Thistles Bloom To Reach Melrose Final

Scottish Thistles, the Scotland 7s development team, raised their game to dispose of the shadow Ireland 7s team and reach the final of the 125th Mathon Melrose Sevens at the Greenyards this afternoon. Scottish success had been replicated in earlier rounds by club sides with Jed-Forest accounting for the Chinese Agricultural University in round two and Melrose magnificently overturning a 0-12 margin to knockout the holders, Shimlas in the quarter-finals.

Scottish Thistles, the Scotland 7s development team, raised their game to dispose of the shadow Ireland 7s team and reach the final of the 125th Mathon Melrose Sevens at the Greenyards this afternoon.

Scottish success had been replicated in earlier rounds by club sides with Jed-Forest accounting for the Chinese Agricultural University in round two and Melrose magnificently overturning a 0-12 margin to knockout the holders, Shimlas in the quarter-finals.

The Thistles had endured a sticky start to their campaign but they stepped up successfully when it was necessary.

Their coach, Stephen Gemmell said: "We knew it was going to be a hard game, more physical, but the boys stepped up and came on to ball well. We now have to draw on our experience regardless of who we face in the final."

Ali Warnock launched the Thistles' progress in the semi, scrambling over from loose play in the right corner and adding the conversion for good measure.

Ulster President's VII's Keith Earls, a persistent threat in earlier ties, notched their try but a quick-witted score from Greig Laidlaw saw the Thistles stretch their lead to 14-5 at the break.

The Thistles, who scrummaged and defended with aplomb, sealed their passage to the final with a fine individual try from Mike Adamson, stepping out of a tackle to dot down under the posts for Warnock to add his third conversion of the tie.

In the quarter-final Thistles were patient in defence and eventually found some potency in attack to beat Roma 19-5.

Thistles opened there with a well-constructed try by Greig Laidlaw, which Ali Warnock converted. Roma's Lloyd O'Connor pulled back a try but second-half scores from Ben Addison, following up his own kick-ahead, and Chris Fusaro, from Scott Forrest's cross kick, saw the Scots home without the assistance of Warnock's added goal points to Fusaro's score.

Earlier the Thistles, comprising a squad all of whom have had experience on the IRB circuit, were involved in something of an arm wrestle against Currie, before edging clear.

In truth Thistles made heavy weather of that tie, level 7 all at half-time, before eventually finding some width on the sticky surface to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Thistles tries were scored by Mike Adamson, Ali Warnock, Richie Vernon and Ben Addison with Warnock landing one conversion.

In the second semi-final, Melrose, after a heroic quarter-final victory over the Shimlas, just could not compete with the gas that Leicester Tigers possessed in abundance.

Melrose Sevens results


Semi-finals

Scottish Thistles 21 Ulster 5

Leicester Tigers 31 Melrose 7

Quarter-finals:

Scottish Thistles 19 Roma 5

Ulster 26 Gold Coast Breakers 5

Second round:

Currie 7 Scottish Thistles 22

Dundee HSFP 12 Roma 19

Watsonians 5 Ulster President's V!! 28

Peebles 10 Gold Coast Breakers 36

Kelso 5 Leicester Tigers 40

Jed-Forest 24 Chinese Agricultural University 14

Melrose 24 Selkirk 0

Boroughmuir 12 Shimlas 17 (after extra-time)

First round:

Langholm 5 Currie 7

Dundee HSFP 24 Gala 5

Watsonians 28 West of Scotland 5

Peebles 21 Edinburgh Accies 7

Kelso 19 Heriot's 15

Jed-Forest 20 Hawick 17

Glasgow Hawks 7 Melrose 36

Ayr 0 Boroughmuir 33