Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Home to the British Flag in the Quarter Finals of the Cup


A warm welcome back to The Waters Green Tavern to the British Flag who left the B League for the the A League at the end of the last season.

We have met on several occasions and knew we were in for a a tough fight. We are however at our strongest when conferring and looked forward to a closely fought battle.

But before the game began there was some discussion on the previous week’s GK questions – see my comment 3 on last week’s blog. Tomo was also able to reconnect with his former maths teacher.

We were very impressed with the questions and felt it was unfortunate that they could not be marked in the same way as the League matches – it was  clear a lot of time and checking had been done.

Just how close it was going to be was shown n the first round of 20 questions that ended 19 to 18 in the Phoenix’ favour; the next round however the Flag fought back and crept ahead with 15 points to the Phoenix’ 12; in the third round the Phoenix made up the deficit with 15 points to 13 and held the Flag to 16 each in the next round. Level pegging. The fifth round the Phoenix slipped back with 18 to the Flag’s 20 but recovered in the final round with 19 to 17. End result – a dead heat!!! 99 points each – a tie-breaker was required!!

But even that created problems – both teams put in the same wrong answer to the tie-break!! It was only on the second try that the Phoenix managed to get closer to the right answer and took the game.

It was a most enjoyable game overseen with good humour (and even a little lesson on the off-side rule) by Heather and Shauna from the New Castle. Many thanks to them, and to the British Flag for an excellent game and finally to Brian and Tracey for a generous selection of sandwiches.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

18 Jan–Away to The Castle


This clash raised many expectations – the last meeting had resulted in a draw and at the beginning of this week’s contest The Phoenix and The Castle were equal top in the B League. A real battle of the Titans.

The difficulties faced by The Castle pub have been outlined before – there is no proper landlord and the pub remains closed except on Tuesday evening when the caretaker-landlord opens the doors just to the quiz teams and provides bottled beer. However the arena had been well prepared with a very warm heater and the Castle team had been kind enough to purchase a selection of meat pies for the game – much appreciated. The question master was the very experienced Allan from the Church House Bollington.

The scene was set for a very pleasant evening – could anything go wrong? Sadly yes – the questions.

The Specialist were OK if a little eccentric (a whole round on the Black Sea???) but the General Knowledge were not at all impressive – a pity really as several of the questions were valid but would have been improved had they been reworded – for instance give the Chinese names in the question rather than expect us to remember or even  pronounce them. And some answers were just incorrect – two have been pointed out in the questions published (Churchill’s quote and the Talbot) and others open to question.

It is unfortunate really because the obscure reference to News and Views after the heading represented a good idea that may not have been recognised (certainly not by Nick until he was publishing the questions) – several answers were the names of pubs or players in the League - even the Fenix along with Baths, Albion, Harrington etc and Hargreaves, Bogey and so on – but at the same time created problems – Kafka’s The Trial is also about K battling bureaucracy.

Probably the biggest criticism of the General Knowledge questions is the huge number of sport questions – quite disproportionate!!

Normally the vetting teams would be held responsible for the shortcomings but it seems their comments were ignored.

It will be interesting to see how the questions were marked – certainly in our game they had a deadening effect, so much so that no-one showed any interest in hearing the supplementaries.

Except for Tomo who again played a good game the scores were low, being:

Bob 6/12, Wendy 9/6, Nick 9/3, Tomo 12/15 with conferred points 9/11 and passovers 6/6; The Castle picked up 7/7 passovers. They won the Specialist 59 to 51 and the General Knowledge 66 to 53 winning the game with 125 to 104.

Many thanks to the home team for their hospitality and we very much hope that the future of the Castle is soon resolved.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Home to The Albion

After three weeks of excessive celebrations for Christmas and to welcome the New Year, the Macclesfield quiz teams slowly gathered to start the second half of the competition.

After what the Phoenix freely admit was a very lucky string of games against under-strength teams they had finished the first half at the top of the league with the slenderest of leads (1 point more than second and third – see News and Views link at right) but with three of the team in the top ten individual scores

This time we were up against a full-strength team from The Albion who seemed none the worse for the lay-off. After three rounds, the Phoenix were 21 points behind and struggling!! At the end of the Specialist they had managed to pull back only 4 points with the score at 62 to 45.

The Phoenix fared rather better in the General Knowledge rounds that ended 80 to 65 in the Phoenix’ favour – but that was just 15 points pulled back and they lost by 2 points.

No complaints – the questions were fine, pretty well balanced – they just did not come our way in the Specialist. The Phoenix played in a very disciplined manner – in fact I don’t recall a single wrong answer!!

Individual scores were Bob 6/9, Wendy 9/15, Nick 6/15 and Tomo 9/12; conferred/passovers were 10/5 and 19/10 with The Albion picking up 8 and 6 passovers.

It was a great game with lots of laughter ably controlled by the visitors from The Lamb and ended with magnificent refreshments of burgers and onions in gravy with Brian’s renowned REAL chips and bread rolls – a superb feast.

Thankyou Brian, and thanks to The Albion for  a good game.