Friendly Match vs Hackney Ashes (Intra-Club), Sat 23rd September 2017, London Fields


England Beat ROW

by poet Phil Clark

Your scribe missed the opening clashes

Of the long-awaited Hashes

After the Englishmen raised hell

By conspiring with TFL

To whip the trains off the track

And keep him out of the attack.


But none of these machinations mattered

As England won the toss and batted

The ROWdie blueprint for the win

Was always to open up with spin

Expecting Clark, the Poms copped Shah

Skilled as Picasso, fierce as McGrath


So by the time your scribe arrived

The Poms were already 3 for 5 (5 for 3 – ed)

Apparently Lord's impeccable umping

Had resulted in Robin’s stumping

And then the match looked good as Dunn

When Vijay snagged another one.


Baffled, bashed and ego-bruised

Oli Turner joined Tom Hughes

Renowned for ability and agility

But rarely, if ever, for stability

They resurrected England’s innings

And conjured faintest dreams of winning


Til Miller parted their company

And the ROWdies showed no sympathy

The scribe returned from Turley’s End

And contrived to get the rock to bend

First past Cowie’s then Ekblom’s stick

Al’s catch off Sayer snagged the hat trick.


Now this is where this tale alters

As the battered became the bolters

The aim of the stanzas that remain

Is to try, perhaps in vain, to explain

How the ROWdies so quickly travelled

From unrivalled to unravelled.


Had this verse been penned that night

It would’ve spat post-colonial spite

Reminding all those knights and knaves

That when Britannia ruled the waves

With skippers straight from ‘public’ schools

Britannia unwaveringly waived the rules.


It would’ve got bogged in syntactic mire

Trying to compare ‘empire’ and ‘umpire’

(Beneath the veneer of colonial neutrality

Lurks a finely honed brutality)

Lamenting another lager-fuelled lapse

As the ump’s crooked finger triggered collapse.


But all that would’ve been sour grapes for a start

(Though none could deny grapes played their part)

And would detract from the truer reason

The Poms rule the roost for another season

Such bilious whining would be purest folly

And scrub from history the heroics of Oli


Whose six-fer blew the ROWdies asunder

With Victorian relish for pillage and plunder

His guile and float bamboozled McCrindle

Ragging Taz’s leg stump was a ludicrous swindle

(A mention for Sanders who pocketed three

But the tale of the day was the Turner spree).


Carnage, I’m told, that outlived the dawn

But by then your scribe was truly gone

Forlornly hunched at Hackney station

Would TFL serve his destination?

Because you couldn’t put it past these bastardy Poms

To beat you then ensure you can’t even get home.

London Fields Batting

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Hackney Ashes (Intra-Club) Bowling

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Hackney Ashes (Intra-Club) Batting

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London Fields Bowling

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