GCC v East Ham Corinthians - Match Report
Sun 2nd September 2018
by Olly Cunningham
And now it’s time for a sentimental trip down memory lane, here on BBC Dulwich. Loving – televised in France as Amoureusement Votre (Lovingly Yours), in Greece as Éρωτες έρωτες έρωτες (Love, Love, Love) and in Italy as Quando si ama (When Somebody Loves) – was a staple fix for any 1980s daytime soap junkie. Set in the fictional town of Corinth, Pennsylvania, the schemes and heartaches of the blue-blooded Aldens and the working class Donovans kept very few of us enthralled. Who could forget the scheming Ava Rescott, who faked a pregnancy with a pillow, only to be undone by her lover’s identical twin brother; the death by poisoned powderpuff of Stacey Donovan Forbes; the beautiful yet tragic Trisha Alden Sowolsky Hartman McKenzie (née Alden) -bzzzzhht-
Ave. Nos interrumpere hanc excrementis bovis perditio tempus ut nuntiare res significans geographica et politica.
On 2 September 2081 AO (Anno Octaviani) the legendary general Niccolo Cunninghamus Africanus will defeat an assembled rabble of valiant Corinthians, but he could not yet know this as the armies lined up for battle on this day, fated by Mars for immortality in our literature. For these brave legionaries, these happy few who laid waste the upstart city of Carthage, the call of the Senate to march upon Corinth is an expression of duty, a declaration of Roman pre-eminence in this known world.
At 30 degrees of the sundial Africanus meets his counterpart general along the Turneyan Way to demand his city’s capitulation. On the Corinthian’s proud refusal, a denarius is tossed and Africanus will unleash hell.
Our first archers, the Moravian whose arrows bend inexorably from left to right and the Sinister Peritus, pin the first wave of Corinthian infantry between a volley of missiles. They respond valiantly, swinging their maces with daring and skill. Africanus will now summon his wild-haired horseman, a Parman warrior of provenance unknown – perhaps Ostrogoth, perhaps Proto-Emo – and he responds with truly Roman execution: the Corinthian battle order decapitated by a twin demolition of the barricades.
Lines of Corinthian foot soldiers fight bravely, striking blows for their city, their people and their imposter gods, but we shrink not from the fight, drawing ever deeper wells of indomitable will to overcome our numerical disadvantage. Our valiant legionaries throw themselves selflessly about the battlefield, none more so than the Cantor Jonathanus who holds a catapulted missile to dismiss the Corinthians’ most prolific swordsman. Africanus himself will combine with noble Persian warrior Frazarius to manoeuvre the enemy with menace and guile, while the giant Caledonian McNubes – another of our mercenaries from the outer colonies – decimates three Corinthian maniples by his own hand.
After a momentary retreat, a temporary respite from hostilities as both sides receive sustenance for their ravenous armies, Africanus will turn the tide of battle with a tactical deployment of his forces. He sends in his own brother Olivo Faciemcicatrix and the redoubtable Brigantine Domusligneus to turn back the Corinthians’ first wave of attack. This they do, dispatching half a century of Corinthian foes before each falls ignobly – as will Frazarius – to the Corinthians’ aged and devious wizard. Mattlignum will swing his broadsword with heavy intent before perishing at the hand of Corinth’s own general.
Suddenly, with half of our army dispatched, the walls of Corinth seem thicker, stronger, taller. It matters not. Africanus himself, joined by the ranging McNubes, will embody the majesty of Jupiter, the wisdom of Minerva, the speed of Mercury to strike down with the remaining half century. Some of the horde they smite singly; other blows, the stories will tell, yes, they strike the horde down fully six at a time to lay waste the Corinthian insurrection once and for all.
And so the city of Corinth will pay its tribute to our great
Gardenia Rome. For Africanus it is another notch in his campaign SPQR: as against
the Milfi of Pistrinacampus, he sees the victory done by his own hand. For McNubes, it is a noble final chapter in a distinguished military career: three opposition maniples slain, and an
undefeated partnership with his general for the final victory.
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Oliver Cunningham (life)
Jamie Elliott (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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