Weekly Match Reports - Winter 2019 /20
(A big thank you to Jonny Peacock)
League Game 4 - Thursday 7th November
Tim Busby cranked up the difficulty of the questions this week, and there were some close matches. After only four weeks there are just two teams unbeaten, so the competition is fierce.
There was one point in it when the Sun A met a plucky but depleted team of three from the Gardener’s Arms, winning 57-56. Great food was put on by the pub, as ever, with lovely pasta. It was always a close game, going down to the last question yet again. There has been no more than two points between the teams in the home side’s first four matches, so keep up the great work Tim Busby.
Questions were well handled by newcomer Punchy Perks at the first win of the season for the Blackbird, beating the Sun B 61-60. It was close until round six, where the Blackbird went seven points clear, then tried to give it away in the last round, but Mayo Michael secured victory on the last question.
The Plough had a scare at Bletchingdon Nomads, getting only four points in round one, outclassed by the home team. It was a relatively low-scoring match for these two strong teams, but the visitors overcame their slow start to win all the subsequent rounds and end 70-54 winners.
Still on a roll, the Chequers visited the Mason's Arms, and came away with a 67-53 victory.
And the Windrush Club had a fine match played in a good spirit, beating the Bell Heyford 61-42.
The White Hart raced into an early lead at the Chandos Arms, and were over twenty points up after the pictures. This was significantly reduced when the guests hit a hot streak (or was it the beer kicking in?), but the hosts managed to steady the ship and ended the match as 67-53 winners.
Top score of the night was 80 from the Ploughman’s Bunch! at home against the Royal Sun 45. The visitors were desperately unlucky with their pick of questions, 22-4 behind after two rounds. It was more even for a while, but then they were out of luck again in rounds five and six, where the 12-2 score from round two was repeated.
The Royal Blenheim rocked up at Kidlington Green a player short, and soon found themselves on the wrong end of a score 10-4 (echoes of ‘Highway Patrol’). Kidlington held a narrow lead going into the last round, but a hearty rendition of ‘The Old Bull and Bush’, a home team answer, indicated the result was beyond doubt, finishing 70-60.
League Game 3 - Thursday 31st October
It was All Hallows Eve, with a spooky Halloween quiz in prospect. Nobody had to dress up for Trick or Treat, venturing out into the dark, prepared for a haunted house of horrors. With only a skeleton crew and a Jack-o’-lantern to light their way, they searched for spirits (25ml).
Just like a scary Halloween movie, negotiating a road closure and making the last few hundred yards on foot, the Ploughman’s Bunch! had a good start at the Chandos. They won the tough second round 8-2 with bonuses on Donald Tusk and Philip Schofield, that notorious duo. They headed off into the night, over the eerie Otmoor checking roadside ditches for the dead, on this spookiest of nights. Chandos 53-70 Ploughman’s Bunch!
A grinning candlelit pumpkin face met Kidlington Green at the Royal Sun, Begbroke. Drinks were ordered from a cobweb-strewn bar, and then, as early as round one, it was Trick or Treat as the food came out - Chicken fritters and skin-on chunky chips with dip. Certainly a treat, that saw both teams off to good start. Then came the nightmares, round two for the home side, round three for Kidders to even things up. A screaming finish animated a zombie win for the away side 62 – 65, scrambling the broomsticks eastwards soon afterwards.
The Plough welcomed the White Hart from Eynsham, and went top of the Premier League with a high-scoring 76-65 win. The away team featured as an answer in round one (Richard II on their pub sign) but narrowly lost the first four rounds. They threatened to come back from the dead in the final rounds, and scored enough to win in most other matches on the night, but could not quite match the Plough on good form.
Royal Blenheim 70 - Bletchingdon Nomads 57. The final score looks like a comfortable win for the Blenheim, but that was far from the case. After conceding an early lead they were struggling to find a rhythm until what was to prove to be a pivotal round six, trailing by three points they hit their stride ending it six points in front and then won the last round by five for good measure.
The Windrush Club continued their good start, beating Sun B 60 – 52, and it was Chequers 65 - Blackbird 49.
The Gardener’s Arms returned to last season’s form, overcoming Mason’s Arms 69-43 in a team effort, plucking the right numbers and choosing well to ensure victory. And there was a similar result to last week, but with questions this time: The Bell 54 - Sun A 53.
