AFTER arguably one of the shortest close seasons on record, Jed-Forest stamped their claim as one of the country’s top amateur clubs with victory in the Peebles Sevens on Saturday at The Gytes.

It was a day of history-making as Jed lifted the cup for the first time since 2000 with a 26-7 final victory over a Hawick side looking for its first Peebles success to atone for three finals defeats.

It was not to be for the Greens, but for the first time for a long time, Borders clubs were able to match and see off their Edinburgh opponents, Watsonians, Heriot’s and Edinburgh Accies.

This was a day of learning experience for most clubs, but as Hawick captain Bruce McNeil explained: “I think that everyone just wanted to get the ball in their hands and play a bit of rugby.

"There were a lot of new faces and that is good for the game.”

Jed’s victory followed defeats of Kelso, Selkirk and holders Melrose while Hawick, who have now lost all of their four Peebles finals, accounted for Berwick, Peebles and Gala.

Jed’s Calum Young, who was awarded Player-of-the-Tournament, said that Jed wanted to atone for last season and they now had greater depth in the squad.

They led 14-0 at the interval on a perfect day for sevens rugby with tries from Robbie Shirra-Gibb and Calum Young, both converted by Gary Munro.

Gregor Young stretched the lead on the restart followed by a score from Dom Buckley.

McNeill scored a consolation try for Hawick, converted by Aaron Redpath, and for the likes of Melrose, Selkirk and Gala and Peebles, it was an opportunity to prepare for the new-look 15-a-side season.

The first of the semi-finals between Jed and Melrose saw tries from Robbie Yourston and Buckley put Jed ahead before scores by Gregor Young and Calum Young proved crucial.

In the second semi, two tries from Andrew Mitchell put Hawick in the driving seat until Richie Todd and Daniel Nicholson hit back by half-time for Gala.

But the Greens held out in a pulsating second half.

Kings title holders, Watsonians, with a much changed side, were pipped for a semi-final place by Gala.


Pool A: Jed-Forest 40, Kelso 12; Kelso 12, Selkirk 31; Jed-Forest 17, Selkirk 12. Pool B: Edinburgh Accies 27, Heriot’s 5; Heriot’s 12, Melrose 28; Edinburgh Accies 10, Melrose 14. Pool C: Watsonians 12, Gala 24; Gala 43, Biggar 7; Watsonians 43, Biggar 5. Pool D: Peebles 24, Berwick 0; Berwick 7, Hawick 26; Peebles 5, Hawick 24.

Semi-finals: Jed-Forest 24, Melrose 7; Gala 10, Hawick 12.

Final: Jed-Forest 26, Hawick 7.

Jed-Forest: R. Yourston, M. Mitchell, G. Young, G. Munro; R. Marshall, R. Shirra-Gibb, D. Buckley, G. Young, G. Law, N. Stingl, L. Turnbull.

Hawick: A. Mitchell, B. McNeil, J. Linton, M. Bannerman, B. Donaldson, L. G. Wooley, M. Bell, R. McKean, S. Graham, A. Redpath, L. Ferguson.