Once again English hopes have been dashed, as the Marmal-Ashes trophy remains in the hands of the Australians, after a close 5 – 6 result
The 2019 Marmal-Ashes mark the ninth year of the competition, and a phenomenal six wins to the Australians to England’s two (with a draw taking place in 2016). The contest took place in the Music Room at Dalemain Mansion on Sunday 17th March, in front of a marmalade-mad audience. With judges including Head Judge Dan Lepard, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Fruiterers Eric Fraunfelter and Karen Jankel, the daughter of Michael Bond, author of Paddington, the standards were high and the tastebuds were tingling!
Each of the 11 ‘team members’ was pitted against an opponent of a similar category and content, with every entry judged according to appearance, colour, texture and taste, before the winning ‘wicket’ for each was declared. It was a close contest almost all the way, with England and Australia taking turns to take the point all the way up to the seventh wicket, when a sudden change in Australia’s fortunes saw them win three in a row, giving them a strong lead. England fought back desperately, taking the next two wickets, but sadly the last point went to the Aussies, with their final marmalade scoring 18 points to England’s agonizingly close 17. As the Times commented following the result, the Australians really do seem to be proving that anything the poms can do, they can do better. The winning team have been displayed in all of their glory at the centre of Dalemain’s marmalade rooms and the trophy, safely stored in Buninyong’s court house, is returned to the ownership of the Australians for another year.
One of the winning MarmalAshes entrants, Reuban Kooperman, was especially thrilled with the result. ‘To represent Australia at an international meet is every Aussies dream come true!’ He says. ‘To be able to do so from the comfort and sanctuary of my own kitchen – and to win on a sticky wicket in Cumbria – is even more satisfying! And like Shane Warne’s first delivery in England in 1993 to dismiss Mike Gatting, it will always be incredibly memorable!’
Once again, the only comfort for the English is knowing that they have at least won Man of the Match, which was given to a local contestant, Charles Dunn of Cumbria, for his classic Seville Marmalade. Sadly however, the home team have yet again been ‘pipped’ to the post, as the Australians prove that they certainly know their oranges.
Better luck next year! We are going to need all the help we can get if we want to finally beat the Australians again and win “Marmalashes” glory!
ABOUT THE MARMALASHES
The Ashes is a fiercely fought cricket contest between England and Australia. The “Marmalashes” is as fiercely fought but is more orange on spoon than bat on ball! For the past six years an Australian eleven has been sent across the globe to take on an English eleven and the contest takes place on the tasting table as opposed to a cricket pitch.
2011 saw the first innings of the ‘Marmalashes’, a closely fought marmalade contest held between Great Britain and Australia. Even with the helpful judging from our local MP, Rory Stewart, Australia won. Again, in 2012, Australia won in spite of being captained by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and again in 2013. It was only finally in 2014 that GB triumphed and took home the famous trophy after the devastating “whitewash” Cook’s men suffered. And again in 2015 GB won the MarmalAshes.
The Aussies were on the war path and rallied marmlade from all over Australia to try and re-capture their prize in 2016, resulting in a draw. 2017 was a hard fought battle, with two rounds being clean bowled, with no victors in either side, and two rounds drawn. However, of the remaining seven rounds, the Australians out-batted the English 4 to 3, claiming their 4th Marmalashes victory. They were triumphant again in 2018, coming from behind for a late victory and regaining the trophy, and with this latest victory will keep hold of the title for yet another year of Marmalashes victory.
Martin Grant – MD Mackays, Pam Corbin – River Cottage, Vivien Lloyd –Preserves Specialist, Dan Lepard – Food writer for the Guardian & Judge on the Great Australian Bake Off, Professor John Price – Head of The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers, Tim Came –MD Thursday Cottage.