League Game 2 - Thursday 24th October
Week two, and the quiz is getting more difficult, for both the teams and for the postman. Some of the questions went astray, it was like Postman Pat and the mystery thief (spoiler alert – that was a kleptomaniac chicken). Tim Busby went the extra mile to get questions by whatever means available to all but one venue. Thanks to all those who helped and made the quiz happen.
The Sun B spent hours trying to get to Lower Heyford, as diversion signs had been placed by the Home Guard to fool the Germans. Don't panic! They arrived at the Bell to find no questions, then had a more sedate drive home.
The Germans looked foolish at the Blackbird too, where Carsten of the Gardeners failed to name his national patron saint: more like ‘egg on your face’ than Boniface. An extremely close game swung back and forth. In the end, it was a James Bond theme that tipped it, leaving the Blackbird shaken, not stirred on 56 to the Gardeners Arms 58.
Windrush Club 54 Chequers 48 - what a night. The hosts offered many thanks to the Chequers for getting the questions emailed, and to Ian for reading them under great duress. In the match itself, Windrush got their noses in front early, but almost let it slip in the last round.
And from the bracing north it was Sun A 55 - Mason's Arms 55. A draw! A tense buttock-clencher which went down to the last question.
White Hart 62 - Royal Blenheim 64. The White Hart must still be wondering how they managed to lose to the Blenheim. After conceding an early lead they outplayed their opponents for the rest of the game until the last round, and even with a couple of inspired guesses from the Blenheim it looked as if it would be enough. But they chose the wrong final question, conceding an away win.
Ploughman’s Bunch! 73-57 Kidlington Green. After the kerfuffle with the questions had been sorted out, thanks to Tim the landlord and Tim the question-setter, the Bunch! leapt into a 13-4 lead. But they were pegged back by losing the pick-a-number round 7-12. It was still game on, but in the second half they won each round by three to win comfortably in the end. Thanks to Chris for marshalling the last-minute printouts, and for his pronunciation of Mel Blanc.
Chandos Arms 60 - Plough 70. The Plough travelled to the Chandos - a friendly pub, with great service and delicious food in the busy restaurant. The home team won three rounds well, but never recovered from losing the first round 4-16. And the Nomads edged it, despite only winning two of the seven rounds – although it did go down to the very last question.
The final score was Nomads 67 - 64 Royal Sun.
League Game 1 - Thursday 17th October
At last! The Winter league matches started this week, every Thursday until April, what a great prospect. Question setter Tim Busby tweaked the format too, introducing a random element of nervous number-picking into topic selection.
From outer Oxfordshire (Hook Norton) the scores were Sun B 64 - Sun A 66. It was a close, tense, exciting encounter which went down to the last question on the give-it-away round. And the food, as ever, was very nice.
The Masons hosted near neighbours the Blackbird in a match which started badly for the home team. 11-19 down after the 2nd round the home team finally managed to win 71-67 after a tense final round.
A good night with a see-sawing score saw the Windrush Club's ten-point half time lead pegged back, leaving the Gardeners Arms one point ahead going in to the last round, before the Windrush Club took the round and the overall honours: Gardeners Arms 53 - Windrush Club 57.
The Chequers Chipping Norton started the season well, overcoming the Bell Lower Heyford 76 – 48. There was live folk music playing in the Chequers, which may have inspired the home team.
Royal Sun 67 White Hart 77. A fun evening at the Royal Sun, getting to grips with the new format, saw the friendly hosts advance to a seven-point lead. Then a series of fortunate (or were they well chosen?) picks in the new random round gave the White Hart an 11-2 win. Martin, the resident show tunes expert, was on form throughout. And the White Hart happily defer to their hosts' knowledge of Stormzy and One Direction.
Blenheim 87 Chandos 55. A solid win for the Blenheim. Even as early as the first round the Chandos were facing an uphill struggle after falling eight points behind and it didn't get any better with the home team going on to win every round, eventually victorious by 87 - 55.
Both Kidlington Green and Bletchingdon Nomads were well represented for the opening match at Green Road. The Nomads answered all their 1st round questions and took advantage of a faltering home side who, to the shock of scorer Diddly-Dee, failed to identify the tagline from ‘Terminator’. Final score Kidlington 73 – Bletchingdon 67, great to be back.
The Plough hosted a rock and roller derby match - Plough 80: Ploughman’s Bunch! 70 - where the Bunch! were seven up (not the soft drink) after a knockout third round. Then the Plough beat the count and won the final two rounds by nine and seven to overtake their great rivals and finish ten ahead.