Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Battering On Pancake Day


February 21st – Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day. The day of confession before lent begins, and an opportunity to use up eggs that were traditionally given up for Lent. Or on a more secular note it is known as mardi gras (Fat Tuesday) a time for dancing and merriment. On this day, the Phoenix travelled to Bollington for the return match against the Church House, a busy pub serving excellent food and on the night serving excellently kept York Brewery’s Guzzler beer – a light and tasty golden brew.

The Phoenix have suffered some defeats recently and were bent on redressing the balance. The questions were interesting even having a round on old radio programmes – something of a first surely as was the round on philosophers.

Notwithstanding the interest however, the Phoenix were trailing at the half-way mark with 50 points to the home team’s 52 – but we’ve usually done well with the General Knowledge so were not unduly bothered.

But it was not to be – the questions were varied and balanced but the Church House won the round with 78 to 71 with a final score of 130 to 121.

It was a very friendly game against old adversaries the only sour note being when Nick blamed Doris Day for getting an answer wrong – she hadn’t said whether the Black Hills were in North or South Dakota!

Individual scores were Bob 9/12, Wendy 6/21, Nick 6/12 and Tomo 12/9 with 13/10 conferred points and 4/10 passovers. The Church House picked up 3/12 passovers.

John from the Albion was a good-humoured question master and the evening was rounded off with a selection of sandwiches.

Sadly it was a battering for the Phoenix on pancake day!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

14th February–Another Massacre


On the 83rd anniversary of the St Valentine’s DayFile:Valentine Day massacre.jpg massacre the two teams of the Waters Green Tavern gathered for the local derby. Tension rose high – lonely wives left behind to celebrate the romantic night of the year alone, seeking comfort in the warm embrace of East Enders. Speaking of murder, vice, doom and gloom …

Yes on this day all those years ago, Al Capone sought to eliminate his rival Bugs Moran when he organised out-of-town gangsters to rid his fair city Chicago of unwanted whisky smugglers, prostitution pimps and drive-by shootists. Two assassins were disguised as police officers and entered the warehouse that was used as Moran’s headquarters and ordered the seven people outside; there they were joined by four plain-clothed guys and they all opened fire. But the Moran gang were ‘ard!! Six were killed outright but Frank Gusenburg, who had been hit with fourteen bullets told police no-one had shot him!! He died three hours later.

It seems public opinion was not terribly impressed with Capone’s clean-up operation (since it just meant he could do more of the same) and the FBI were stirred into action – Capone was arrested for tax evasion two years later (tax evasion – the first zero tolerance?) and died of syphillis in prison.

The Rams and the Phoenix settled down for a different kind of showdown.

We thought the questions were very good indeed and whilst there were no big scores (except Bob with a very creditable 18) at the end of the Specialist rounds the Phoenix were leading 58 points to 43.

Just as Moran’s gang were dressed in Sunday best with no inkling of what was to come, the Phoenix sat back smugly and ordered another beer.

The General Knowledge rounds started and it soon became clear that Kalashnikov Keith P of the Rams had simply been holding fire as he started on a remarkable run. As before the questions were very good but the Phoenix did not do so well – in fact largely due to Keith’s run of 27 points (emphasising why he is the top scorer in the B League) the Rams massacred the Phoenix winning the round with 93 points to the Phoenix’ 65 giving them the game with 136 to 123. No complaints, the questions were good, balanced and fair to both sides but on the night the Rams were the better team.

The Phoenix individual scores were Bob 18/15, Wendy 9/15, Nick 6/12 and Tomo 9/3; conferred points were 11/15 and passovers 5/5. The Rams picked up 5/12 passovers.

It was a most enjoyable game overseen by Graham from the Park Tavern with good humour and firmness on time. It ended with a magnificent chicken casserole that Brian proudly brought in with his shiny new slow cooker – it was delicious.

Thank you Brian, thank you Graham and thank you the Rams for a great game – well done.

Thursday, February 09, 2012



With apologies to Billy Fury for mutilating the title of his song.

After playing the Albion only last week we were facing them again this week on their own ground – and it must be said that the Albion has changed considerably since our last visit – it is now much friendlier and the one (Robinson’s) ale on tap was in very good condition. After an initial confusion with the seating arrangements the team settled down to their usual jocular selves. But we knew that after last week’s very close result they would be out to win – and to make matters worse Rosie was missing.

The Phoenix got off to a very shaky start and at the end of the Specialist questions were trailing by 10 points with 33 to 43 although the questions were fine; they fared rather better with the General Knowledge but the questions cannot be allowed to go without comment. The lack of E-mail for one of the teams seems to have caused problems with the vetting as there are at least two wrong answers in the GK (both indicated on the questions blog). Whatever did we do before E-mails?

Rosie made a late appearance that perhaps helped the Phoenix claw back some of the lead finishing the GK with 75 to the Albion’s 70. Final score 113 to 108 to the Albion knocking the Phoenix off their shared top spot. Individual scores were Bob 3/15, Wendy 6/12, Nick 3/9 and Tomo 3/12 with 11/14 conferred and 7/13 passovers; the Albion picking up 7/9 passovers.

It was an enjoyable game and the better team won – well done the Albion. Nicely rounded off with a selection of sandwiches – thank you the Albion.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

31st Jan–the Plate Quarter Finals


The Phoenix had been drawn against the Albion, always a tough team to beat, especially when the answers are all conferred. Moreover it was rather discouraging to learn that John of the Albion was probably alone last week in knowing that the horse’s head appearing in the Godfather was called Khartoum!!

Once again the FA had created a distraction with both City and United playing League games but the tension was such that no-one asked about the score at any time. It was a bitterly cold night so the Phoenix grabbed the fireside table forcing the Albion to sit by the draughty door, a bit of gamesmanship that did not go unnoticed!! But we had Rosie and she likes the seat near the fire.

The questions had been set by the Ox Fford and the Cock-A-2 (formerly the Castle) and whilst being generally difficult were equally balanced. Unfortunately the tension got to the Phoenix such that on several occasions they talked themselves out of a correct answer.

The first round of 20 questions set the scene for a difficult game ending with 10 each; round 2 put the Phoenix ahead with 11 to 8; round 3 saw the Phoenix nose ahead with 13 to 12 but slip back in the next round with 15 to 17; the fifth round was 12 each with the last round seeing the Phoenix just edging it with 11 to 10. Final score to the Phoenix with 72 to 69.

It was a great game with lots of laughter and good spirits, well controlled by John from the Cock-A-2 and lubricated by Allgates stunning California ale (named after a Wigan coal mine) a golden beer its taste belying its 3.8% ABV.

Oh and United beat Stoke 2-0 drawing level with City at the top of the League since Everton managed a 1-0 win.