If you’re a regular you’ll know that I’ve been playing in the Bridgend Quiz League since September of 2010, and very proud I am to do so as well. It’s a great league, and it’s a matter of pride that the League is still going and still boasting two divisions while all around are either folding, and folded long ago. To the best of my knowledge Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot and Cardiff do not boast a single quiz league between them – although I would be delighted for any reader to correct me on that.
Still, it was slightly worrying on Monday night. Every September the League season kicks off with a registration night, where there’s an open quiz in which teams play for the Muriel Williams cup, named after a former mayor of Bridgend, I believe. It’s only about 3 seasons ago that the League celebrated it’s 40th anniversary, and for that night Mark ‘Beast’ Labbet was the guest of honour, presented the trophies for the previous season, and gave a rather good speech as well. That evening was absolutely packed to the rafters. This year the Muriel Williams was held in Bryntirion Football Club, as a thank you to the club for paying the registration for two teams, and hosting them during last season. I was particularly grateful since mine was one of them. Up until then we’d always played in the Llangewydd Arms. During the 2013/14 season we’d received unmistakeable signs that we were no longer exactly welcome. Small signs like being moved from our own reserved quiet area of the pub, to being plonked in a noisy corner. Oh, yes, that and the fact that the management also decided to start holding a loud music quiz at exactly the same time as the matched on Monday evenings.
Well, on Monday night there were about half a dozen teams. It was slightly more reassuring when Alun, the league chairman announced that we had in fact had 13 registrations for the League so far this season, although still a little worrying considering that we had 19 for last year. This is just my opinion, but I think we’d be in trouble if the number of teams dipped so much that we’d have to amalgamate two divisions into one. I’m not wishing to be disrespectful to any of the teams at all, but a number of the second division teams are mainly social quizzers, and they enjoy the games, and playing against teams of a similar level. Whether they’d want to keep doing it with the harder questions of the first division, and being beaten by quite large scores a lot of the time I don’t know.
For the record we did win back the Cup, although not by much. There were only three of the guys from the Crown in Maesteg who turned up, but they pushed us all the way to the line, and if they can show that kind of form in the league, then they’ll be a handful for anyone.