Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 16, 1905.djvu/110

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88 Collectanea.

of horse hair, and the speil^ a lath of wood ten to twelve inches long and about two inches broad. A hole is then made in the ground sufficiently large to admit the ball and the point of the speil {an toll), and forming a semicircle behind it with a radius of about twenty yards are five calaidh or calaichean (ports, har- bours). Sides being chosen, one of them takes possession of the hole, the other side fields out. One of the side in lays the speil with its one point in the hole and places the ball on it. With his straicean he hits the projecting end of the lath, jerking the ball into the air, which he tries to strike out. If he fails to do this three times, he stands aside till the game is finished. If he hits the ball, one of his party runs to the first of the five calaichean, and runs as many of them as he thinks he can with safety. If the ball is caught after being hit, the whole side is put out, or if the side out can get what is caMed pu'ean, i.e. tossing the ball into the hole when returning it to the striker out. If one of the runners is struck with the ball between two calaichean, the indi- vidual is out till the end of the game. If none of these three mis- fortunes for the side in have happened, the batsman measures the number of straicean lengths between the hole and the place where the ball rested, and that number is scored to the party in. Another of the in party then takes the bat and the first striker out may start on the round. If two men are caught at one port, one is put out. During the course of a game, either side may be in several times. The match is won by the side which first makes the aggregate of straicean lengths fixed on.

(P. 19, after line 23.)

The age of these games is well attested. In the Cattle Spoil of Coolly (Grimm Library, xvi. 23) Cuchulainn is playing a ball game against three fifties of other boys. " When it was hole- driving that they did he filled the hole with his balls, and they could not ward him off. When they were all throwing into the hole he warded them off alone, so that not a single ball would go in it."

Single Pellet.

As played in Orkney is somewhat like the immediately pre- ceding. A ball, a bat, and a tongue are required, the last being