John Harrison, who has been making the balls for Royal Shrovetide for more than 20 years, was repaid for his efforts by being invited to turn up the ball to start play on Wednesday.
Steam rises as the teams compete for the ball in the River Henmore.
Heavy rain and snow made for muddy conditions for players and spectators.
A huge puddle in a field off Mayfield Road.
Players grapple over an old milk float to get near to the ball.
Quagmire conditions as play continues through the afternoon.
Local pride was more important than keeping clean and dry.
Spectators see the steam rise along Mayfield Road.
There were safety concerns when a round hole opened up on a field close to Mayfield Road which the ball had arrived at.
The hole revealed an old well, the brickwork clearly visible in this photograph.
The Fire Brigade arrived to cover the hole and warned spectators and players to stay away from that part of the field.
Mick Betteridge - secretary of Ashbourne Shrovetide committee listens to the pleas of the players following the Up'ards disputed late goal.
What are these?