Jethart folk have a ba’ after two years hiatus

The return of the Jethart Ba’ was welcomed by players and spectators alike last Thursday after two years out due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photos by Bill McBurnie.

And it's certainly been missed by the Jedburgh community, with a decent 31 ba’s being hailed, each sponsored by a local business or family marking a milestone.

Ba’ historian and long-time supporter and player Billy Gillies, 79, said: “It was really good to see it return, and the streets were quite full.

The boy's ba' well under way at Jedburgh. Photos: Bill McBurnie.

"There were a lot of boys playing, which was good to see, and there were even more than usual men playing too … and there was no trouble throughout the day.”

And there was even a celebrity appearance from telly star Jill Halfpenny, who was filming a history series about the Scottish Borders, due to be shown this Easter. The Byker Grove and The Holiday star even took part, scoring a ba’ for the Uppies.

And the scores were wonderfully close, with the Uppies edging the youths event 8-7, and the Doonies winning the men’s event 9-7 and the overall victory 16-15.

The sponsors of the Youths ba’s included local businesses such as the Jed Water Caravan Park, Starrett, Emtelle and Cullen & Kilshaw, with Matthew Palmer scoring thrice, and Harry Wright, Calum Wyness and Louie Reid all taking doubles.

Craig Cargill was off to a flying start at Jedburgh Hand Ba'.

In the adults' ba, sponsors included the Callants Club, Out There Artisan and the Carters’ Rest, while, mirroring the earlier ba’ in Hobkirk, a special memorial ba’ was played in memory of popular player Stewart Ramsay, who died recently in a road traffic accident, with a tearful minute’s silence being held before that penultimate game.

For the adults, Graham Slorance was top of the shop with three hails, while Sean Paxton hard on his heels with two, both of them adding to the Doonies’ score.

Fergus Falconer with the ba' at Jedburgh playing for the Uppies.
Jedburgh's Carly Frater, pictured with her daughter Olivia, returned all the way from Australia.
Darren Gillespie and Craig Cargill battle for the ba'
The Stewart Ramsay Memorial Ba' was thrown up by his cousin Robbie Duff. Pictured with Stewart's parents Liz and Ally and Stewart's partner Steph and daughter Ava.
Zander MacTaggart breaks free.
Actress Jill Halfpenny who made an appearance at the Jedthart Hand Ba and hailed the Mr & Mrs B Gillies Ba for the Uppies.
Brother and Sister Nathan, Lois and father Charlie Young at Jedburgh Hand Ba'. Nathan celebrates his 18th Birthday and Lois celebrates her 21st on the same day this year
Fergus Falconer with the ba' at Jedburgh playing for the Uppies
Charlie Lewis scored the John and Steven Frater Memorial Ba for the Doonies.
Fergus Falconer with the ba' at Jedburgh
Louie Reid loses the ball while being tackled at Jedburgh Hand Ba'
Nathan Young with the ball at Jedburgh Hand Ba'
Caiden Grant with the Ba at Jedburgh Hand Ba'
Jedburgh's Kian Haig with the Ba