Musselburgh in Sevens Heaven
Musselburgh came out on top at the Sevens on Saturday after beating PL in the semi and Watsonians in the final
Four late call offs meant that only 10 teams would contest the Preston Lodge Sevens tournament at the Pennypit on Saturday but that didn’t detract from the quality of rugby in the shortened format, especially from Musselburgh who were worthy winners at the end of the day.
Two preliminary ties would be needed to leave 8 teams for the quarter finals and Haddington were first to be put to the test but they overcame Murrayfield Wanderers quite easily by 24-12. As hosts, Preston Lodge didn’t want to exit the tournament at such an early stage either but the home support had nothing to worry about as their side ran in 6 tries, all converted by Graeme Paterson to beat Forrester 42-14.
The call offs had allowed PL to field a President’s 7 and the next tie would prove quite a challenge for the second string as they faced Watsonians. However, they stuck to the task in hand well but eventually went down by 22-7 to the men from Premier 2. The other quarter final matches saw Haddington beat the far travelled Perthshire by 28-5 with Dan Barber scoring one of the tries of the afternoon and then Musselburgh beat Boroughmuir 15-5.
PL were the final side into the semis following a tricky start against Portobello before they got into their stride and scored 5 tries to win by 31-12. The PL seven was a mixture of youth and experience and Jordan Eales, Blair Robertson and Paul Glynn were catching the eye with strong running and good support play.
The four losing quarter finalists went on to contest the Plate competition and Perthshire were justly rewarded for their efforts by beating the President’s 7 in the semi-final before just edging out Portobello by 33-29 in the final, which was certainly the most exciting game of the afternoon. The win would make the journey back to the Fair City all the better, especially as their Club dinner was being held in the evening.
Back in the main tournament with 3 East Lothian sides still in at the semi-final stage, it was Haddington who would play first against Watsonians. The men in red had played some very entertaining rugby in their previous ties and were unlucky to lose a keenly contested match by a single try.
The second semi was the eagerly anticipated local derby between Musselburgh and Preston Lodge but despite their best efforts, the hosts couldn’t match the pace and style of the boys from the Honest Toun and it was Musselburgh who ran out comfortable winners by 29-12.
The weather deteriorated as the final kicked off and this seemed to unsettle many of the players as tempers flared and the quality of rugby dropped. But Musselburgh captain Neil Hogg urged his team to keep their heads and concentrate on the task in hand and in the end, they managed to score 5 tries to Watsonians’ 2, making the final score 31-14.
PL President, Mrs Shona Brash presented the medals and prizes to the Musselburgh players, including Andrew McMillan who had been voted Player of the Tournament and she wished them well for their next fixture which is the final of the RBS National Shield against Dunfermline at Murrayfield next Saturday.