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Accies spoil party by dumping hosts

The hosts were bidding for a remarkable seventh straight win in the Hawick Sevens at Mansfield Park on Saturday but their attempt foundered at the quarter-final stage, leaving the winners Melrose to take the headlines at Mansfield Park.

Hawick began soundly enough, dismissing Jed-Forest 31-14 in the first round and, even against a well-drilled Edinburgh Accies, the Greens seemed set to move into the semi finals when they led going into injury time.

All that was needed was for Hawick to boot the ball into touch, but the playmaker Rory Hutton, caught between not knowing if the referee would blow for full time when the ball went out and the need to gain distance with his kick should the game not have ended, marginally misjudged the angle. The ball remained in play, Accies ran it back and the outcome was a winning try by Alex Godsmark, the former Selkirk player. It was a cruel way for Hawick's dream to end, not least because they were the better of the two teams.

Accies then edged out Watsonians in the penultimate round to secure a place in the final against a Melrose side that had come through the top half of the draw with wins over Hawick YM, Peebles, and arch-rivals Gala.

Accies, chasing the game after an early try for Melrose by Andrew Skeen, could not break down their opponents' defence and went further behind when Austin Lockington touched down for a 10-0 interval lead. Tries by Lockington and Skeen against touchdowns from the Scotland under-20 cap Sam Pecqueur, Alex Godsmark and Ryan Godsmark gave Melrose a 24-17 victory in the final.

Skeen, the Melrose captain, conceded that the win  had not been as decisive as his side had wanted. "There were a few difficult moments," he said. "The tie could have gone either way; they beat us last week [at the Melrose Sevens] so we knew it would be tight."

Gala gained some consolation for their semi-final defeat by emerging victorious in the fourth round of the King of the Sevens competition at Berwick yesterday - they beat Jed-Forest 36-14 in the final - but Melrose remain at the head of the Kings title race.

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