THE curtain came down on the Borders sevens on Saturday with Watsonians proving that they can take on local clubs on their own patch – and leave them to play second fiddle.
The city club, with the backing of Andrew Ker, one of the greatest exponents of the abbreviated game, stuck its credentials above the parapet when it won the Kings of the Sevens series in 2009 for the first time.
And it confirmed its commitment to the series by collecting two trophies on Saturday at the Jed-Forest tournament at Riverside Park while many clubs showed a disinterest for sevens or withdrew such as Biggar and Stewart’s Melville did at the weekend.
Jed brought in a President’s V11 and the 2 Scots Tigers, both of whom could not even raise a roar.
That was never going to halt the Myreside club, which lifted the title after a gruelling 10 tournaments, winning three and finishing runners-up in another four, and regained the Jed cup by beating the hosts 36-19 in the final.
They say the camera never lies; Watsonians did not need a picture as their success was indelibly written, performed and delivered.
But they could add two Borders connections: Angus Duckett previously played for Selkirk while Kelso coach Andrew Skeen had a brief run in the final due to injury.
“We have put a lot of work for a number of years into the sevens.
"The 15-a-side season was finished by the 18th of February for us, but if you can get 10 to 14 guys to play every week, you are in with a shout. Winning showed that we were keen to do well,” Ker said.
With success at Gala, Kelso and Jed, and coming second at Hawick, Berwick and Langholm, Watsonians finished in style with Mike Fedo the only player to also play in the 2009 squad.
Watsonians raced into a 24-7 interval lead in the final with two tries from Reiss Cullen, and once each by Scott McKean and Rory Steele, Lewis Young replying for Jed.
Tom Hart and McKean scored crucial tries in the second half with Young and Gregor Law touching down for Jed.
Ally Davidson snatched a late winner for Watsonians against Melrose in the first semi-final while a last-kick touchline conversion by Lewis Young ended the Gala challenge.
First round: Selkirk 10, Edinburgh Accies 19; Watsonians 28, Kelso 5; Berwick 31, Langholm 14; Melrose 33, Howe of Fife 7; Peebles 12, Musselburgh 25; Jed-Forest 47, President’s V11 12; Hamilton 22, Hawick 12; Gala 47, 2 Scots Tigers 5.
Second round: Edinburgh Accies 5, Watsonians 17; Berwick 10, Melrose 14; Musselburgh 19, Jed-Forest 33; Hamilton 7, Gala 50.
Semi-finals: Watsonians 19, Melrose 14; Jed-Forest 17, Gala 15.
Final: Watsonians 36, Jed-Forest 19.
Watsonians: M. Fedo, T. Hart, A. Duckett, R. Cullen, A. Harris, R. Steele, S. McKean, J. Ferguson, A. Davidson, W. Thomson.