Sat May 26th – 7th XI v Fonthill Park


In 1917 the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in Petrograd and brought about the socialist revolution which led to the foundation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. This country stayed in existence till 1990, when it collapsed under the weight of its own economic and political exhaustion. The performance of the Dulwich 7th XI in the field in today’s game against Fonthill Park bore a considerable resemblance to the history of the Soviet Union. Captain John Smith (who wears a moustache not dissimilar to the one worn by Joseph Stalin) led his men out and urged them on to ever more Stakhanovite labours. For the unitiated, Aleksei Stakhanov was a miner who laboured ceaselessly in the second 5 year plan in 1935 and produced an unpredented 102 tons of coal in 6 hours. Sadly, all this was to no avail: the tide of history in the shape of opening batsman Lord Rawlinson was ultimately against them. Lord Rawlinson, ably assisted by several other revisionists and White Russians in the Fonthill side, mounted an assault on the Dulwich proletariat with a series of disdainful carves, cuts and cleaves to all parts of the Fonthill Park Estate. The subtle and delicate flight and guile of Gibson was subject to a particularly disrespectful mauling by the patrician Rawlinson.  Eventually, Gibson was removed from the attack by Stalin and sent to the Gulag outfield where he proceeded to field like a three legged dromedary with piles. 

At length, Rawlinson fell to the Menshevik Mascarenhas, with his medley of moderate military medium pacers and Fonthill finished on the apparently unassailable 283 in 40 overs. 

Cook and Blench started the innings in sprightly fashion, but Cook’s less than sprightly running between the wickets proved to be his Achilles heel. Branch and Webster essayed some robust strokes and at the other end Blench continued his progress towards his century not unlike Cleopatra’s barge of “burnished gold with sails so perfumed that the winds were lovesick. “ (Act 2 Antony & Cleopatra by Shakespeare). Unfortunately, the barge never quite achieved the speed required for victory and Fonthill Park completed a hatrick of victories. But, Fonthill, a word of warning: Next year Dulwich 7th XI will screw their courage to the sticking place and they will not fail. The one flaw in this argument is that it was used by Lady Macbeth and we all know what happened to her. 

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