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News and Views
2007–8 Season

On this page:

Week 1: 30 October 2007
Week 2: 6 November 2007
Week 3: 13 November 2007
Week 4: 20 November 2007
Week 5: 4 December 2007
Week 6: 11 December 2007
Week 7: 8 January 2008
Week 8: 15 January 2008
Week 9: 29 January 2008
Week 10: 5 February 2008
Week 11: 12 February 2008
Week 12: 19 February 2008
Quarter-Finals: 26 Feb 2008
Week 13: 4 March 2008
Week 14: 11 March 2008
Week 15: 18 March 2008
Week 16: 1 April 2008
Week 17: 15 April 2008
Week 18: 22 April 2008

News and Views: 2007–8 Season

Fixtures and Results:

A League B League C League Cup Plate

Question Balance

The following table shows the number of games won each week by the teams going first and second, respectively, in the Specialist rounds.

Week Date No. of games First Second
1 30 October 2007 11 3 8
2 6 November 2007 11 8 3
3 13 November 2007 11 7 4
4 20 November 2007 11 5 6
5 4 December 2007 11 8 3
6 11 December 2007 11 7 4
7 8 January 2008 11 8 3
8 15 January 2008 12 8 4
9 29 January 2008 11 6 5
10 5 February 2008 11 9 2
11 12 February 2008 11 7 3
12 19 February 2008 11 3 7
13 4 March 2008 11 6 5
14 6 March 2008 11 6 5
15 18 March 2008 11 6 4
16 1 April 2008 11 6 5
17 15 April 2008 12 2 10
18 22 April 2008 11 5 6

One game was drawn in each of weeks 11, 12 and 15.

Week 17: the two teams that won going "first first" were the Hamilton Academicals and the Knot Inn.

Week 1: 30 October 2007

Congratulations to the Knot Inn for winning their very first ever game in the League.

Week 2: 6 November 2007

The C League had some very close games, with three of the four being won by only 1, 3 and 4 points respectively.

This week's highlight: see if your definition of "Disco" is the same as Tomo's! Only kidding Tomo, it was a great round, I just got the Disco question wrong!!! In fact only one person in the entire League got that question right for 3 points. Take the floor and do a turn in the honorary white suit please, Alan Levitt of the Principals.

[Editor's note: in case anyone was wondering, the previous paragraph refers to Question 3 in Specialist Round 8. The round was entitled Mods and Rockers, and the introduction read "This round is all about genres of popular music." Question 3 was: "With soaring vocals, strings, horns, electric pianos, guitar and bass, this lush sound was popular in the 1970s." And the answer? Well, you've already heard it: "Disco" (of course)!]

Week 3: 13 November 2007

The Ox–fford 'C' are off to a flyer in the A League and just beat the previously undefeated Principals in a very closely fought contest. The Dolphin racked up a mightily impressive 190 points - which must be close to a record, I must try and find out - Alan Hodgson and Peter McBride both chipping in with 45 each, Alan Rudden and Derek Owen scoring an excellent 30 and 27 respectively. The Dolphin Dragons scored their first win of the campaign by beating the Castle with a similar good all-round scoring effort, Liz Horrocks and Dave Turner joint top scoring with 33 each.

The B League looks like providing an excellent contest this year with the early pace being set by the British Flag, Waters Green Wonderers and Harrington Academicals who all remain unbeaten, the Flag being top by dint of having played 1 game more so far. All the other teams in the League are currently taking points off each other and it really looks like (cliche alert here) that any team can beat any other team on any given day. Special mention this week to Phil Davies from the Plough Taverners for an excellent individual 42.

The Knot Inn continue with their very impressive start to life in this lark and top the C League on "points scored", having accumulated 7 points more than the Sutton Church House who lost by just 3 points in the closest game of the week against the Albion. The Puss Artists and Albion are looming in the Knot's rear view mirror though with both those teams still unbeaten.

Knot Inn Captain Brian Bogie top scored in the C League this week with another 42.

