WATSONIANS kicked off the Kings of the Sevens series with a win at the Gytes on Saturday after a strong comeback in the final against Gala.

But there was no luck for Peebles whose hopes were dented in the early stages despite a 29-12 win over Earlston. 

They were then defeated by Edinburgh Accies, who won the pool before losing to Gala in the semi-final.

Donald Anderson, Connor Blyth and Scott Stoddart and were among the try-scorers over Earlston, but against Accies, Stoddart was the sole scorer.

Biggar came worse off, losing to Kelso and Watsonians, but gaining some valuable fitness in its two ties.

But there was no stopping a rampant Watsonians, and despite a few changes in the squad and in the format (a pool system), they showed their belief in the sevens, due much to coach Andrew Ker’s influence, to come from behind to beat Gala 31-14 in the final.

The city side had also scored three quick tries to beat Melrose in their semi-final on an afternoon they improved with every tie…with Ker advocating the sevens as excellent preparation for the 15s’ season.

“Winning is a good habit to get into,” Ker said. “With the squad we had, we did well to get to the final – and we just kept going. 

“Thursday night was the first time we had practised at sevens, and like all teams taking part, we were in the same boat.

“They are concentrating on getting for the 15s. Sevens are a great way to get fit, and I think we need more than one at this time of the year.”

It was no surprise, too, that the media voted Watsonian Ali Harris the Player of the Tournament.

Gala swept into a 14-0 lead in the final with two tries from Rex Jeffrey and Craig Russell and conversions by Graham Speirs.

But Watsonians hit back with two scores from ex-Gala player Keith Young and a treble from Ewan McKirdy with Harris hitting the target with his goal-kicking.

Earlier Gala had defeated Berwick, Selkirk and Edinburgh Accies while Watsonians, who also fielded a second former Gala player, Craig Borthwick, powered to wins over Biggar and Kelso before D J Innes, McKirdy and Young beat off Melrose, Peebles winners in 2016, after Bruce Colvine helped Melrose into a 21-5 lead.


Pool A: Gala 45, Berwick 0; Selkirk 35, Berwick 12; Gala 47, Selkirk 5.
Pool B: Peebles 29, Earlston 12; Earlston 7, Edinburgh Accies 43; Peebles 7, Edinburgh Accies 38.
Pool C: Watsonians 26, Biggar 0; Biggar 5, Kelso 12; Watsonians 38, Kelso 12.
Pool D: Melrose 14, Hawick 14; Hawick 10, Jed-Forest 29; Melrose 19, Jed-Forest 12.
Semi-finals: Gala 26, Edinburgh Accies 5; Watsonians 26, Melrose 21.
Final: Gala 14, Watsonians 31.