Workington's traditional Easter Uppies and Downies series for under way with a hard-fought match last night.

After a long tussle during which neither side wanted to give an inch, the Uppies seemed to take the advantage as the scrum went on the march across Brow Top car park and towards the town centre.

But there was a turnaround as the Downies managed to sneak the ball out.

And, after a period of confusion during which people searched the two hailing points for signs of the ball, Stephen Busby, 42, of Seaton arrived at the harbour, soaking wet, to hail it for the Downies.

His victory came nearly three-and-a-half hours after the game was started by Darcie Saffill, nine, of Northside, who threw off the match ball at 6.30pm.

Darcie was excited to carry out the important role in the match and said she had been on countdown to it all day.

Players immediately leapt on the ball and a scrum formed in Soapery Beck.

Within five minutes the ball had been thrown onto Black Path with players in hot pursuit.

About 10 minutes after the game started, the scrum was back in the beck right next to the bridge where it all began.

The scrum spent a while on the Allerdale House side of the beck, with the Uppies trying to push up and over onto the car park, but the Downies weren’t giving any ground.

And from there, just over 20 minutes into the game, play moved onto the nearby grass, where it stayed, with very little movement, for nearly 50 minutes.

A breakaway throw took the scrum to nearby trees but they soon manoeuvred out of the way and were quickly back on the grass.

After a long stalemate, there was a burst of action when someone made a run for it with the ball.

He got it across the beck and onto the car park between Allerdale House and the leisure centre before he was stopped.

And from there the scrum ended up back in the water, before pushing up and out and heading onto Brow Top car park.

After a hard-fought tussle that lasted almost 40 minutes, confusion ensued as the players in the scrum conceded they had lost the ball.

And it was only after fans had trailed to both hailing points and found them deserted that word came through that Stephen or another Downie had the ball.

It was only a few minutes later that Stephen - wet through - arrived at the harbour to hail the ball and take the first game for the Downies.

The series continues on Tuesday, when the Uppies will be keen to regain some pride as the Downies seek to take another step towards a series whitewash.

To catch up with all the live action as it happened, click here.