The Withington Pub Quiz League


27th April 2010


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12 years of SPW domination comes to an end - The Opsimaths win the league

In what for me was the most nerve-tinglingly exciting quiz evening of my life......by just one point SPW lost to the Bards at Fortress Griffin..... by just one point the Opsimaths won against the Pigs at the Club.....and by just one point 12 years (at least) of one party rule came to an end in the WithQuiz end of season league table.  No need to invoke NATO warplanes though, SPW stepped down with the utmost grace.  All evening Kieran and I were swapping messages on respective scores right up to the unbearably tense climax.  With just a few questions to go at the Club my left breast pinged and I knew Kieran's result was in.  My own team leapt on me forbidding me, on pain of death, to look at the message until our match had ended.  Round 8 Question 8, both teams on 38 points and the last question to me.  I conferred (naturally) and what proved to have been SPW's Nemesis turned out to be our Nike.  The breast pocket was consulted, the story from the Griffin unfolded and the runes were cast.  Gasps, handshakes, whoops of joy and about an hour and a half of non-stop stupid grinning.

...and just an extract from the text message traffic between Kieran and myself:

K to M (at half time): "We're losing 22-18."

M to K (at half time): "We're winning 20-16."

K to M (at full time):  "Congratulations you played well all season and thoroughly deserved the title.  It was 41-40 to the Bards by the way."

M to K (at full time):  "Oh my God - we won 39-38 - oh my God."

K to M:                       "SPW are dead.  Our new name is I Blame Smoke Fairies.  That was the band that David went to see rather than turning out for us on the fateful evening we lost to you in the Club and your  ascendancy began. You had a fantastic season once again many congratulations."

Results & Match Reports

TMTCH beat Calluna Pussycats in a low scoring affair at the Parrswood.

Compulsory Meat Raffle lost to the Historymen for whom Ivor writes summing up not just the Historymen's evening but the whole season in terms that many of us will endorse:

"Relocated to the Turnpike our final match saw us do the double over the CMR so we consolidated our (likely) seventh place in the table (Ed: they actually ended up in sixth place) which will be our worst ever league performance in the ten seasons we have competed (how the mighty are fallen!!).  We hope SPW will join us in a year or two because there is no doubt that the old order is wobbling.  Tonight was fun not only because we won but because the newer teams (Callunas, CMR, TMTCH) are as excellent company as the old hands."

Prodigals lost to Ethel Rodin in a most one-side game played in the Albert Club's snooker room.  The question paper from old Rodinist, John Tolan, was clearly right up his fellow Rodin's Rue.  They scored a massive 53 points....oh and Anne-Marie would like to thank the Club's snooker players for being so tolerant to entertain a quiz match in their hallowed hall.  When the match was over both teams seeped into the main lounge where the celebrations had just begun.

Charabancs beat Albert down at the White Swan.  Damian chips in:

"The Charas scored a resounding victory that signals a bid for league domination!  Oh wait a minute....there aren't any more quizzes to showcase our newfound prowess!  Typical of us to leave it too late to stage our remarkable comeback!  Looks like our bid is on the back-burner for another year.  Now if only we can develop the practice of winning matches a tad earlier in the season...."

SPW lost to Bards in the most thrilling contest at the Griffin.  The Bards were ahead from early doors but SPW, desperate to keep their title, clawed their way back to get one point ahead only for Tony to get the final 2 points and clinch the match for the Bards....and the title for the Opsimaths.

Opsimaths beat the Pigs in the electric atmosphere of the Albert Club's main lounge.  The Pigs were worthy opponents for this last climactic game of the league campaign having had such a good season themselves and led the table for periods before Christmas whilst the Opsimaths were in the doldrums.  The Opsimaths got off to a good start (having gone first) and kept ahead until the Pigs staged a dramatic comeback in Round 8 levelling scores as we went into the last question.  Indeed, had the Opsimaths stumbled on this question I know Gerry, Andrew, Guy and Dave had the correct answer ready.  In the end the Opsimaths (Nick, Brian, Howell and myself with Colin the ever reliable QM) just did it.  Everybody at the Club - the Pigs, and Ethel Rodin and the Prodigals who were playing next door in the snooker room - were genuinely delighted for us and that made it a most happy occasion.  Brian's memory of quizzing in our league goes back (we think) 31 years and mine a few years less.  We've never won the league before and only won our first knockout silverware a couple of years ago.  It's been a long and most enjoyable odyssey, making many good friends along the way.  To wrench the league title from such a superb team as SPW made the achievement that much more special.  I have to say Kieran, Martin, Barry and David were the first to congratulate us by phone.

Quiz Paper Verdict

This week's paper was set by Dummy who was none other than our old friend John Tolan, a regular with Ethel Rodin until retiring to Yorkshire a few years ago.  A refreshing change to what's become our staple diet of pairs interspersed with themes - just questions one after the other with no rhyme or reason connecting them.  Perhaps the widest divergence in Aggregate scores that we've had all season with 81 at one end of the spectrum in the Prodigals v Ethel encounter (a massive 53 being scored by John's old Ethel mates) down to 39 in the TMTCH v Pussycats affair.

Ivor comments:

"Quiz went down well but a fairly stiff challenge from the Yorkshire émigré John Tolan.  The greatest surprise was having a quiz with no themes, no gimmicks and barely discernible (or perhaps no) pairing (I am in cups so cannot remember any of the questions now).  In other words a traditional pub quiz! 

We do look forward to the Cup next week as we quite fancy our chances against the Bards with a CMR paper (Question to Tony: Which Grunge band of 2009 had a No 23 hit in the US Independent charts with….).  However I gather the paper is to be set primarily by Tom with the emphasis on proper music and proper literature so perhaps shocks are in store."

Damian's verdict from the Swan:

"Tonight's paper was a bit of a treat for us as it harked back to the good old days of simple, straightforward, themeless general knowledge questions that used to be such a hallmark of Withquizzes.  We started badly by losing the toss and going second but, apart from losing the first round, we never looked back."

Many thanks, John, for a worthy paper to grace our season's climax - and if you can make it we'd love to see you at the end of season evening on June 8th.

The Question of the Week

This final week of the league season a number of teams opt for Round 5 Question 6:

  Which ITV series was shown in France as Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir?

For the answer to this and all the week's questions click here.


In readiness for the great Val Draper Cup starting next week - played under the new handicap rules - I am showing the 'after handicap applied' scores on the Fixtures page against the teams BEFORE each match.  Please look at the website so that everyone involved agrees on the score 'at the off'.  Remember we agreed that the handicap rules mean that the team in any match with the lower 'Average Score For' in the end of season league table should start with a score equivalent to the difference between their 'Average Score For' and that of their opponents (rounded to the nearest point - 0.5 rounding up).