We present here a Rogues' Gallery from around the League this week (well, mainly from the Crown Prince):

Pete Dykstra Ox–fford 'C' Principals Wonderers

Left to right:
1. Question Master Mr Pete Dykstra (wondering if a third glass might help ... )
2. Ox–fford 'C': Tim Massey, Caroline Massey, Alice Walker, Haydn Thompson
3. Principals: Lesley Bailey (shy), Alan Gilday, Graham Bailey, Alan Levitt
4. Waters Green Wonderers: Bob Langstaff, Nick Peck, Jon Thompson, Wendy Brown

Click on the thumbnails for a bigger picture.

Steve Carter commented: "Nice to be able to look at these pictures from the other side of the world. Presumably, Haydn didn't get any questions about West Brom and that's why he's sulking ... "

Week 4: 20 November 2007

A generally low scoring week this time around, with more "personal worsts" than "personal bests" for the season on view.

The odd question has created a bit of ongoing debate – were bagpipes really invented in Iran??? Whilst most people only want to know where the weeping, wailing instruments of tedium were invented so that they can avoid going there, pinning the actual location of their origin is a bit tricky. Various academic sources I have checked since (how sad is that?) all fail to agree on their place of birth. I will simply kick anyone I now see playing them just to make myself feel better for not knowing the answer...

More reasonably, the Ox–fford 'C' head the A League despite their narrow loss to their rivals from across the room, the Ox–fford. The A League indeed had three local derbies this week with the Dolphin beating the Dolphin Dragons with the help of another excellent 45 from Alan Hodgson who has been very consistent this season. The New Castle also got the better of the Castle to maintain their 100% start to life in the A League – most impressive.

The B League sees the British Flag, Waters Green Wonderers and Harrington Academicals heading the table, all of whom have graced the top division in recent years. High scores were thin on the ground but Steve Berwick's 33 for the Wonderers was a notable exception.

Newcomers the Knot Inn head the C League with Brian Bogie top scoring in the League again with 42 – he has clearly done this sort of thing before!

The Puss Artists and the Albion both kept their unbeaten records going with good wins, whilst the Park Tavern got their season going with their first win.

Week 5: 4 December 2007

Generally a high scoring week and lots of good scores on show in all 3 Leagues.

The Principals are currently top of the A League shop after a 177–155 win over the Dolphin in comfortably the highest scoring aggregate game of the night – Alan Levitt and Graham Bailey both top scoring with 45 each for the Principals. The Ox–fford just had enough legs to get by the Dolphin Dragons in a very close fought and entertaining game. The Church House Bollington tried to redefine the idea of a close game in beating the New Castle by 1 point to give themselves their first win of the season. Excellent scores all round in that game – Rick Davis and Shauna Barstow scoring each getting 36 for the Church House and New Castle respectively.

Just as tight in the B League where the Waters Green Wonderers won the top of the table clash with the British Flag by just 3 points, 146–143. Wendy Brown top scored for the Wonderers with 33 whilst Nick Peck scored a season's best 30. The Lamb Inn and the Harrington Academicals occupy third and fourth after another close game just edged by the Lamb. Paul Griffiths and Simon Rumsey for the Lamb along with Rob Parkin and Dave Partington from the Academicals all had season's best scores. The Baths Hotel and the Three Crowns were the winners of the other games.

The Knot Inn continue to head the C League after another very impressive win against the always tough to beat (and reigning Plate Champions) Puss Artists. The Knot's mighty score of 163 included another 42 form Brian "Mr Consistency" Bogie and 39 from Derek Goldstraw. The Albion stay second – and are still unbeaten – after a 133–106 win against the Waters Green Rams (another excellent 30 from Adum Carr for the Rams). The Chester Road Tavern just beat the Sutton Church House by 7 points whilst the Prince of Wales were more comfortable against the Park Tavern in winning 140–110 including 36 from Tim Hayes.

