HAWICK lifted the Scott Cup at the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Langholm Sevens when they defeated Gala in an action packed all Border final at Milntown by 24-19.
There were thrills galore in what was simply a tremendous end to a day of entertainment and the outcome could have gone either way up to the final whistle. Gala forged into an early lead through David O’Hagan and Craig Dods added the extras.
John Coutts and Lee Armstrong hit back for Hawick and the latter had one conversion to put them 12-7 ahead at the turn. As play swept back and forth James Parker dashed over, and another from George Graham plus a Dods conversion put Gala 19-12 in front.
Coutts and Armstrong, who also had a conversion, edged Hawick back into the lead in the closing stages, and the Greens players danced for joy as they cleared to touch on the final whistle. Hawick coach Nikki Walker was delighted with the win, and said he had been quietly confident as they had a strong squad.
As soon as the cup final was out of the way he had been able to concentrate the training on the sevens. He said they had been able to dictate in most of the ties and were able to rotate the squad to keep them as fresh as possible. Both semi-finals provided plenty excitement, with a strong Gala line-up that had easily advanced through at the expense of the Pigbarians and Kelso, having to work hard to get the better of a Melrose side that had most of their top players away on premier league final playoff duty. Gala got on top in the second half to win 26-10. Melrose had edged out Peebles then Selkirk in tight ties. In the other semi Hawick led Jed by only 12-7 at the turn, but eventually went through on a 4-2 try count. Jed just could not get enough ball to the flying Young twins, but Lewis still managed a brace of tries. Hawick had an easy time in the early rounds with wins over Dumfries and the Select side. Jed showed fine form to knock out Watsonians and then put paid to Langholm, who showed plenty spirit but were beaten for pace. Langholm played some good rugby against Berwick in the first round and skipper Steven Nicol and Martin Chisholm put them 10-5 in front at the interval. Nicol romped in for another try which Chisholm converted and Langholm were leading 17-5. Berwick hit back with a brace of tries to make it 17-17. A good break by Nathan Smith for the Milntown men was fed to Niall Cubbon who ran strongly to score the winner and put Langholm through 22-17. Jed used their speed to go 29- 0 ahead against Langholm in the quarter-finals. Langholm never gave up and when in possession were dangerous and had good tries from Nicol and Alasdair Cavers, but Jed had the last say to win 34-10. Langholm: S Nicol, J Fraser, O Robertson, M Love, M Chisholm, NCubbon,AGermain, N Smith, L Miller, A Cavers. Cubbon and Jamie Little turned out for the Pigbarians who lost to Gala in the first round. Five Langholm players were in the Presidents Seven who lost to the Select side. They were J Little, L Miller, D Nordon, N Smith and S Kitching. The Select were then beaten 53-7 by eventual winners Hawick, and included Annan players S Haren, J Bingham and C Bell. After a wet and chilly morning it cleared out into a fine afternoon, with the Milntown pitch in perfect condition. Kenneth Pool the rugby chairman and EWM representative presented the cup to Rory Hutton the Hawick captain, and Avril Grieve the daughter of the late Archie Smith presented the cup in his memory to the player of the tournament Lee Armstrong of Hawick, who was chosen by the referees. Gala beat Watsonians 29-24 in extra-time in the final at Peebles sevens on Sunday and are now 20 points clear at the top of the Kings of the Sevens table. Hawick: R Scott, K Davies, M Robertson,GCottrel, R Hutton, J Coutts, L Armstrong, S Fairbairn, S Goodfellow, M Douglas. Gala: A Emond, G Graham, S Wilkinson, C Dods, G Hunter, G Speirs, J Parker, F Hunter, C Robertson, D O’Hagan. Results. First Round: Kelso 35, Edinburgh Accies 0; Pigbarians 0, Gala 43; Peebles 7, Melrose 14; Orkney 5, Selkirk 26; Presidents 24, Select 31; Dumfries 12, Hawick 31; Jed-Forest 26, Watsonians 10; Berwick 17, Langholm 22. Quarter-Finals: Kelso 0, Gala 39; Melrose 26, Selkirk 21; Select 7, Hawick 53; Jed-Forest 34, Langholm 10. Semi-Finals: Gala 26, Melrose 10; Hawick 24, Jed-Forest 12. Final: Gala 19, Hawick 24. Langholm play Edinburgh Accies in the first round at Kelso Sevens tomorrow. WINNERS . . . the Hawick squad who won the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Langholm sevens at Milntown, beating Gala 24-19 in the final. PRESENTATION … Rory Hutton the Hawick captain receiving the Scott Cup from the Langholm rugby chairman and EWM representative Kenneth Pool