WATCH: Plenty of thrills and spills in Alnwick Shrovetide football match

The parish of St Paul took the bragging rights in this afternoon's Shrovetide football match in Alnwick, beating rivals St Michael 2-1 in a fiercely-contested game.

Scott Elliott, 16, from Newcastle, was the hero, scoring the winning goal - known as a hale - with a spectacular strike from range. Shrovetide veteran Steven Temple, 43, from Alnwick had opened the scoring to put St Paul 1-0 up. Alnwick's Lee Pattinson, 34, equalised for St Michael before Elliott clinched victory with a memorable effort worthy of winning any game.

Action from today's Shrovetide football match in Alnwick. Picture by Michael Pearson.

Action from today's Shrovetide football match in Alnwick. Picture by Michael Pearson.

The annual clash, played over a furlong-in-length pitch, was once again full of the usual thrills, spills and no-holds-barred tackling, but there was not as much mud or puddles as in previous years.

The fixture began in traditional fashion, with the ball being dropped from Alnwick Castle's Barbican to the crowds below. The Duke of Northumberland's daughter, Lady Catherine, did the honours this year. Spectators, players and the Shrovetide committee then marched down The Peth to the matchfield, which was full of divots, lumps and bumps.

The match attracted a good number of competitors, with Shrovetide secretary Archie Jenkins clocking nearly 70 players, which included American students from St Cloud State University who are currently studying at Alnwick Castle.

Once the clash was over, the ball was kicked into the River Aln, prompting a mad scramble in the water to reach it first and carry it to the opposite bank. As in previous years, Steven Temple and his cousin Ali Miller, 22, from Alnwick, managed to win the dash to the other side.

The ball drops into the hale as Scott Elliott's fabulous strike won the contest for the parish of St Paul. Picture by Michael Pearson.

The ball drops into the hale as Scott Elliott's fabulous strike won the contest for the parish of St Paul. Picture by Michael Pearson.

Alnwick's Shrovetide football match is a historic one, with the first recorded game being played in the town in 1762.

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