Doonies celebrate fantastic comeback victory

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

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Monday afternoon on a crisp, snow-covered Denholm green, more than 50 players gathered to participate in the playing of the annual ba’ game.

Ba’ stalwart Kevin Crawford, 46, said that it was a good turnout, even though the tightened drink driving laws have made it a bit less of a social occasion.

Lindsay Rae with his parents golden anniversary ball (Nancy and Jake)'Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Lindsay Rae with his parents golden anniversary ball (Nancy and Jake)'Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

He said: “Folk put money on the ba’s and I can remember back in the day coming out of the pub a bit blootered, but you just can’t do that now.

“But we’ve kept a lot of the money and the lads will have a good drink on Saturday.

“It was cold this year, but it’s quite warm when you’re in the strow!

“The conditions made it a bit difficult when it got dark as the ground was soft and you couldn’t hear the ba’ drop.”

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Things, as usual, started slowly, and it was the Uppies who scored first when experienced stalwart Doug Aitchison smuggled away the first ba’.

Sean Linton scooped and nabbed the second score for the Uppies minutes later.

Joe Crawford, still recovering from his Wales excursion at the weekend, got the Doonies on the scoresheet by making the next ball “disappear”.

Sean Linton extended the Uppies’ lead again when he silently ebbed off the green with ba’ in pocket.

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

The afternoon sun had now gone and temperatures plummeted to minus degrees, meaning most of the players were happy to be part of the melee just to keep warm.

Gregor Paxton brought the game closer for the Doonies when he scored after some good “ground” work by Nod Laing.

Skippy Goodfellow brought the precedings to a nailbiting finale when he equalised for the Doonies with a deft piece of smuggling.

So all was to play for on the last ba’.

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

The game finished when young Doonie Cameron Redpath was first to react when the ba’ hit the ground after the “throw up” and promptly moved innocently off the green to score, and put the cherry on top of a cracking comeback victory.

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Hand 'ba action on Denholm's village green

Silhouette of Leyden's Monument on Denholm Green at sunset

Silhouette of Leyden's Monument on Denholm Green at sunset