History made as woman scores for the first time in Alnwick Shrovetide football match

History was made at the Shrovetide football match in Alnwick when a woman scored a hale for the first time.
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Ailee Miller, a visiting student from St Cloud University in Minnesota, USA, scored an equalising hale for St Paul’s in the annual fixture played out on The Pastures by Alnwick Castle.

However, it was St Michael’s who took the bragging rights with a 2-1 win thanks to a brace from Thomas Harker, 14, a pupil at Duchess’s Community High School.

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Although there were bright conditions overhead, the saturated ground ensured the game was quite a spectacle for the good crowd watching with plenty of goalmouth scrambles and sliding tackles.

Action from the game.Action from the game.
Action from the game.

It ended with a mad dash to try and get the match ball to the other side of the River Aln, with Shrovetide veteran Steve Temple winning for the eleventh time.

He said: “It’s a great tradition for the local community. It’s good for the whole town to talk about it.

"Everybody can join in, even if you can’t play football of you’re not interested, come down and have a kick.”

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The match was first recorded in 1762 and this was the 193rd game played since 1828.

Steven Temple with the match ball on Lion Bridge.Steven Temple with the match ball on Lion Bridge.
Steven Temple with the match ball on Lion Bridge.

The fixture is one of only five Shrove Tuesday games still in existence.

The game has only a few rules with the goals decorated with greenery and standing about 400 yards apart. The winner is the first to score two ‘hales’.

Good play awards were given to 20 players.

Next year’s fixture takes place on March 2.

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