BILL McLAREN at the Hawick Sevens

EXPERT dovetailing by Neil Crooks and John Amos in dealing with

opposition restart kicks created a fertile springboard for Gala as they

amassed a record 163 points in four ties, 59 of them without reply

against Stewart's Melville FP in the final of the Hawick Sevens, which

England's international referee, John Pearson, mercifully brought to an

end three minutes before the scheduled close.

In scoring 25 tries, nine by Mark Moncrieff who blistered the grass

almost every time he had ball and space, Gala simply sailed through the

tournament with a mighty contribution from their captain, Michael Dods,

playmaker, finisher, goal-kicker, and speechmaker, who was the overall

top scorer with four tries and 19 conversions for 58 points.

It was Gala's first win at the Hawick tournament since 1982, and their

fourteenth in all. Seldom before can there have been such a devastating

demonstration of magical interplay as in the final.

They permitted the college only meagre rations and gave what amounted

to an exhibition of ball manipulation, pass improvisation, and intuitive

support running that marks them out as one of the most complete and

gifted short-game combines ever to take the field.

Moncrieff had two tries in each tie except the final when he had

three. Dods had a haul of 20 points as Stirling County were swept aside,

although not before Colin McRobert had demonstrated his electric

acceleration that kept him ahead even of Chris Dalgleish. Gala's 31-7

margin in the semi-final barely reflected the vigorous challenge posed

by GHK, who levelled at 7-7 when Cameron Little whizzed over 60 metres

for a try converted by Steve Hirini.

GHK, however, had to rejig their back division on the injury loss of a

key figure in George Breckenridge, for whom that remarkable 40-year-old

Ken Hamilton deputised -- but as hooker. Lack of familiarity at

scrummage insertion and between a new half back pairing of Cameron

Dunlop (scrum half) and Little when allied to occasional ball

transference lapses by their highly-industrious props, Dominic Mellor

and Scott Hutton, denied GHK a launch base and two tries by Amos from

scrummage then kick-off sealed the issue.

Stewart's Melville FP owed much to a late try and conversion by Fraser

Pollock for their elimination by 21-17 of the Italian Zebras, who had

bags of pace and a powerful figurehead in the Wallaby flanker Julian

Gardner, but were short of Sevens' acumen and cohesion. The college then

squeezed through against Selkirk with a crucial late try from Adrian

Huett, who could trust more in his enviable pace.

In the final, the college lacked the physical presence to upset Gala's

well-balanced forward trio and spent much of the time chasing shadows as

Moncrieff (three), Crooks (two), Dalgleish (two), and Dods (two) were

the try-scorers of which seven were converted by Dods.

So Gala now take the lead in the 'Kings of the Sevens' series with 26

points, Jed-Forest and Stirling County have 22, and Kelso 20. Results:

First round -- Kelso 28, Watsonians 17; Pringle President's Seven 33,

Heriots FP 7; Selkirk 31, Hawick 24; Stewart's-Melville 21, Italian

Zebras 17; Stirling County 24, Langholm 12; Gala 33, Melrose 19;

Jed-Forest 24, Boroughmuir 17; GHK 38, Ulster 12.

Quarter-finals -- Kelso 45, Pringle President's Seven 0;

Stewart's-Melville FP 26, Selkirk 21; Gala 40, Stirling County 17; GHK

19, Jed-Forest 17.

Semi-finals -- Stewart's Melville FP 26, Kelso 14; Gala 31, GHK 7.

Final -- Gala 59, Stewart's Melville FP 0.

Gala -- C S Dalgleish, M Moncrieff; M Dods, G C Farquharson; J P Amos,

I Corcoran, N J Crooks. Replacement -- D W Bolland for Dods, 17 minutes.

Stewart's Melville FP -- A Huett, L Hamilton; F I Pollock, G G Burns;

N J Penny, P N Gallagher, J Conlin.

Referee -- J Pearson (RFU).

* ALAN Bulloch, Hutchesons' Scottish Schools international centre, who

is in Bucharest with the national under-19 team in the FIRA junior

tournament, is to play for Glasgow South in the match against Glasgow

North at Braidholm on Wednesday evening.

This is the opening event of Clarkston's two-week rugby festival. The

match will be played under experimental laws that have yet to be defined

by the Scottish Rugby Union. Glasgow South XV:

R Little (Cartha Queens Park); I Barnes (Hutchesons/Aloysians), A

Bulloch (Hutchesons GS), D Sharkey, H Feunati; A Healy (all Clarkston),

J Kayne (GHK); R Harvey (Cartha Queens Park), K Malone (East Kilbride),

M Dodd (Clarkston), D Boan (Cambuslang), R Brown (Whitecraigs), J

Clinkenbeard (Clarkston), R Uquhart (Cartha Queens Park), S Aitken

(Clarkston). Replacements -- A Richardson, A McIlwham, I Smith (all