Uppies take the win at well contested Hobkirk hand ba’

The biggest crowd in many years turned out for Hobkirk’s annual hand ba’ game on Monday afternoon.

Neil Douglas in the middle of the pack at Hobkirk's hand ba'
Neil Douglas in the middle of the pack at Hobkirk's hand ba'

More than 50 men, including visitors from Jedburgh and Denholm took to the streets to contest four ba’s during the annual game.

Long-standing supporter Henry Douglas said: “There was one of the biggest crowds there has been in a while.

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“I think the weather helped. It was a super day, and there really was a lot of young players, which certainly looks well for the future of the ba’.

“There were only four ba’s played this year – there must have been a shortage of weddings – but they were contested well because there was a good lot of players there.”

For some, Monday’s game meant a return trip to the village after the full moon failing to arrive until last Monday evening at 9pm meant the ba’ wasn’t actually played until after Jedburgh’s, causing some confusion.

“The ba’ is always played the first Monday after the moon,” Mr Douglas added.

It has happened before that Hobkirk has played after Jedburgh, but not very often. That caused a bit of confusion, but it’s simply down to the moon.”

Mr and Mrs Graham Bell’s silver wedding ba’ was hailed by uppie Brian Kelly, the memorial ba’ for Doug Aitchison by uppie John Fishwick, Hobkirk Community Council’s ba’ down by Colin Cullen and the Horse and Hound Inn’s ba’ by uppie Kevin Crawford.

Players enjoyed a free bar at the Horse and Hound Inn afterwards.

Ancrum’s hand ba’ takes place this Saturday with the first ba’ being thrown up on the village green at 11am.

Due to Hobkirk’s change of date, Denholm’s ba’ will now take place next Monday, February 18 with the first ba going up around 4pm.