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Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide 2014

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 April 2014

Cheers as Stuart is carried through the streets in a tradition which dates back centuries

Cheers as Stuart is carried through the streets in a tradition which dates back centuries

as submitted, Andrew Eyley

Once again crowds from home and abroad arrived at Ashbourne to participate in this now legendary annual event... Photographs by Andrew Eyley

Two men well-known in the local community were chosen for the honour of turning up the ball this year. On Shrove Tuesday it was joiner, businessman and previous Shrovetide player Stuart Lees who turned up the ball. Mr Lees, a retained firefighter in Ashbourne for 30 years, is also known for his part in the erection of Ashbourne’s distinctive bunting each year. On Ash Wednesday it was the chance for engineer and previous scorer for the Up’ards, Stephen Bott to ascend the plinth in Shawcroft at 2pm and turn up the ball, following the traditional rendering of Auld Lang Syne and the National Anthem.

The run of play this year definitely favoured the Up’ards, who goaled the ball on both days in what will be remembered as an eventful, intense and compelling contest. In contrast to previous years, the weather certainly favoured Royal Shrovetide 2014! The scorer on Shrove Tuesday was Dan Naylor, who goaled at Sturston Mill shortly after 7pm, following a determined push by the hug. Ash Wednesday’s goal by James Carter occurred just after the 5pm deadline for a second turn-up, depriving the Down’ards of a chance to attempt a fight back. And so visitors and film crews return home as peace returns to Ashbourne and both sides have a year to mull over this year’s result and plan tactics for 2015!

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