The Rundown

Sport’s most embarrassingly one-sided results

The Rundown

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Spare a thought for the 11 brave souls of Wirral cricket club: they have earned themselves a slice of sporting infamy by getting dismissed for just three runs in their Cheshire League match against Haslington at the weekend.

[OUT! Cricket team bowled for THREE]

On the plus side, it wasn’t a world record: they managed an entire three runs more than Langport scored against Glastonbury in 1913.

On the down side, however, two of their three runs weren't even scored by their own batsman: they were extras, specifically leg-byes, presumably coming when one of the batsmen missed the ball and saw it come off his pads, only to survive an LBW appeal.

The amazingly one-sided match inspired us to take a look back at some of the biggest defeats, drubbings, disasters and debacles in the history of sport.

Arsenal fans might want to look away now…

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1) Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, August 2011 -

Remember the Red Devils when they were good? Nor do we, but we dusted off the leather-bound tomes in the archive to remind you of Arsene Wenger's worst ever defeat, the 8-2 demolition job at Old Trafford in the early days of the 2011-12 season.

Most humiliating factor: Alex Ferguson rubbing in the salt with his sympathy, saying after the match, "We could have scored more but you don't want to score more against a weakened team like that."


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2) Steffi Graf wins French Open final 6-0 6-0 in 31 minutes, 1988

The tennis superstar - who was at the time just 18, and West German rather than German - collected what would turn out to be the second leg of her Grand Slam season in 1988 in outrageously impressive style.

Most humiliating factor: Steffi Graf actually apologised to the crowd for the fact that the clash against Natasha Zvereva was such a mismatch, saying, "I'm sorry it was so fast… I felt very surprised on the court to win 6-0 6-0."

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3) England lose the Ashes 5-0, 2013-14

England's whitewash in the Ashes series in the past winter wasn't the first suffered by the nation. But in the previous two there were mitigating circumstances. In 1920-21, for example, the team's average age was 38 due to the number of younger, better players who had been lost in the First World War.

In 2006-07, meanwhile, England had lost popular and successful leader Michael Vaughan, star batsman Marcus Trescothick, key bowler Simon Jones… and they also had Andrew Flintoff in charge in a gamble on the captaincy that backfired. Not only that, but superstars Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne were in the Australia team.

In 2013-14, England had a successful, well-settled side with no injury problems to speak of - bar Jonathan Trott's controversial early return home - and were up against a good-but-not-great Aussie team.

Most humiliating factor: The ever-more-obvious revelations that half of the squad clearly couldn't stand the other half.

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4) Russell Rees knocks out Des Snowden, 2000

It's not at all uncommon for boxers to get knocked out early in the opening round of a match. After all, it's when the fighters are feeling their nerves, trying to ease their way into the bout, and unsure of how to read their opponent's movements.

In those circumstances, it's understandable that, sometimes, a punch gets through that happens to knock someone out. And that's what happened to Des Sowden when he was knocked out by Russell Rees at the Ebbw Vale Leisure Centre in November 2000.

Most humiliating factor: Going down in hit is one thing, but it's something else entirely to go down so badly that the ref waves the bout off before even completing his 10 count.

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5) Chelsea 21-0 Jeunesse Hautcharage

The Blues hold the record for the biggest aggregate winning margin in European football competition - but that record was set when Jose Mourinho was still in primary school. Chelsea took on the Luxembourg side in the first round of the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1971-72.

Most humiliating factor: The first leg in front of the home crowd in Hautcharage (population: 1,000) was described by the Daily Mirror as "more of a massacre than a match", which is fine; less fine is the paper's correspondent mentioning the local side's "splendid brass band" as their high point.

(More here -

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6) Ned Jarret, NASCAR, 1965

'Gentleman' Ned showed off his mean streak with ruthless victories on the American racing circuit. He prevailed by 22 laps over runner-up G.C. Spencer on the Piedmont Interstate Fairgrounds’ half-mile dirt track in Spartanburg. Later that season, Jarrett romped to victory in the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, outrunning second-place Buck Baker by 14 laps, a distance of more than 19 miles.

Most humiliating factor: That's the margin of victory record in both laps and actual distance and both of them were smashed in one season by Jarret.

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7) Checkmate!

The shortest decisive game ever played in master play chess (at the highest level) that was decided because of the position on the board (i.e. not because of a forfeit or protest) is Z. Dordevic – M. Kovacevic from Bela Crkva in 1984. It lasted only three moves (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c6 3.e3?? Qa5+ winning the bishop), and Kovacevic resigned.

Most humiliating factor: There aren't too many ways to lose in three moves in chess - many quick wins revolve around the 'Fool's Mate' and its variants. For a top player to not see such a famous blitz attacking coming (even in varied forms) can't be too easy to take.

8) Australia 31-0 American Samoa, 2001

A world record defeat for the Samoans with a world record haul of 13 goals coming from Archie Thompson alone. It's easy to see why, back then, Oceania struggled to warrant even one automatic World Cup berth.

Most humiliating factor: The scoreline had to be confirmed a few days later by FIFA, as due to a scoreboard error fans in the stadium were led to believe it was 32-0 and few could honestly keep count for themselves. That's how big the margin was (or just how tipsy the local spectators were).

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