Week 6: 11 December 2007

The Principals head the A League going into 2008 courtesy of their win in a very high scoring game against the Ox–fford. Alan Levitt top scored for the Principals with 48 and heads the Individual rankings. Mark Watson missed out on a maximum 60 score (a feat rarer than Portsmouth scoring at home) by one question, failing to come up with the name of one of the many Rock Hudson / Doris Day films, namely "Pillow Talk". (He couldn't get past thoughts of "The Pyjama Game" for some reason ... )

The Dolphin beat the Ox–fford 'C' by just eight points, Peter McBride scoring a season's best 48 in doing so. Haydn Thompson maintained his usual incredible consistency with 42 for the 'C'. The Dolphin Dragons beat the New Castle in the only other game, with the match seeing the welcome return (as far as the Dragons were concerned anyway) of Gary Stubbs for the Dragons. Gary now lives elsewhere but makes occasional forays back to his old stamping grounds and did so very effectively this time with 42.

The B League saw the closest game of the week in which the Cock Inn beat the Waters Green Wonderers by just three points. Jackie Hulme (33) and Bob Langstaff (30) top scored for their respective teams. The numbers in brackets are their scores, not their ages of course...

The British Flag top the table after beating the ever dangerous Harrington Academicals whilst the Baths Hotel beat the Three Crowns, for whom Billy Stubbs scored a seasons best 30. The Lamb Inn denied the George & Dragon their first win of the season, Marshall Barnard producing an excellent 33 for the Lamb. Despite 27 from Mike Bennett and 24 from Pat Jeater, the Lamb won by 14 points.

The Knot Inn continue to head up the C League with another raft of excellent performances from Brian and Andrew Bogie (30 and 27 respectively) along with 30 from Mike Hancock. The Prince of Wales did well to run the Sutton Church House close but the availability of only three players (unless there is a Mr T. Lard now playing) meant that the SCH won by 16 points – Betty Dobson top scoring with 24.

Geoff Parkin top scored with 36 for the Harrington 'B' who beat the Puss Artists whilst Mark Griffiths had his best night of the season with 39 for the Park Tavern, who beat the Waters Green Rams.

The questions scored a middling number for entertainment value and divided opinion amongst those involved. Some teams were very happy with them and marked accordingly, others thought some of the questions were a bit too much "straight from a book" and there were occasions where the same person was getting lots of questions on the same subjects.

Week 7: 8 January 2008

The Principals became the first team to reach 1000 points in total this season, when they beat the Church House Bollington. Lesley Davies scored 33 in a season–best effort, with another 42 for Alan Levitt who continues to head the A League Individual standings. The Ox–fford beat the Castle with Mark Watson and John Knight top scoring for their respective teams.

The real story happened as the Ox–fford 'C' beat the New Castle and we had another tantalisingly close effort at the "perfect score" of 60 as Alice Walker registered the season's second 57, her all–time personal best score. The only question she missed on was the Montgolfier brothers' balloon full of animals. I dare say she would have popped their balloon given half a chance...in any event, well done indeed Alice.

The usual suspects continue to head the B League. The British Flag beat the Three Crowns with a very useful 33 from Neil Drummond.

Is it my imagination or does Neil look younger every year? I must ask him if he has any paintings of himself locked in an upstairs room ...

The Waters Green Wonderers had their second very close game in succession, just coming out ahead in this one as they beat the Baths Hotel by just 4 points, Bob Langstaff top scoring with 33.

The Plough Taverners just beat the Harrington Academicals by 8 points thanks to an excellent 36 from Phil Davies (top B League score this week) and the George & Dragon have still had no luck in looking for their first win of the season, just losing by 6 points to the Cock Inn. Mike Bennett scored his second consecutive 27 for the G&D whilst Jackie Hulme (30) and Anne Goddard (27) top scored for the Cock.

Apart from the Flag and the Wonderers, the remaining B League teams seem intent on beating each other, with the five of them locked together on 6 points separated only by "points scored".

Similar happenings also in the C League where the top two won again – the Knot Inn beat the Prince of Wales in a close game with Art Higham scoring 39 for the Knot. Art hasn't played before this season and the Knot surely have a knack for producing big scoring players. The Albion stay second after a close win over the Chester Road Tavern, John Hargreaves top scoring with 27. The Sutton Church House beat the Puss Artists by just 6, Win Greenwood (24) and Darren Stoddart (30 in his first game of the season) top scoring.

Special mention must go to Geoff Parkin of the Harrington 'B' who scored a fantastic 48 in the 'B's win over Park Tavern. This was the second best score of the night, after Alice Walker's incredible 57 – well done Geoff. The Dolphin Dragons supplied the questions which were a welcome variation on some of the usual themes and had obviously had a lot of thought put into them.

