|Silver Hurling ball from Saint Columb - Original photo by Denis Ellery reproduced with permission. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. (I cant find the name of the contributor)|
[cont.] "...Passing from pancakes to “hurling,” it may be necessary, for the sake of the uninitiated, to explain what hurling is. It is not an eatable, as might be supposed from its association with pancakes, but a wild rough-and-tumble game. A silver ball, or rather a hard wood ball, the size of a cricket-ball, eased in silver, and costing about three guineas, is provided by public subscription, or by some generous patron of the game; and on the silver casing is engraved a legend beginning—
“Town and Country do your best,
for in this Parish I must rest.”
The game consists in a contest between the townsfolk and the country-folk. Two goals (granite stones, resembling drinking-troughs) stand two miles apart, one a mile on the road to Newquay, and the other a mile on the Padstow road. One is the Town goal, and the other the Country. The hurling starts from the market-place, and the side that first plants the ball in its goal wins.
For weeks previous to Shrove Tuesday both sides are busy practising in the lanes and fields, and for this purpose “lattice balls" are used—that is, wood balls cased with tin; and it is surprising how quickly the hands are accustomed to catch the ball, even when thrown with great force. The game starts at 4.30 p.m., and throughout the afternoon the country-folk, young farmers, farm-labourers, village tailors, blacksmiths, and shoemakers may be seen pouring into the town, the majority wearing white ‘smock-frocks and warlike countenances..." [cont.]