Amid the chaos(channel) of that day, when all I could hear was the shrill of whistles, and all I could smell was deep heat in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: “John Tully’s ball!”, “John Tully’s ball!”, “John Tully’s ball!”. And sometimes John asks me what I would have done if he hadn’t been chopped in half and driven back 10 metres, if that tiny winger had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I'm not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I would have remembered something else about the game.

And whilst the fog of that day fails to clear with the eddies of hindsight, this one moment forces itself to the fore of my mind and, thus, deserves a little more attention in the annals of our esteemed club: Deep into the second half after the men of Hackney found themselves crossing the whitewash, Verulamians were charged with restarting the game. The opposition ten put in a delightfully weighted kick that soared into the April afternoon under which our antipodean friend awaited gleefully, for, etched in his face one could see his mind was racing with the prospect of crossing the next day’s finish line of the Greater Manchester Marathon in record time. This dream sequence, however, proved to be costly for dear Jonathan as a half-man with 14 on his back did not take kindly to the receiver’s out-of-body-experience and felled him like the ancient Boab he is and proceeded to drive him 10 metres toward the River Lea.

The naysayers amongst you will say that I have merely plagiarized the story of David and Goliath, but it should be noted that this yarn ends differently and credit must be given to the coppiced Boab, for he dutifully maintained possession throughout his ordeal allowing the hackneyed fifteen to launch another probe deep into the Verulamians territory from which a score was derived.

Take of it what you will, such is the account of a game from the perspective of a player in a position that shares it’s name with a lady of the night and has his head buried in aphotic places throughout the match. Twelve tries scored in response to the valiant Verulamians’ decision to at least turn up. Two games to go, promotion awaits…