Saturday, 21 January 2012

A close shave

Well, I’ve played in six quizzes this year so far, winning three and coming second in the other three, and I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that Rob and the guys from Lemurs have got the Indian sign over me. I’ve lost twice to them in the rugby club, and once in the Dyffryn Arms. Alright, every time we’ve been beaten they’ve had a bigger team than ours, but the fact is that a loss is a loss. The only time I’ve beaten them this year was in the Rugby Club when Rob himself was asking the questions. At least it’s not a very big losing streak yet. We were well beaten on Thursday night for the rather obvious reason that we didn’t know anything like as many of the answers as they did. Galling. I believe that Rob, who is none other than Robert Merrill, is recording his Brain of Britain semi final this week. I sincerely wish him the very best of luck. Fingers crossed.

I have to say that we were pretty lucky on Monday night. It was the first match of the second half of this season’s Bridgend Quiz League. Our opponents were the Tyrisha Nomads, and if that name sounds familiar, well, they were one of the LAMMY Award nominees for 2011. They were runners up to us in the League last season, and comfortably beat us in the Muriel Williams Trophy, the season curtain raiser. I’ve probably already told you this before, but anyway, the format of the league quiz is that the first 32 questions are read out for both teams to answer in writing. These questions are worth just one point for a correct answer. We had a 2 point lead after this set. These are followed then by 8 individual questions – 4 for each team. One person on each team may answer two of these. Captains pick numbers from 1 to 8, and each will correspond to a particular question – it’s pot luck which . The Nomads answered all of theirs, but our third question was the only individual question that no member of either team could answer. That wiped out our lead, as each question in the individual section is worth 2 points, or 1 if passed over for a bonus.

The last section of the quiz comprises of A and B team questions. For the first 5 one team takes the As, and for the last 5 they take the Bs. Correct answers to your own questions are worth 2 points, and bonuses 1. So, as I say, it was all square going into the As and Bs. We just couldn’t get a lead, and it never felt like we were going to be able to either. Whatever we could answer, they could answer. In fact, the Nomads took the lead when they correctly identified Kavanagh QC, and then Ally McBeal for a bonus. Then we pulled ourselves back in by knowing that Tchaikovsky wrote Winter Daydreams, and getting a bonus for Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. We both got the first three of the last 5. Neither of us got question 4. So we waited as the last category was announced – boxing. Ours was first – which boxer, who held world championships during his career, was defeated by Brit Kirkland Laing in 1982 ? Yes ! I knew that ! Roberto Duran ! We sat back, confident that the Nomads would get their answer correct as well, and so we had earned a draw. They were asked – which British and European Heavyweight champion lost his only world title fight in 1975 ? We immediately wrote down ‘Richard Dunn’. The Nomads gave their answer “Richard Dunn.” The QM replied – "Incorrect ."– and handed it across for a bonus. I was so dumbfounded that I blurted out Henry Cooper incorrectly, even knowing it was wrong. Of course, it was Joe Bugner. Talking with the Nomads afterwards, we both realized that we had made the same mistake – Bugner fought Ali twice, but the first time they fought, Ali wasn’t actually the champion. What can I say. The Nomads would have deserved the draw, and frankly, if the question had been the other way around they would maybe even have won. A great game – and very well played.

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