Should any cricket historians survive Britain’s descent into an ungovernable failed state, they may be tempted to overlook this rather one-sided looking scorecard. But as Jeremy Corbyn will tell you, some defeats can also be victories. Like most Saturdays for as long as anyone could remember, the game began as the players were recovering from a critical national ballot. Seeking a strong and stable start in brilliant sunshine, Bloody Lads captain Caius Pawson won the toss, chose to bat and was promptly bowled by maybe the best delivery the league has seen this season. Arcing in before cutting away and hitting the off stump, it would have broken Jeremy Vine’s swing-ometer. For Caius – the few and not the many. After a late night, no doubt poring over voting behaviour in marginal seats, Alex Gibson strode out to calm his anxious membership. Like any psephologist true to his craft, he got out first ball and returned to the election data. Suddenly, it was Camel CC versus Coalition of Chaos CC. CCC v CCCC. Camel seamer Nick called in the field for his hat-trick ball. Its anticlimactic negotiation heralded a period of uneasy calm as the Bloody Lads set about trying to restore order. Chasseau, Alexander, Bennett and Ensor all contributed runs against accurate seam bowling on an uneven pitch. Sharp fielding. None could go on and make a match-defining contribution. Having loudly criticised the middle order for not scoring fast enough, Sheldon Greenland irritated them even more by striding out at number 7 and hitting 39 off about three deliveries. Despite a disciplined and determined display in the field from Camel CC, the Bloody Lads total suddenly looked defendable – 197 off 40 overs. Greenland was to the fore again in the next dig, sending down an opening spell of pure fire. Not only was it quick, but it was farcically economical. 8 overs, 10 runs. With Joe Ridout unerringly accurate at the other end, Camel CC’s top order should be congratulated on some fine batting, losing only one early wicket – an unplayable off-cutter from Greenland. Captain Tom particularly stubborn. Soon, first change seamer Stan Grant was to make his decisive intervention. Using a helpful pitch to devastating effect, he took 5 for 19, including a triple-wicket maiden, and the heart of Camel’s resistance had been ripped out. Standing strong all the while had been Camel’s number 4 batsman Matt. With the sound of some truly desperate wordplay from the Bloody Lads cordon ringing in his ears, he blazed away in the heat. From the boundary came regular hoots of encouragement from an intriguing castaway with bedraggled hair and sun-bleached short trousers. One of Springfield Park’s ornamental hermits no doubt. For a moment, after a particularly damaging over including three boundaries, it looked as though Matt was about to teach the ‘W’-sniffing Lads a lesson. Sure, Camel had lost a few wickets, but enough overs remained. Stan Grant put paid to that, aided by crucial wickets for Chasseaud and the excellent Sule-Legbe, and the Bloody Lads breathed a sigh of relief. Not a classic, but a beautiful day of cricket in the North East London League. In the setting sun, the teams retired to a canal-side pub, dropped anchor, and talked of hope. Well, maybe not everyone, but certainly a small majority.