st VALENTINE’S Day it may have been, but of far more significance in a Borders royal burgh was a game taking place that is almost as old as romance.
For it was Jethart Hand Ba’ day last Thursday when the town’s Uppies and Doonies boys and men played ba’s throughout the afternoon.
Supporter and former provost Len Wyse said: “It was one of the best Ba’s ever – there were more players and a great crowd came from all over to watch.
“The boys had a great Ba’, playing until 4.30pm which is two hours more than normal. This was from a 12 o’clock start, yet their energy never waned.
“They played on their own without supervision most of the time, yet kept the Ba’ moving and fair play was the order of the day.
“This bodes well for the future of the Ba’, it’s just a pity that from an Uppies – my – point of view, the Doonies seem to be gaining strength!”
The Doonies won the Boys’ Ba’ 6-3 and again triumphed in the men’s game, 8-7.
Mr Wyse said one of the stars of the day was Bobby Elder, who hailed the Schule Ba’ for the Doonies in the Boys’ Ba’, then played for his father in the men’s and scored Up. Andrew Thomson, of Jedburgh, bagged a hat-trick in the boys’ event, while Graham Slorance repeated the feat in the men’s.
Mr Wyse added: “There were the normal grazes and sprains, but no serious injuries.”