Dunkin' Dönitz ended up
victorious against The Opsimaths thus (as Kieran had
calculated) eradicating the aggregate points slump
experienced by the Dunkers against the Opsis since
the infamous Tooting Bec(k) moment a few years back.
Pointswise the Dunkers are now ahead - but it didn't
seem that that would be the case at half time when
they were trailing by 8 points. The second
half more than swung their way with a 6 point
winning margin at the final whistle - blown
magisterially by Bob (who informs me that we need to
mind our Ps and Qs since he is now the shop steward
of the QM's Union).
On the Opsis side I thought Brian
played a blinder remembering that "the Word was made
flesh" came early on in St John's Gospel but after
the phrase "the Word was with God". Howell
meanwhile excelled on the tennis options in the
'Choose Your Own' round. When it came to the
second half we floundered - and I didn't help
matters by thinking that Round 7 was Round 8.
Ironically in the end I did decide to confer on Question 7
in this round and we answered incorrectly after my first
instinct (Namibia) would have got two points.
In the event there were 9 more questions to navigate
during which we fell a further 3 points behind.
As Kieran has said before, the Dunkers are
razor-sharp when it comes to knowing when to confer
and when to go for a two - and we're not in the same
league in this respect.
Next week I'm being left at home
(well the Etihad actually) while Nick and Paddy
return to the team for the annual encounter with
Ethel at a venue which (albeit in a former life) was
lovingly described in tonight's Round 1 thus: "It
reminds me of the Winchester from Shaun of the
Dead, but without customers."
verdict on the same match....
"A different sort of Classico tonight. Of course it
was close and inevitably the result wasn't certain
until question five in the final round. But it was
the archetypal game of two halves. The Opsis
stormed away with the first four rounds by 20 points
to 12 - and we replied by taking the second half 22
to 8. Weird! (Just take the stuff about conferreds
and bonuses as read, OK?)
Neither team chose well on the bingo rounds but the
Opsis did better than us and worked a four point
lead up to an impressive eight at the break. Tony
you're just playing at it, we're truly hopeless at
picking the subjects that suit us. Witness Barry
choosing the science fiction question that required
the surname of the character from 2001 (did
anybody know that?) and then answering the Blade
Runner question, which was a spare at the end,
in its entirety, after only hearing the words 'I've
that eight point deficit David mused that 'it would
be a good one to win from here.' Hmmm where
have I heard that before? But so it proved,
thanks in large part to three bonuses in the 'Run-Ons'
round. I don't think that's ever happened to
us before. I was expecting the Opsis to get all
their questions and was just hoping we could hold
them to what, at that point, was still a five point
deficit for us. They had some terrible luck:
'Man About The House' rather than 'Doctor
In The House' and 'Apache Guevara' instead of
'Comanche'. But we showed our team game in the
'Dora Bry(i)an Blessed' question. We were focusing
on Last Of The Summer Wine; Kathy Staff, Jean
Alexander and Thora Hird until I said
reference to 'loudly' in the question suggested the
second answer could be 'Brian Blessed'. From
there it was easy and Martin supplied the first part
having suddenly remembered that A Taste Of Honey
featured in the question. Beautifully worked,
Silva to Aguero yet again for a trademark finish.
having one of those nights when I didn't know any of
my own questions but was able to get points for the
team on The Man in The Iron Mask and the
captain of the Marie Celeste which is equally
satisfying, so long as we win in the end!
'There's no 'I' in team' and all of that
people have recently compared me to Ed Balls or Sam
Allardyce; and Bob thinks I shouldn't arrange to
have The Griffin super-heated on match nights such
that our opponents inevitably wilt come Rounds 7 and
8. Allegedly Big Sam does the same thing with the
away team's dressing room to try to gain an
advantage - but his argument rather falls down when we're
suffering in the same oven as our guests! I
think we just wear the opposition down relentlessly
trying to wrest the initiative and win points no
matter what the state of the game. I don't
suppose anyone will be mistaking me for a
snake-hipped Catalunyan anytime soon though.
Without getting ahead of ourselves, Barry wondered,
after the game had finished, what the hell had
happened to us for three years from 2014 to 2016.
There's a very long way to go in this season but it
is true that we've been a different team for the
last eighteen months or so. So what happened
in that three years? I don't know. David Moyes? Louis Van Gaal? The cold, dead
hand of Manuel Pellegrini - who did win the title
and the League Cup in his first season of course.
Not that anyone would think it since Brendan Rodgers
was acclaimed Manager of the Year for, er, losing
the title and not making it to a Cup final.
It's a funny old game. Whatever - we're
definitely back. Since losing to Eveline's
storm troopers in the first game of the season only
the Opsis stopped us in our tracks by holding us to
a draw at the club before Christmas. We're looking
forward to the remaining games with a justifiable
optimism and we'll see over the next couple of
months if we're good enough. I've gone
all Pep again.
got a week off next week (thanks Roddy), so David
and I will be at the Etihad hoping to see City's
hundredth goal of the season (that is if it doesn't
happen on Sunday). I'll keep a close eye on the
technical area to see if I can pick up any tips. If
I'm seen haranguing Damian over playing
conservatively and not going for twos after our
match against the Charas in a fortnight, you'll know
I've taken it too far."
History Men lost at home to Compulsory Mantis Shrimp.
Which means the Shrimps are still firmly in the
title hunt, underlining the fact by registering - by
some way - the top score of the evening.
"After a very enjoyable evening at
the Red Lion we finished 15 points ahead. As
always, it was a pleasure to spend the evening with
the History Men who are always delightful company
and worthy opponents. We took a slight lead in
Round 1 which we steadily extended
match, though I think we benefitted from the luck of
the draw in a few cases."
...whilst from the opposition benches
Ivor rises to address us with these words....
"Mantis Shrimp beat us by 21 points
at our last meeting so I suppose a 15 point deficit
suggests a degree of improvement for us. We were only 7
points behind going into the last round before a 9-1
score condemned us. The Shrimps have a
seemingly endless supply of players tempered in the
furnace that is University Challenge.
Tonight it was Charlie who appeared in the
Manchester team of two years ago. 'We didn’t do
very well then,' he reported. Well he did very well
tonight, along with James, Tom and Rachael; 15 twos
between them compared to our 5."
Albert beat The Electric Pigs
in the Fletcher Moss derby. Mike O'B
reports on events as follows....
"Ah, the refurbished Fletcher Moss!
The Pub twitter-feed tells me that there are new
cask beers available and 3 new urinals in the Gents;
good to see raw materials and production in
equilibrium. The quiz itself was fairly
straightforward although Pig Andrew, who had kindly
agreed to QM, wondered how many in the quiz league
knew what was going on in Iceland in 1844.
There was occasional griping about the wording of
some of the questions. Jeremy has insisted
that the following be inserted into the record
concerning the medical question in round 1:
'I almost got the answer wrong
because I assumed the question would be right.'
Think what he would have been like if
he hadn't picked up the points for the answer!
He wrote the above quote out for me and will be
checking this on the website to ensure that I have
transcribed his words accurately. No lack of
paranoia in the Albert team then."
Bards of Didsbury lost at home to Ethel Rodin
- another convincing win for Ethel keeping
them in touch with the top of the table.
Roddy reports on the mix-up at the start of the
playing at the cricket club but we were fortunate to
gain entry as it turned out Tony had thought that
the Bards were playing at the Red Lion - so the
whole Bards team were down in Withington until they
realised the mistake. Subsequently when they
arrived back at the cricket club they were a
question master short and had to play 3-handed.
Apparently the club had only been opened for them
specially by the steward as it is normally closed on