The Dolphin – Big Fish


Yes, I do know dolphins are mammals and not fish, but this team representing the Dolphin are very "big fish" indeed in Macclesfield Quiz League folklore. Besides, if you call people "Big Mammals", I find they get very upset and might even hit you ...

The Dolphin have won the lot and more besides over the last few years and in Alan Hodgson they have the premier player in this forum bar none. He has been the A League Individual Champion for 10 out of the last 13 years and has been seen on many TV programmes as well during that time. He is also the one and only person anyone can ever remember getting the magic "full house" score of 60 out of 60 in the League Match format. We have had lots of scores in the 50s, but only one bit of perfection.

The team are (from left to right) : Derek Owen, Peter McBride, Alan Hodgson and Stuart Rowbotham. The other regular member – Alan Rudden – was elsewhere on the night the photo was taken. I will get him next time.

As time wears on, I will try and feature as many teams as possible with a picture so we can be preserved for posterity (some of us are closer than others to preservation as it is). If you have a picture of your or any other team, do let me have it...

Peter Cole

Many of you will remember Peter Cole, who did the same Quiz League Secretary's job I do now for many, many years, while playing for the CAP team based at the St. Dunstan.

Peter and his wife Tina moved down South to live near Milton Keynes some years ago and I was very sorry to hear this week that Peter had a nasty accident on New Year's Day.

Peter, Tina and several friends had stayed at a château in France for a New Year's Eve Gala dinner. On New Year's Day, whilst walking in the château grounds, Peter slipped on some steps and broke both his arms. His left elbow has a compound fracture which has required seven pins and two plates to hold it together whilst his right upper arm is broken, fortunately not quite as badly. After being taken to a French hospital, it took several days to sort out the usual procedures to bring him home to the UK.

Peter is now back at home after a further few days in a Milton Keynes hospital. He is feeling a little better but it sounds like full recovery will be a long haul. Tina has let me know that any information on useful websites for home care / ideas about healing remedies / messages of support generally would be very gratefully received.

I have emailed Peter's contact details separately and won't post them again here, but do feel free to contact me if you have mislaid them and would like them again.

Week 9: 29 January 2008

At the midway stage of the season, all the teams in each League have played the same number of games (7 in the A League, 8 in the B and C Leagues) and patterns are emerging in some cases.

In the A League, the Ox–fford and the Principals could not be closer, both having won six games and lost one, and are separated only by a tiny margin on total points scored. The Ox–fford 'C' and the Dolphin are only just behind as well.

The B League is very close. The British Flag have opened up a four-point lead on their rivals, but their rivals are just about everyone else in the League! The Waters Green Wonderers, Harrington Academicals, Plough Taverners and Cock Inn are all on 10 points and anything could yet happen there. The George & Dragon deserve a special mention for having absolutely no luck at all thus far, being on the losing end of several very close games.

The C League is just as tight with long-time leaders the Knot Inn still two points ahead of both the Puss Artists and the Albion. The Prince of Wales, Park Tavern, Harrington 'B' and Sutton Church House are all just two further points back.

All to play for as we move into the second half ...

And whilst the New Castle are happy ...

Here's a picture of them to celebrate their Cars & Vans 4U success so far.

New Castle ../../photos/2007-8%20misc/fullsize/Pete Dykstra
Left to right: the four regular team members are Pete Dykstra, Graham Wallace, Heather Wallace and Shauna Barstow. Neil Wall had excused
himself at the bar when this was taken, we will get him next time...
"Of course I'm drunk, you don't think I'd wear this hat otherwise ..." The end of another long night for Pete Dykstra ...

Week 10: 5 February 2008

A tough set of questions this week, and Personal Best scores were harder to come by than a smile from Alex Ferguson on Sunday afternoon ...

All credit then to this week's top scorer: Jon Thompson from the Waters Green Wonderers, with a terrific 39.

Nine of the eleven games played this week were won by the team going first in the Specialist round, and only two by the team going second.

