Wednesday, December 07, 2011

6th December Away to the Park Tavern


Still licking their wounds from the biggest defeat ever, the Phoenix made their way to the Park Tavern.

This pub has not had a team in the League for many years; it has an interesting history having been built in 1825 and after various closures and mergers it became a Robinson’s pub but was allowed to get run down until it eventually shut and it had been empty for over two years. Paradoxically, despite the general decline of pubs throughout the country the revival of real ales has given the Tavern a fresh lease of life; it was bought by the Bollington Brewing Company earlier this year to complement its brewery tap The Vale in Bollington thus securing a presence in Macclesfield. A lot of money has been spent in refurbishment and it is now a very comfortable pub with eight real ale pumps mostly for their own beer but also supporting a guest beer. Brightly decorated and with a very friendly manager and staff the Tavern is a real asset to the town’s ale lovers. All the beers were in top form.

The home team are old friends and we all get along socially – they moved to the Park Tavern when their previous quiz home The Castle closed down.This was also a very special occasion – it was Pete’s 50th birthday!! The small private room where the quizzes are held had been decorated with balloons etc. by the rest of the team and all was set for a most enjoyable evening. Rosie was with us and the Phoenix were buoyant.

Then the questions started.

Mark Twain famously said “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence then success is sure.” Pah – we soon showed him!!!

The specialist rounds were fairly even with the Park Tavern a nose ahead at the end with 68 to the Phoenix’ 60 – we’ve often closed a gap like that and started the General Knowledge with confidence. Sadly this was misplaced and the Park Tavern continued to draw steadily ahead eventually giving the Phoenix a thrashing for the second consecutive week.

Individual scores were Bob 18/15, Wendy 9/12, Nick 6/9 and Tomo 15/12, with conferred 8/11 and 4/7 passovers. The Taverners picked up 6/11 passovers.

The final score was 154 to 126 to the Park Taverners despite Bob’s and Tomo’s strong scores.

No complaints, it was great fun with lots of laughter, a superb cottage pie presented by the landlord and to round off a most pleasant evening a lovely chocolate cake with 50 candles made by Heather.

A big thankyou to all.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

29th November Away to the British Flag


The British Flag is a longstanding pub just outside the town centre that has recently been purchased from Robinson’s brewery chain although their beer is still the only choice. Nevertheless it is probably the best-kept Robbies house for miles around (rivalled only by The Dolphin) and of particular interest on the night was their new brew Build A Rocket Boys, produced in association with the well-known rock band Elbow who have just released an album of that name.

The team we usually play in alternate seasons as they achieve what the Phoenix aim for, promotion to the A League if only for one season, and this clash was an important one for both teams – equal first at the start of the game with the Flag ahead on points difference. Nevertheless it was a very friendly game with a relaxed attitude to answers  overseen with patience and good humour by the question master from the Plough.

The questions whilst pretty difficult were nevertheless well balanced although the body-parts round created problems for both sides. But this is where the men were separated from the boys, with the Flag running away from the Phoenix with the last two rounds of the specialist.

At the half-way stage the Phoenix were trailing by 24 points (58/34) from which they never recovered. Individual scores were Bob 12/9, Wendy 9/24, Nick 3/12 , Tomo 3/9, conferred 4/13 and passovers 3/9. The Flag picked up 11/11 passovers winning by a huge margin of 36 points with 146/110.

No complaints, as a team they just knew more than we did and it shows in the result. It was a very pleasant evening rounded off with a fine selection of sandwiches. Well done the Flag.