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Police officers injured as scuffles broke out following annual sham fight in Scarva

Two police officers were injured during an incident which took place following the annual sham fight in Scarva today.

Six people were arrested after scuffles broke out during the annual demonstration organised by the Royal Black Institution.

The officers were treated at the scene and the parade was delayed as a result of the incident.

Armagh I understands that the train carrying members of the Royal Black preceptory from the Portadown district was also held today.

There was a heavy police presence throughout the day at the event, which saw upwards of 100,000 descend on the picturesque village.

The incident happened during the return leg of the demonstration.

And, despite the occurrence, it did not detract from what was a fantastic day out for all the family.

From an early hour, thousands began to arrive to take up the best vantage points to witness the annual spectacle, the biggest single stand-alone event in the local calendar.

A total of 71 bands, accompanied by local Preceptories, made their way  through the village en route to the demesne.

There was a fine mix of bands, including pipe, silver and accordion.

There was a particularly large show of flute bands, with Drumderg Loyalists from Keady, Ballyrea Boyne Defenders, Bessbrook True Blues, Kilcluney Volunteers and Portadown True Blues among their number.

Two visiting bands from Scotland also paraded, with the perennial favourites, Black Skull Flute Band from Glasgow applauded by the appreciative crowds as they passed into the demesne, where the speeches and resolutions were read in front of Scarvagh House.

The actual Sham Fight – the re-enactment of King William’s victory over King James – was what most came to see and, with the crack of the weaponry and the horse-back figures surrounded by the spectators who followed their every move.

The sun shone throughout the day and there was no need for any umbrellas this year. The traditional ice-cream vans and hot food vans at the demesne did a roaring trade, as participants took the opportunity to rest weary feet and enjoy some welcome refreshments before the return journey.

It was a day with a real family feel and the fun fair at the far end of the demesne really added to the occasion, the young – and not so young – queuing to put their nerves to the test with the ‘Terminator’ a particular favourite.

It was all over too soon for most and the organisers are to be commended for once again laying on a day of spectacle, of colour, of pageantry, where many aquaintances were renewed and many, many more memories made.

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