This week's Specialist questions were the most difficult we've had either in this season or last. Last season's lowest total in the Specialist questions was 888. The previous lowest this season was 998 in Week 9. This set totalled 771 by all teams. The questions also scored on average 24% higher for teams going first.

The GK set were more balanced, being only marginally more difficult than average and only very moderately biased in favour of the team that went second (i.e. first in the Specialist round).

In the A League, the Principals, Ox–fford 'C' and Dolphin all won by similar-ish margins, although the Castle ran the Principals very close with consistent scoring from all the players involved.

The British Flag strengthened their grip at the top of the B League although everyone is still forming a very tight queue behind them. Congratulations to the Cock Inn who move into second place.

The George & Dragon have finally broken the hoodoo and posted their first win of the season, and indeed scored more than any other team in the B League this week in doing so. The Lamb Inn and the Baths Hotel contested the closest game of the week, the Baths edging it by just one point.

The Knot Inn opened up a small gap at the top of the C League after beating the Chester Road Tavern, and the Puss Artists now hold second place after a good win over the Park Tavern.

Weeks 11 and 12: 12 and 19 February 2008

In Week 11 we saw our first draw of the season – the Principals and the Dolphin Dragons ending up with 126 each in their A League game.

Apart from that, seven of the remaining ten games were won by the team going "first first"quot; (first in the Specialist round) and the other three by the teams going second.

In Week 12, following the well established "London Bus" principle, we promptly had our second draw of the season in which the Waters Green Wonderers and the Three Crowns shared the spoils in a B League game – 118 apiece.

The trend was then reversed from the previous week in that three of the games were won by the team going "first first" and the other seven were won by teams going second.

Two thirds of the way through the League season, everything is still to play for at the top and bottom of all three Leagues.

The British Flag have opened up the biggest gap in their title push in the B League, with the Knot Inn not far behind them in doing the same in the C League.

Questions, Questions ...

The questions in Week 12 promoted quite a few comments from you on the score sheets.

One team awarded an entertainment mark of "minus 273" for the General Knowledge questions, which for the sake of mathematical integrity I took to mean zero (and a nod to question 3 in the Science round!)

The main gripe overall in respect of both sets was the number of "date related" and numerical questions which asked for specific years or numbers, often with very little or no leeway.

This is a general problem that has dogged many sets of questions over the years. Most of us could tell you with some precision the year of "big events" such as the first moon landing or the year of the current Queen's Silver Jubilee, but I haven't a clue in which year the elastic band was invented and if I ever wake up at night wondering about precisely when it was then I will arrange to have myself shot.

Our current guidelines for question setting (in place for many years) say:

"If the answer to a question is a year or number, always include some leeway unless it is reasonable to expect an exact answer, e.g. the year the Second World War ended."

I am minded to change the guidelines for next season to a more definitive statement and we can discuss that at the AGM, but in the meantime, PLEASE consider very seriously whether you really need to ask a "date" question, and whether there isn't a more interesting question to be asked about something that happened in a particular year – there always is!

A final point is on the subject of vetting.

Last week the General Knowledge questions were only shared with the other "vetting" teams right at the last minute, leaving no time for changes to be made. The schedule is fixed right from the start of the season as to who is setting questions etc (for League games anyway). People setting questions now and for the rest of the season have known since the end of last October exactly what is required of them and when.

Please ensure you get your questions done in good time so that other teams can see them and make comments, alterations etc. The best question setters make mistakes and miss things and so it is essential to get a second and even third opinion.

On that subject, at least two teams now this season have drawn my attention to the fact that they have made comments on questions only to find they were all completely ignored.

If comments are made on your questions, please do take them in the spirit in which they are offered and make changes if necessary. It may be that some of the comments are wrong as well, but that is where communication is crucial to this whole process!

Our whole League runs the way it does because of people's goodwill. Let's keep it that way, and try to fulfil our responsibilities as best we can. And finally, please, no elastic band questions ...

Church House Bollington

../../photos/2007-8%20misc/fullsize/Church House Bollington

The latest team to feature in our occasional series of portraits is the Church House Bollington, a friendly and welcoming location which we often refer to as "playing in Europe", it being slightly removed from Macclesfield town centre!

