Wednesday, February 23, 2011

22 Feb Cup Semi-Final against the Dolphin Dragons


Inspired by valiant Crawley giving Manchester United a fright, and encouraged by Everton’s defeat of Chelsea in the FA Cup the Phoenix set off for the Dolphin for the semi-final of the Cup in the Quiz League in buoyant mood.


The Dolphin is a very friendly pub, and keeps the Robinsons beer in top condition – perhaps the best In town. It has two teams both in the A League - we were playing the Dolphin Dragons and the other Dolphin team had set half the questions, with the Plough Horntails the other half. The Dragons have been in the A League for many years and among their number is a former Mastermind winner (the third lady to win) an author who recently appeared on TV in the game between former winners.

However we were not intimidated – we had Rosie the mascot and could take on the world!!P1010794

Unfortunately Rosie fell asleep and we lost the first round very heavily with just 10 points to the Dragons’ 21. The rustle of a crisp packet brought Rosie back to life however for the second round that went to the Phoenix with 16 to 9. Dizzy with success and Rosie now very active we won the third round with 12 points to 7 crashing on to round 4 winning by 19 to 15. By now very light headed and after a beer break the Phoenix stumbled in round 5 losing with just 8 points to the Dragons’ 20 followed up in the final round losing 21 points to 10. The final score was 94 to 75 to the home team.

But it was a fine performance, especially by Rosie, and whilst the Phoenix will not be in the final it was a most enjoyable game overseen with good humour by Pete from the other Dolphin team.

The evening was rounded off with a huge cauldron of delicious stew with pickled red cabbage and bread – fabulous.

A big thanks you to the Dragons and to the landlord of the pub for a great evening.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

15 Feb Away to the Lamb


To combat withdrawal symptoms during a whole week between quizzes, the Phoenix as part of a Waters Green contingent took part in a fund-raising quiz at the King’s School in Macclesfield – in fact a total of 22 team members, substitutes, friends and supporters made up three teams with the imaginative team names of Real Ale Madrid, Born To Drink Mild and Tequila Mocking Bird. Although one team was in first position at the half-way mark, none of the teams ended in the first three but it was a great night the only problem being that the beer ran out after about half an hour!! Some familiar faces there and the Hospice made some money – the main reason for the quiz. We look forward to the next one.

The week’s League fixture was an away game at The Lambimage in Sutton and we all commented on what a brightly lit and welcoming pub it is now, with a selection of three real ales and friendly staff – not to mention a landlord who was on the opposing team.

The questions were good and the Nags Head in the Specialist even pulled off the difficult feat of each answer leading to the next question in the Geography round – it very rarely works successfully. The Plough Taverners also did a good job with the General Knowledge set (although Nick struggled with his, even getting his soups mixed up).

At the half-way stage the Phoenix had a slight lead of 50 to 52 and the General Knowledge questions were also very tight with the lead swinging from one side to the other – eventually the Phoenix won that set by just one point with 68 t 67 and a final score of 120 to 117.

Individual scores were Bob 9/18, Wendy 6/12, Nick 12/3 and Tomo 12/6 with conferred 9/18 and passovers 4/11. The  Lamb picked up 5/5 passovers.

The home team have always been known for a good nosh for refreshments but they excelled themselves on the night with cheese baked potatoes, excellent herby sausages and chips – superb!!

Thank you Marshall (the landlord) ,the Lamb team and and the question master from the Nags Head for a great game and an excellent evening .

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tension in The Happy Valley 8th February

This week the Phoenix were playing away at the Church House Bollington. This is a very pleasant pub with a fine reputation for food but has still retained a pub atmosphere with three hand-pumps on the bar with beer kept in good condition.
Once again we knew this would be a tough competition – the Church House were placed 3rd, one above the Phoenix but with a game in hand – and  their team held first and second place in the individual scores.
And once again a first-ever incident – in the Sports round, each Phoenix member scored three – never before has that happened (especially with Nick playing!) – this put the team in a strong position early on and also illustrates that all the questions were the sort that suit the team, particularly the rounds on comics and the arts. The Phoenix went on to play steadily with a slight lead at the end of the Specialist questions of 53 to 48.
The General Knowledge questions were also very good and the scoring was very tight again but the Phoenix managed to creep ahead with 77 to 73 with a final score of 130 to 121.
Individual scores were Bob 9/18, Wendy 6/15, Nick 12/12 and Tomo 12/6; conferred points were 6/16 and passovers 8/10. The Church House picked up 4/7 passovers.
A very pleasant evening with laughter and even an improvised limerick from Bob, rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches.
A big thank you to the Church House team and staff.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

1st February–The Nags Head Butt


It is good to see that after their wanderings the Nags Head quiz team have found a stable and friendly home at the very lively Nags Head.

The Nags has a rich history being recorded in the 1790’s as a brew pub that would have been very busy with the market outside in the Waters. After some changes in ownership the pub was bought by Bells brewery (taken over by Robinsons in 1949) in 1882 and in 1887 they presented plans to demolish the original structure and build the existing building, a typical market pub with three floors and stabling. Following a fairly recent refurbishment it is a remarkable building standing proudly on the original site with a delightful interior displaying ceiling roses and a fine staircase. It is a very lively pub with a tradition of good bands playing. Interestingly during depressed years laid-off and unemployed weavers would gather here to be addressed by their leaders from the pub window.1

Following their defeat at the Castle in the last game, the Phoenix had slipped to third place with the Nags easing up to second with just two points separating the three teams – this was to be a toughie! The Phoenix arrived to a pub throbbing with excitement – it was quite flattering really to see much interest in a quiz game, but it turned out that the attraction was really football on the big screen in particular Manchester United’s game against Aston Villa. We were playing upstairs in a room familiar to Bob from the folk evenings he had attended years ago.

As a Robinsons pub the beers were the usual choice but they were all in excellent condition especially the Dizzy Blonde, and the staff were helpful and friendly.

The questions had been set by the Castle and the Knot Know Alls and were fine – balanced, imaginative and testing. Sadly they did not go the Phoenix’ way – in particular for Nick who for the first time in memory failed to score at all in the General Knowledge. At the end of the Specialist the Phoenix were trailing 58 points to 52 and the General Knowledge where they usually catch up they lost 60 to 52 – final score 118 to the Nags and 102 to the Phoenix.

Individual scores were Bob 12/12. Wendy 6/3, Nick 6/0 (!!!) and Tomo 9/9; conferred points were 15/16 and passovers 6/10. The Nags also got 6/10 passovers.

A good win by the Nags rounded off with a good selection of sandwiches – with chips!!!

Thanks to our question master, to the Nags team and the Nags landlord and staff.


1. For historical information I am indebted to The pubs and Breweries of Macclesfield in two volumes.