Melrose came up just short in the final, losing 31-19 to Harlequins – but they were in it right until player-of-the-tournament Charlie Walker scored a late try which killed the game off.
Austin Lockington scored two long distance tries either side of half-time to spark a thrilling Melrose fightback from 12-0 down against the Co-Optimists, which ended with the host clubs squeezing out a 21-19 victory, to book their first final appearance since they won The Ladies Cup in 2011.
They will face Harlequins, who steamrollered their way past Watsonians (40-12).
Co-Optimists made light work of negotiating their way past Sweden with a 36-5 victory; while Melrose progressed to the last four with a 24-12 victory over Selkirk.
Pace, power and intensity at the breakdown was key for Harlequins in their 22-29 win over Edinburgh Accies, although the guest side wobbled a bit when Accies came at them with a two tries from Jamie Winks either side of half-time and two more scores in the second half for Paul Loudon and Ben Appleson.
Two second half tries from Reiss Cullen saw Watsonians past Currie (17-7).
SWEDEN demonstrated that they had not made the trip to the Borders merely to make up the numbers when they despatched Heriot’s 31-14.
C0-optimsts defeated Boroughmuir 22-5.
Hosts Melrose were made to sweat by Dundee in their opener, and it was 19-19 with just two minutes to go, before later tries from Jason Baggott and Sam Pecquueur eased them to a 31-19 success.
Harlequins laid down a serious declaration of intent with a 36-0 demolition of GHA, when the guest teams entered the fray in the second round.
GSI,the invitational side made up students, which was pulled together at short notice after the withdrawal of Western Province by local entrepreneur, inventor, raconteur, educationalist and coach Richie Gray did not fair quite so well, losing 2014 to Selkirk.
Edinburgh Accies showed that they also meant business when blasting their way to a 19-40 victory over Stirling County in their opening match.
The first real upset of the day was in the second game of the second round, when Currie defeated last year’s finalists Jed-Forest 15-10, with Cameron Smith, Ratu Tagive and Scott McGinley grabbing the tries.
Watsonians, who were champions at Gala last week and currently top of the King of the Sevens table, brushed past Kelso (7-27) in the first match of the second round.
Ayr will be hoping for a happier time when they return to The Greenyards for next week’s BT Premiership play-off Grand Final. The men from the west arrived late after being held up behind an accident, meaning their first round tie was pushed backwards in the schedule, and when they did finally make it onto the pitch Dundee were too strong for them – running out 19-5 winners.
The other notable casualties of the first round were Hawick, who slumped to a 35-7 defeat to GHA; and Glasgow Hawks who came up short against Stirling County (26-22).
First Round: Marr 15 Kelso 17; Currie 19 Gala 12; Glasgow Hawks 22 Stirling County 26; Hawick 7 GHA 35; Stewart’s Melville 14 Selkirk 20; Dundee 19 Ayr 5; Boroughmuir 33 Peebles 14; Heriot’s 31 Falkirk 14.
Second Round: Kelso 7 Watsonians 27; Currie 15 Jed-Forest 10; Stirling County; Stirling County 19 Edinburgh Accies 40; GHA 0 Harlequins 36; Selkirk 20 GSI 14; Dundee 19 Melrose 31; Boroughmuir 5 Co-optimsts 22; Heriot’s 14 Sweden 31
Quarter-Finals: Watsonians 17 Currie 7; Edinburgh Accies 22 Harlequins 29; Selkirk 12 Melrose 24; Co-Optimsists 36 Sweden 5;
Semi-Finals: Watsonians 12 Harlequins 40; Melrose 21 Co-Optimsts 19
Final: Harlequins 31 Melrose 19