In this picture, the estimable Rick Davis is still smarting from the gross mis-direction in respect of which river runs through Norwich. The "official" answer - The Yare. Its good, but its not right as Roy Walker would have said. The River Wensum runs through the middle of Norwich (with the Yare not a million miles away, but not in the middle). We do like these things to be right...

In the picture (from left to right) are Allan Sherratt, Keith Arnold, Ed Baron and Rick Davis.

Cup and Plate Quarter–Finals: 26 February 2008

Look away now if you went second this week ...

All eight games were won by the teams going first. Some of those teams a betting man would have expected to win anyway of course, but there were some thumping margins of victory amongst the games. Nick's site has an interesting post in respect of his game and the below analysis bears out his comments.

Cup and Plate Quarter-Finals Analysis

The above table makes interesting reading. All eight games are listed in the columns from left to right and the scores for each of the six rounds can be seen as well.

Rounds 2, 4 and 6 were all won by the teams going first in every game, with the teams going first scoring three times as many points in total as those going second in doing so. Rounds 1 and 3 were predominantly (but not exclusively) won by teams going second, albeit by nothing like the same margin. Scores for Round 5 added up to exactly the same total points scored by those going either way, albeit 5 out of the 8 teams going first won the rounds in their games.

Let me know if you find this interesting. Let me know as well if you don't ...

Week 13: 4 March 2008

The A League had its three "derby games" this week, with the two Dolphins, Ox–ffords and Castles all playing each other. At the end of it all, only 2 points separate the top four teams in the League – all to play for...

At the Dolphin, the Dolphin got the better of the Dolphin Dragons in one of their usual closely fought contests. Peter McBride scored 45 and Alan Hodgson scored 42 in the process, while Liz Horrocks and Robin Morrell weighed in with 33 each for the Dragons. On the other side of town, the Ox–fford got the better of the Ox–fford 'C' who were without Haydn Thompson, the dreary business of earning a living once again having interfered with the real business at hand. Mark Watson scored 45 for the Ox–fford whilst Mark Shaw scored a seasons–best 30 along with Ian Willsdon in a very solid all round effort. Paul Jenkins made his first appearance of the season for the Ox–fford and scored 24 – all on the General Knowledge, having fallen foul of the old trick knowing the answer to most of the Specialist Round questions apart from his own! The Castle and New Castle had the closest game, the Castle just edging it by 14 points. The ever–consistent Jeff Corry cemented his "Top 10" individual place with another very good 30; Shauna Barstow top scored for the New Castle with 24.

In the B League, the British Flag moved ever nearer to automatic promotion albeit they only edged out the Baths Hotel by two points this week, helped in no small part by Helen Laurence's excellent 33. The Waters Green Wonderers ended their recent barren run in beating the Lamb InnBob Langstaff (Waters Green) and Chris Butler (Lamb) each scoring a seasons–best 33. The Harrington Academicals moved into second place with an eight–point win over the Cock Inn, Mike Hewitt scoring 27 for his best effort of the campaign thus far. The George & Dragon continued their renaissance with a good win over the 3rd–placed Plough Taverners, Malcolm Asquith scoring 33 for the G&D and comfortably topping the Individual table.

In the C League, the Knot Inn stay on top courtesy of a win against the Sutton Church House, with Brian Bogie (21) and a season's–best 18 from Richard Briand leading the way. Ray Henry scored 24 for the Sutton Church House. The Puss Artists now occupy second after beating the Waters Green Rams. In a lower scoring game than usual, Andy Bailey's 33 for the Puss was decisive despite David Reynolds countering with 27 for the Rams. Steve Adshead made a welcome return to the League in his first appearance of the season for the Park Tavern and his 33 was comfortably the best score in a close win over the Chester Road Tavern. Tony, Jim and Steve Moores all made 21 each for the CRT. The Albion beat the Harrington 'B' in the remaining game, John Hargreaves scoring 33 for the Albion and chasing Andy Bailey and Brian Bogie for the lead at the top of the Individual table.

Paul Beard

Finally this week I must unfortunately make mention to all teams of a serious incident that occurred after the end of last Tuesday’s C League game between the Albion and the Harrington ‘B’. The match was played at the Albion and the Albion team included Paul Beard who has played in the League for many years.

