side, Loughborough Students, mid-table finishers in the English National One. The Midlands side had looked imperious as they swept past Langholm, rattling up 63 points without reply.
But Loughborough’s speed and fitness meant little against Watsonians whose sevens acumen, and sheer pace gave the Myreside men a 24-7 victory, player of the tournament, Scott McKean, scoring a hat-tick.
Then in the semi-final Watsonians had another punishing tie, this time against Jed-Forest, a try in the last minute by Reiss Cullen giving the Myresiders a 22-17 win. But in the final Watsonians were unable to sustain their quality in the previous rounds against a Melrose side that pulled away in the second half for a comfortable win.