Champions Jed-Forest finish Kings of the Sevens series with home win

Riverside Park men overcome Edinburgh Accies in tense final

The hosts defeated Edinburgh Accies in the final ofThe Starrett Jed-Forest Sevens. Image: Rob Gray
The hosts defeated Edinburgh Accies in the final ofThe Starrett Jed-Forest Sevens. Image: Rob Gray

ALAN LORIMER @ Riverside Park

JED-FOREST rounded off their season in perfect fashion by winning their own sevens tournament with victory over city challengers, Edinburgh Accies, in the final, when they produced a performance that was very much about power, pace and accuracy in both attack and defence.

Having already been crowned Kings of the Sevens at Selkirk last weekend, Jed-Forest might have been excused for relaxing after their title winning performance at Philiphaugh, but far from taking their foot off the pedal, the Royal Blues produced what was arguably their best performance of the season against a very good Accies’ seven whose pacy young winger, Ross Lile, was a constant threat with ball in hand.

Jed’s skipper, Gregor Young, one of three Scotland sevens international players in the Royal Blues’ team suggested that Accies brought out the best in his side. “They pushed us the whole way in that final,” he said. “They’re a good side.”

“I’m so happy for the team making the final. It’s a great day for Jed-Forest, a great day for rugby and with the sun shining you can’t beat it. We’ve slowly been getting better and better but that performance in the final was our best. We didn’t play well in the first round but Accies are such a good side we had to play well.”


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Ultimately, the difference between the two sides in the final was the experience Jed have built up over a number of seasons with what is essentially a little changed squad. But Accies should be proud of their efforts at what was the 119th playing of this famous tournament.

“We’re starting to click now. Pity it’s the end of the season,” commented Accies’ experienced playmaker Richard Mill, who previously was part of Melrose’s successes. He added: “Unfortunately we made too many errors in the final and a team like Jed will crucify you if you do that.  We probably didn’t take our chances, they did. Defences were both good in the final but Jed’s was better.”

Jed came through the first and second rounds with comfortable wins over Biggar and Kelso but then had to work hard to overcome a gritty Melrose side, who were rewarded for their efforts over the season with the runners-up spot in the Kings of the Sevens series. Melrose struck first with a Lewis Mallin try but touchdowns by Gregor Young, Dom Buckley and Gary Munro put Jed 19-7 ahead. Melrose managed to score a late try by James Brown but it was not enough to prevent the host club winning by 19-14.

For their part, Edinburgh Accies had big wins in the first two rounds with sizeable victories against Peebles and Selkirk before facing a determined Gala side in the second of the semi finals.

Accies led 14-5 at the break with tries from Lile and Gavin Welsh to one for Gala by Callum Pate. Then, in the second half, Accies secured their place in the final with a Mill touchdown, a late try by Craig Dods providing mere consolation for Gala.

In the final, Welsh put Accies into the lead with just one minute played, but thereafter the scoring belonged to Jed-Forest with tries for Munro, Lewis Young (2), and Rory Marshall, all converted by Munro, to ensure the Jed Challenge Cup, first played for exactly 100 years ago, returned to Riverside.

 

Results –

First Round: Melrose 28 Musselburgh 5, Hawick 21 Currie 14, Jed-Forest 31 Biggar 0, Kelso 29 Boroughmuir 17, Peebles  5 Edinburgh Accies 42, Selkirk 28 Highland 12, Gala  29 Berwick 10, Langholm 10 Watsonians 45.

Second Round: Melrose 31 Hawick10,  Jed-Forest 33 Kelso 10, Edinburgh Accies 31 Selkirk 5, Gala 38  Watsonians 19.

Semi-Final: Melrose 14, Jed-Forest 19, Edinburgh Accies 21 Gala 12

Final: Jed-Forest  28 Edinburgh Accies 5.

 

Final teams–

Jed-Forest: D Buckley, F Scott, G Young, G Munro, L Walker, R Marshall, L Young, D Gillespie, E Stewart, R Shirra-Gibb.

Edinburgh Accies: M Wallace, R Lile, R Campbell, B Appleson, A Ingwood, W Stephen, V Hart, G Welsh, J Jones, R Mill

Referee: Finlay Brown

 

Kings of the Sevens final positions –

  • Jed-Forest (68pts)
  • Melrose (46pts)
  • Selkirk (45pts)
  • Kelso (29pts)
  • Edinburgh Accies (26pts)
  • Gala (25pts)
  • Watsonians (24pts)
  • Hawick ( 17pts)

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About Alan Lorimer 232 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.

5 Comments

  1. Great to see the Border genuine Border circuit is alive and well, and not propped up by Pro teams.

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  2. What a total rip off. About time finish of Kings of the sevens. £75 hospitality £5 pound a pint £5 for the stand.time every one get a crack at the whip. Enough of Jeds rip off

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    • £5 for the stand seems very reasonable. You aren’t forced to pay £75 for hospitality.

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  3. Just a fantastic day at the Jed 7’s yesterday, superbly organised with fantastic hospitality, friendly folk and to cap it all Jedforest win there own tournament c/w the Kings of the 7’s title.
    Throw in the sunshine and you have an intoxicating mix for a brilliant rugby family day out.
    Of course it cannot happen without all those unsung volunteers who work tirelessly in the background, with special mention to Jedforest president Paul Cranston who officiated for the last time, a more dedicated president you will not find.
    Well done Jed, thank you Paul.

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  4. Well done Jed. Winners of the series and today’s tournament.
    A local Border side winning a traditional format Borders Sevens Competition.
    A testament to the organisers, Jed Forest RFC and a validation for the traditions of real club rugby Sevens.
    And well done, honourable losers, city side, Edinburgh Accies

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