Watsonians retain Gala Sevens title

Weiss Cullen in action. Credit: David Gibson - www.fotosportuk. photoshelter.com

ALAN LORIMER @ Netherdale

WATSONIANS successfully defended their Gala sevens title at Netherdale, triumphing over Edinburgh Accies in a high quality final that bodes well for future torunaments on the Border Spring circuit. 
Both the city sides stood out in a field of twelve played in four pools of three, a clever format that guaranteed each side at least three matches making it the ideal preparation for next Saturday’s Melrose Sevens at the Greenyards.
The Myreside men exuded pace thoughout their backs and match winners in scrum-half Reiss Cullen and pacy wing Scott McKean. Up front they used the bulk and guile of Rory Drummond to good effect, together with the experience of Rory Steele. 
For Accies, who lacked the overall pace of Watsonians but who had ball winning forwards, teenager Ben Appleson impressed at stand-off while at centre Robbie Chalmers gave an authoritative display. 
Watsonians finished first in their pool with straight wins over Hawick and Peebles and then in the seccond of the Cup semi finals faced a Jed-Forest side that had looked fully prepared for tournament sevens. But in the event, Watsonians brushed Jed aside, scoring six unanswered tries, two by McKean and one apiece by Drummond, Steele, Angus Duckett and Ally Davidson. 
For their part, Edinburgh Accies, having topped their group with wins over Melrose and Selkirk, were much too strong for Kelso in a dominant display that ended with a 31-7 win. 
Then in the final Watsonians were challenged all the way by Edinburgh Accies, two tries by Cullen and one by McKean giving the Myresiders a 19-14 half-time lead over Accies, who had scored  tries by Jamie Sole and Jamie Winks.
Two tries by Ben Appleson for Accies and one apiece by McKean and Jack Ferguson maintained the five points lead for Watsonians to give them a final winning score of 33-28.
“We’ve been training four weeks for sevens. Our aim is to win the Kings of the Sevens this year,” revealed the Watsonians’ skipper Angus Duckett. 
Accies coach, Graham Bonner,  delighted with his side’s performance said: “I thought it was a fantastic final. To be fair to the boys we’ve had only two training sessions. Sevens will certainly keep us fit for the promotion/relegation match against Hawick at the end of the month.” 
In the minor competitions, Melrose, fielding very much a second seven, triumphed in the third tier Plate Final, defeating Peebles 28-12; while in the second tier Bowl final, Boroughmuir edged out the hosts winning 17-14 against the Maroons. 
Edinburgh Accies: J Sole, J Bruce, J Winks, A Glashan, W Stephen,  B Appleson,  R Chalmers, M Love, J Evans R Kemp.
Watsonians: R Drummond, T Hart, A Duckett, R Cullen, A Harris, R Steele, S McKean, S McLeod, A Davidson, J Ferguson.
Referee: C Rudkin
Results –
Pool 1: Melrose 12 Selkirk 19, Melrose 14 Edinburgh Accies 19, Selkirk 9 Edinburgh Accies 29
Pool 2: Gala 54 Langholm 7, Gala 14 Kelso 19, Langholm 0 Kelso 37
Pool 3: Watsonians 47 Hawick 5, Watsonians 33 Peebles 0, Hawick 21 Peebles 17
Pool 4: Jed-Forest 21 Earlston 5, Jed-Forest 27 Boroughmuir 7, Earlston 0 Boroughmuir 48
Cup semi-final: Edinburgh Accies 31 Kelso 7,  Watsonians 34 Jed-Forest 0
Cup final: Edinburgh Accies 28 Watsonians 33
Bowl final: Gala 14 Boroughmuir 17
Plate final: Melrose 28 Peebles 12
About Alan Lorimer 349 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.