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PICTURES: Shrovetide football action in Alnwick

Action from Alnwick's Shrovetide football match 2018. Picture by Jason Sumner
Action from Alnwick's Shrovetide football match 2018. Picture by Jason Sumner
  • Short but sweet as St Michael’s win again
  • 16-minute clash settled by hales from Lee Pattinson and Steven Alderson
  • Steven Temple emerges from Aln with the ball

St Michael’s retained their bragging rights in Tuesday’s Shrovetide football match in Alnwick, coming out on top over St Paul’s 2-0.

And if you missed the action, you can click the link above to view our gallery of photos, taken by Andrew Mounsey and Jason Sumner.

In one of the shortest games in recent memory, the traditional clash between the two parishes featured an opening hale (goal) from regular scorer Lee Pattinson, who secured the only hale in 2017’s victory, after just over nine-and-a-half minutes.

It was followed just over five minutes later by a conquering hale from Steven Alderson in a relatively one-sided game featuring around 70 players and watched by 300 or so spectators.

Falling in the schools’ half-term week, Shrovetide committee member Archie Jenkins said he noticed more younger children there this year.

“Considering it was a poor weather forecast, it was nearly perfect in that it was calm, because the wind can make a difference,” he added.

The fixture began in traditional fashion, with the ball being dropped from Alnwick Castle’s Barbican to the crowds below. The Duchess of Northumberland did the honours this year.

Led by a piper, the players, spectators and committee then marched down The Peth to the furlong-in-length match field on the Pastures.

Once the action was over, 17 players were each rewarded for good play.

After this, the ball was kicked into the River Aln, prompting the usual scramble in the water to reach it first and carry it to the opposite bank.

After missing out last year due to illness – and watching his cousins make it across successfully – another Shrovetide veteran, Steven Temple, was the man who emerged from the chilly water with the ball.

However, it was actually one of the American students from St Cloud who had won the battle to claim it in the river before throwing it onto Steven.