MATCH REPORT: 1XV Home at Bank of England
Finsbury Park take the bonus point win in the first home game of the season. Match report by Patrick Joyce.
15th September 2008, Lehman Brothers Bank filed for bankruptcy. The images of their offices in disarray broadcast across the globe sent the global economy into freefall and marked the symbolic high watermark of the 2008 financial crash. A decade on and the world is still living through the aftershocks of that tumultuous Autumn.
The intersection between Ponzi schemes, subprime mortgages and Downhills Park is not one often discussed. However, as fate would have it, a decade on from the demise of the Lehman Brothers Finsbury Park RFC would be gifted an opportunity to strike a blow against the worst excesses of the banking sector.
15th September 2018, Bank of England arrived at Hackney Marshes. I expected to arrive to hushed conversation about this cosmic coincidence, instead it focused mainly on Bank’s reputation as the 3rd best side in the league last year and Izzy and Morgan’s whereabouts. Despite this there was a quiet intensity to the warm up. Perhaps this was evidence that, even if it wasn’t acknowledged, we were playing for something more than just league standing today.
That concentration wasn’t punctured with the promotion of young Felix to the front row and Rory to the centres in lieu of the absent double act. With the team finalised Ev drew everyone together to deliver a rabble-rousing team speech, a stark departure from his predecessors more Shakespearian tendencies but encouraging none the less. After those fine words he then went and promptly loss the toss, what was it Napoleon said about generals ?
With the niceties concluded we were off and Finsbury were instantly onto the front foot. Heavy carrying from the pack quickly drew a penalty which was punted into the corner. A well organised lineout and rolling maul carried us right to the line and Pauly showed every year of his experience to dart over. Sadly, it was the 5-metre line, where he lay prone like a Turtle cruelly turned on its back. Luckily the youthful enthusiasm of Felix was on hand to scoop the ball up power over the actual try line to open the scoring.
With the Bank middle well tested it turned to Chris and the backs to see what they had out wide. Quick hands drew a mismatch between Will Corcoran and his opposite number and the big man showed a touch of pace, he was eventually hauled down just outside the 22 but a clever box kick from Frazer once again had the Fins camped on the oppositions line. A well-run apples line saw Patrick Joyce stroll through a hole and simple hands would surely put Sam Parkes over for the second.
Not to be.
Sam Parkes showing pace befitting his new position in the second row failed to cover the final 10 yards, was tackled by a man half his size and then dropped the ball over the line. Luckily a poor clearance from Bank immediately gave us the pill back and Chris thought better of using his pack, feeding his outside men for an easy score in the corner for Rory .
Finsbury Park were up and motoring by this point, 2 tries to secure the bonus point quickly followed. The backs had the opportunity to exhibit both their brains and brawn, truly a double-edged sword. The first saw a lovely “lines” move, John Pompey running the dummy which opened the space for Hugo Murray out the back door. The fullback arced round a badly outmanoeuvred Bank defence before putting Gus over in the corner for as simple a finish as a winger could ever hope for. Shortly after the 3rd try Gus’ fellow winger Will was put 1 on 1 again with his opposite number and ran over the top of him to bring up his second and Finsbury’s bonus point.
With the extras wrapped up Park decided to indulge their worst tendencies, an avalanche of penalties followed and with that Bank managed to gain a foothold on the Fins line. However, showing a full court game, the Park defence was manful in protection of their clean sheet. The usual suspects Chaz and Dan were in the thick of the action, with Brett hitting each Bank ball carrier like he personally held them accountable for the stress of his recent house purchase. Eventually Bank wilted and Park cleared their lines with a penalty.
From that penalty another well worked maul saw the unlikely figure of Fred Bromley spring off the back from within his own half. He fed the livewire scrumhalf Frazer and smart hands again put that man Big Will Corcoran over for a first half hattrick. With that the first frame was called to a close and we were back in the hutch for halftime.
Ev sadly fell into the classic halftime team talk of “0-0 now boys” etc. Proof that while each captain leaves their own marks there are some genre tropes they can’t escape.
The second half shortly followed and by this point Park were flying, Chris was putting in a virtuoso performance fly half picking off holes big enough for even Evan and Pauly to add their names to the list of try scorers. Izzy and Morgan had by this point arrived and were slotted in, with Izzy helping to bolster the scrum and Morgan bringing his usual all action approach to the pitch.
The second half passed like a blur, from 1 through to 18 Park were ruthless in possession and stout in defence. Morgan underlining this with a crunching tackle which saw him gain possession before immediately running it through the fractured bank defence to touch down under the posts. Will Corcoran also had an opportunity to display “Good Feet for a Big Man” as he dribbled the ball from just inside the Bank of England’s half to touch down under the posts.
It would be hard to collect all the details in a concise manner here but by the full-time whistle Finsbury Park had helped themselves to 69 points. Sending out a warning shot to both Middlesex/Hertfordshire 1 and perhaps more importantly the fat cats of Canary Wharf.
The MOTM was duly awarded to Will Corcoran for a 4 try Dayboo while Pauly collected DOTD for his fosbury flop.
On Saturday Finsbury travel to USC OB’s located in scenic Hampstead, a game that should serve notice of just how high this team’s ceiling can be. Good luck to the Marathon Man Chris Green, who can’t be with us because, if he hasn’t told you, he’s running a marathon! 
As someone who doesn’t make the Fullback often apologies if discussions of QE are more frequent than I imagined.
 For those interested this is attributed to Napoleon. No evidence he said it, but Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, 1642-61 said something along those lines.
The first box kick since Rohan’s ill-fated effort at Thamesians for the clubs twitchers.
 I think?
Which in many ways they are, for the dire effects the freeze on interest has on people’s attempts to save for property ownership.
 Our dominance was perhaps put into context when we learnt that half of the Bank of England’s usual team were on a stag do.
 A half to be exact, but he doesn’t make the distinction so neither will I.