Preview of my new series on ‘Hurling’.
"St Columb and The Silver Ball - Hurling on Steroids"
'At first glance St Columb Major appears to be a sleepy Cornish village where not a lot happens but twice a year this small town boards up all its windows and shops then battens down the hatches ready for the ancient Cornish game of hurling.
A team from outside of the village is assembled to do battle with the team from St Columb and the game begins to the cry of “Town and country do your best. But in this parish I must rest”.
A silver ball the size of a cricket ball is thrown into the crowd and the two teams then battle for possession of the ball, unlike the Irish game of hurling the teams don’t use sticks. This usually then turns into a chase all around the town and even in to the neighbouring countryside as the two teams battle it out. Cornish Hurling has no rules and no referee, on occasions the two teams have even carried the game into private houses, shops and pubs
Each team can be made up of a hundred or more people and the aim of the game is to get the silver ball to two goals set roughly two miles apart or to get the ball over the parish boundary. The whole spectacle usually lasts all day and celebrations for the winner all evening as the victorious team parade the silver ball through the village pubs dunking it in gallon jugs of beer which are then shared out amongst the team.’