AFTER a stuttering start in which they were rescued from the

possibility of opening defeat by Langholm by Gary Armstrong's two tries,

Jed-Forest put together some attractive interplay whilst placing such

pressure on opponents in possession as to retain the Hawick Sevens

trophy with victory by 24-16 over Selkirk in the final.

It was the first time those two had contested the Hawick final since

1920 and Jed-Forest deserved the spoils after having survived a tough

series of ties. They were struggling at 10-10 with Langholm following

Grant Fletcher's try until Armstrong's hack and chase, and effort

squeezed them through. They were 10-0 down to Kelso, who spun the ball

more efficiently than any. But Jed-Forest were spurred by two tries from

the quietly effective Ron Kirkpatrick.

Hawick had a lively little personality in Derek Patterson and some

powerful running by Sean McGaughey and Stuart Graham, and had the

biggest score of the tournament in a 36-0 defeat of an Edinburgh

Academicals second string. Patterson scored two gritty tries in the

16-12 defeat of Gala, whereupon Hawick took Jed-Forest to five minutes

of extra time before a superb tackle by Patterson on Kevin Liddle

couldn't prevent Harry Hogg from registering the most important of his

five tries.

Selkirk, meanwhile, had created something of a surprise with their

first-round defeat of Melrose, for whom Keith Robertson scored three

tries, as did David Hunter on Selkirk's wing. Hunter's third sealed

Selkirk's 18-12 win, although Graham Shiel was unlucky when his

conversion to tie the score fell over and his subsequent drop attempt

was blocked. Hunter had a profitable tournament with six tries and two

conversions for 28 points, equal top with Hawick's Robert Palmer, who

had two tries and 10 conversions.

In the final Jed-Forest created an 18-6 lead with tries by Hogg, the

nippy Kevin Amos, and Kirkpatrick, all converted by Gregor McKechnie, to

a Paul Minto try converted by the gifted Scott Nichol. Bad Jed-Forest

scrummage ball, however, gave Nichol an opportunist try and when he

converted a Graham Marshall-Ian Paxton inspired score by Keith Johnston


18-16, there followed a marvellous passage of play in which Johnston

unluckily tripped when almost certain to score before loose Selkirk

scrummage ball enabled Amos to bag the clincher for McKechnie to pilot

over his ninth conversion.

Glasgow Academicals were inspired by Calum McGregor in rallying from

14-0 down to 14-14 against Boroughmuir before succumbing to a Martin

Robertson score. GHK hinted at high potential when they eliminated the

guest side, Wakefield, who had former England captain Mike Harrison in

their side.

In reaching the semi-final GHK owed much to the creativity of Graham

McNab, the ball winning and linkage of Walter Malcolm and the finishing

of Harry Bassi, who scored four tries and five conversions.

First round -- Gala 24, Heriot's FP 14; Hawick 36, Edinburgh

Academicals 0; Kelso 30, Stewart's Melville FP 14; Jed-Forest 14,

Langholm 10; Boroughmuir 26, Glasgow Academicals 14; Selkirk 18, Melrose

12; Watsonians 12, Ayr 10; GHK 16, Wakefield 12.

Second Round -- Hawick 16, Gala 12; Jed-Forest 20, Kelso 10; Selkirk

20, Boroughmuir 10; GHK 34, Watsonians 6.

Semi-finals -- Jed-Forest 16, Hawick 12 (five minutes extra time);

Selkirk 20, GHK 12.

Final -- Jed-Forest 24, Selkirk 16

Jed-Forest -- H G Hogg, G J McKechnie, K A Amos, G Armstrong; R M

Kirkpatrick, K W Liddle, N A McIlroy.

Selkirk -- D W Hunter, K J Johnston, S A Nichol, T Knox; I A M Paxton,

P Minto, G R Marshall.

Referee -- R J Megson (Edinburgh Wanderers).