The 2017 Melrose 7s tournament was played out in brilliant sunshine and warmth in front of a big crowd of thousands of people, and it was guest team Harlequins who came out on top with a 31-19 victory over hosts Melrose, who ran the professional side close, but the English team, who won the tournament 30 years ago with a final also against Melrose, took advantage of turnover ball to run in tries just as the Greenyards outfit were looking consistently as if they would score points. It was a gutsy effort from Rob Chrystie’s men who were without some key players for the tournament, including Fraser Thomson and Ross McCann, but the fighting spirit which is embedded in every Melrose player this season, was very much in evidence and they got past Dundee High, Selkirk, The Co-Optimists (aka Ireland’s 7s team in all but name) before succumbing to the mighty Quins in the final.
It was good to see Austin Lockington back to his brilliant best as he gave the crowd some razzle dazzle, and when Selkirk’s South African star Tythan Adams came on as an injury replacement for Melrose after thrilling the crowd in Selkirk colours, he worked his magic as he had done earlier. Apart from Melrose and Selkirk it wasn’t a happy day for the Borders with Gala, Hawick and Peebles going out in Round 1 with Kelso and Jedforest bowing out in Round 2.
In National 3 St Boswells won 118-19 at home to Greenock Wanderers, the whipping boys of the division, but the crucial game for them will happen next Saturday when they meet Dumfries at home and must beat them with a bonus point to clinch promotion.