PHOTOS: Hallaton wins again after epic Bottle battle

Hallaton came from behind in the best-of-three Bottle Kicking match to win the ancient annual competition for the fourth year in a row.

The village’s 2-1 victory over traditional opponents Medbourne came in an epic three-and-a-half hour battle.

Action during the Hallaton Bottle Kicking.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Action during the Hallaton Bottle Kicking.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

“Medbourne won a very long first end and then were so strong at the start of the second it looked like they would run to victory” admitted Hallaton’s chairman Phil Allan.

“But Hallaton rallied to secure the second, and the third, after another big struggle.”

Mr Allan said Hallaton’s Harry Hollis and Chris Potter were probably Men of the Match.

The earlier rain kept the crowd down to 5,000, but also kept injuries to a minmum because of the soft ground.

Mr Allan had a special mention for David ‘Wacker’ Wainwright who retired this year after 50 years as Custodian of the Bottles.

And he also thanked the Rev Richard Curtis for his involvement in the church service and traditional Hare Pie parade and distribution.

“He really gets into the spirit of the whole thing” Mr Allan said.

The origins of the event is lost in the mists of time.

Written records date from the late 18th century, but the custom could be linked toHallaton’s long history as a religious centre, which could pre-date Christianity.