|Where:||St Columb Major Cornwall- starting in the Market Square (& pub crawl also from Market Square)|
|When:||Shrove Tuesday and the 2nd Saturday after|
|Time:||4.30pm, pubs from 8pm|
Hurling is the Cornish form of the festival handball/mass football games that typically take place around Shrovetide or Easter. The balls used are small like Scottish handballs but are encased in silver; hurling has been a feature of Cornish life for centuries but today only two games survive annually and one of these is the St Columb match which is held twice a year. The first game takes place on Shrove Tuesday and the second on the second Saturday after (so it’s 11 days after the first game). Play starts in the Market Square between the Town and Country teams and can move anywhere in the Parish; the goals are at the Tregamere Turn junction for the County which is north-east of town and at the A3059 Cross Putty junction 1 mile southwest of the centre for the Town. Goals can also be scored by getting the ball over the Parish boundary so expect plenty of running around in fields as well as in the streets, though the game is usually in the town itself for at least an hour and often lasts for around two hours ; there are usually around 50 players and plenty more spectators, especially at the Saturday match. The winner is the competitor who scores the goal, either at one of the predetermined goal points or by taking it over the boundary – the victor gets to keep the silver ball and a pub-crawl follows in which the ball is dipped in a jug of beer (the Silver Beer is considered a lucky drink). Expect few rules and fierce competition, but a good humoured atmosphere!
It’s believed to be lucky to touch the silver ball and there are plenty of opportunities to do this at the start before the game really gets going. Look out for the pub The Silver Ball on Fair Street, named after the game.
In 2018 the games will be played on Tuesday 13th February and Saturday 24th February.
Click here for the village website : http://www.stcolumb.org.uk/
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