Christmas Day Mens Ba' 1997 by Charles Tait

The 1997 Christmas Mens' Ba'. was thrown up at the traditional 13:00 from the Mercat Cross in Kirkwall's Broad Street by Ian Tulloch, who was a strong Uppie player in the 50's and 60's.  A big scrum of Uppies and Doonies had some good action on Broad Street.

Despite much effort the Uppies proved incapable of pusjing the scrum up the Hill past the Museum, although they did at one point reach George Bain's shop.  By 14:00 the game was back at the Market Cross after several sallies towards TP&JL Lows.

The game then went up onto the Kirk Green and fetched up against the Kirkyard wall, before inexorably moving towards the Tourist Office, and finally into Albert Street about 15:00.  By 16:15 the Uppies managed to stop progress towards the Harbour in the lane at the Pomona
Cafe for some time.  When the pack emerged about an hour later some exciting play ensued.

ring loose play outside Stevenson's shop, Alan Craigie saw the Ba' at his feet, and threw it as far up as he could.  Uppies then ran as far as Ridgway Travel with it before being stopped by a spectator.  The Uppie Kevin Hancock then ran all the way to the corner, touching the Ba' about 17:50.  After the usual struggle, Stuart Gray was hoisted up with his Ba'.

He was quoted as being delighted with the teamwork which led to the success of the break.

Charles Tait
photos by Charles Tait and Ken Amer