The ham remains unclaimed after the popular Greasy Pole event this year. 

Despite several good tries from the Affleck team, the current squad's Greasy Pole veterans were unable to bring down the ham for the first time in around 15 years. 

A longer pole was installed last week, after a shorter replacement had be used when alleged saboteurs attempted to saw through it in 2017. 

Irvine Times:

James Affleck thanked the huge crowd that turned out for the Marymass highlight but told the Times: "It wasn't half a shame”.

“We had a team of young boys who had been practising, then of course they saw the big one going up and lost all notion.  

Irvine Times: James Affleck with 16-year-old son JamesJames Affleck with 16-year-old son James

"At first we weren't planning on doing it, but if we didn't no one else would. The way it turned out that pole was a lot harder for us nevermind young kids that had never done it before. 

"It was the busiest I've seen the pole with the young ones. It was a good thing to see but it's just one of those things.

"We all gave it a go anyway. I do think the crowd enjoyed it more the way it worked. The only people that complain about the pole is everybody that doesn't even turn up." 

Irvine Times:

James added that he wished to thank Kai Nugent, James Affleck Jnr, Sam Lennon, Jordon Winton and John Bell, as well as Jim Stewart for his dedication to the competition.

And Jim Stewart thanked Darren Gray and Jordon Gray for their help in the team.

A Marymass Festival committee spokesperson said: “A new, taller greasy pole was put in place on Friday, the day prior to the festival. This pole was around 3m taller and our aim was to make the challenge more difficult following feedback over the past few years. 

Irvine Times:

“The team attempting to retrieve the ham from the top of the pole put in a real effort and provided superb entertainment to the many thousands of spectators for the full afternoon. 

“Our thanks must go to the competitors for their efforts.” 

Ex Captain Andy Tremble added: "The effort from the team was brilliant, it keeps the greasy pole alive and running and part of the history and heritage of Marymass." 

To watch the Greasy Pole click here.