How Hurling sired Rugby

 
Hurling is Cornwall’s national game in 1602 and you are its star.
You and your 50 odd teammates from St Columb Major wipe the muddy floor with Cornish all-comers and wrestle those who try to stop you when you’re in full flow with the small, round, silver ball. 
After each wrestle-cum-tackle, you realign your teeth and get back to the game of placing the ball into a goal - be it a church, trough or neighbouring town – and still somehow keep your white smock and hobnail dew-beater boots spotlessly clean.  
With 200 years of winning ‘hurling-to-country’ under your belt, you reckon it’s time to have a go at ‘hurling-to-goal’.
New travels fast of this full-contact team sport played between two equal-numbered teams of Cornish hunks running at one another but passing the ball backwards!
It attracts fans of Welsh cnappan, folk football and the Scottish game of ba’.
One day, you see Mary Penrose watching you play at a pitch near Constantine.
She flirts, admires your sport as a work-in-progress then swans off to Rugby School in Warwick with her headmaster husband Thomas Arnold, and they nick your idea and call it ‘Rugby Football’. 
Nevertheless you persevere.
By 1870, the mining towns catch on and teams are formed by fishermen, miners and public schoolboys alike, yet still you rule the roost.  
You try it out on St Columb Major but they just don’t get it.
Instead, they stick to hurling on their 25acre patch, still the largest sports ground in the world today.