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Uppie break proves critical in Men’s New Year’s Day Ba’ game

The winner of the 2019 Men’s New Year’s Day Ba’, Steven Spence.

In a game that looked as if it was shaping up to be a cold, hard slog, a critical break proved the decisive moment for the men’s 2019 New Year’s Day Ba’.

The eventual winner of the game was Steven Spence, from Halley, Deerness, who was raised high by his fellow Uppies, just a couple of minutes before 3pm.

With the weather proving to be bitterly cold and blustery at the game’s start, at 1pm, it was veteran Uppie player Benny Thomson, from St Margaret’s Hope, who did the honours of launching the George Drever-crafted ba’ from the mercat cross, into the awaiting mass of players gathered on Kirkwall’s Broad Street.

The vast majority of the game proved tough going, with a quick break taking the ba’ to the junction with Castle Street in the first twenty minutes. However the teams weren’t able to get the better of each other and after some back and forth near the junction between Broad Street and Castle Street, the game only managed to inch down Castle Street before getting stuck in a lane next to the Masonic Hall.

After a standstill which lasted nearly an entire hour, an Uppie break back onto Castle Street, involving Magnus Flett, Wayne Monkman, Joe Wilson and other Uppies saw the ba’ head onto Junction Road in the direction of the Uppie goal, with Uppie Adam Robinson and spectator Gary Norquoy, taking the ba’ the final leg to touch Mackinson’s corner.

After a very short competition between the Uppie players, Steven Spence was raised as the game’s winner.

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