In essence, after the conclusion of the game, Paul Beard assaulted one of the Harrington ‘B’ team members by grabbing him by the throat and pushing him against a wall, accompanied by abusive and threatening language. Other people in the pub then intervened and prevented any further incident or injury. This sort of behaviour is entirely unacceptable and frankly actionable on a formal legal basis should the party involved wish to do so. The party involved has been advised and will consider their position.

I have spoken to those concerned, including Paul Beard of course, who fully admits the physical assault as outlined above and he has stated to me (and many others) that he will take no further part in any Macclesfield Quiz League games in the future.

The League Committee (John Knight, Graham Bailey, Marshall Barnard and I) have met and acted as follows:

1. We note and accept Paul’s comments that he has no intention of playing any further part in the League from this point onwards
2. In any event, the incident is so serious that we formally ban Paul from playing, watching or otherwise taking part in any way whatsoever in any Macclesfield Quiz League games for the remainder of this season
3. If Paul wishes to participate in the League again at any point after the conclusion of this season, he can only do so if he first contacts any of the Committee (preferably myself) who will meet with him beforehand to discuss (and seek assurances about) his future conduct

The Albion team have been informed of the above and both accept and understand the decisions made. I should stress that no other Albion team members were involved in this incident and that they are all entirely blameless in the matter, indeed I am grateful for their co-operation and understanding subsequently. Paul’s actions were, and remain, entirely his own responsibility.

I am sure the matter will end there. If it does not, please let me know.

Week 14: 11 March 2008

Fourteen eighteenths of the way through the season and still all to play for, although bets are getting hard to come by on some teams as I will discuss later ...

Everything is still very much possible in the A League, where no sensible punter would bet on the outcome. The Principals completed the double over the Dolphin with a 170–149 win, with very solid scoring all round. Alan Gilday had his best night of the season with 39, the same score as Graham Bailey. Lesley Davies got a season's best 33, and Alan Levitt had the same score. If 33 is the lowest individual score of the night, that adds up to a pretty powerful team performance. Peter McBride with 39 and Stuart Rowbotham with 30 (in only his third League start of the season) contributed to what was still a very respectable score for the Dolphin.

Elsewhere the Ox–fford beat the Dolphin Dragons by a very similar game score (172–147). Mark Watson (48) and Liz Horrocks (42) top scored for the Ox–fford and Dragons respectively.

At the other end of the table, the Church House Bollington enjoyed a narrow five–point win over their follow promoted team from last year, the New Castle. Rick Davis continued his very solid scoring with another 30 for the Church House (taking him into the Top 10 individuals) and Graham Wallace scored a season's best 39 for the New Castle.

In the B League, some things are much clearer. The British Flag are guaranteed promotion to the A League – well done indeed – and they must be odds–on favourites for the B League title with only the Harrington Academicals (6 points behind) now able to catch them. The Flag beat the Waters Green Wonderers by a handsome margin with Neil Drummond (39), Helen Laurence (30) and Tony Browne (27) all contributing major scores.

The Academicals enjoyed another good win over the Lamb Inn, Dave Partington (33) and Mike Hewitt (27) enjoying season's best scores. Closest B League game of the night was at the Baths Hotel, who just lost by 5 points to the ever–improving Plough Taverners who have won three out of their last four games to move into third place.

Having lost their first eight games of the season, the George & Dragon have now won their last four on the bounce to move towards mid–table. Malcolm Asquith (33) was supported by a fine Jeater family effort with Pat and Annie both scoring 27 each, in helping the G&D to a 12–point win over the Three Crowns. I would also like to welcome back Alasdair Reid to the League who debuted this week with a fine 33 for the Three Crowns. Alasdair played many years ago for CAP and even the Gardeners Question Team for those of you who are old enough to go that far back ... welcome back Alasdair.

The top of the table clash in the C League produced a win for the Knot Inn over the Puss Artists. Like the British Flag, the Knot Inn just need 1 more point to be guaranteed a place in the B League next season and look favourites for the title with a 6 point lead over the Puss, albeit having played 1 game moire. Brian Bogie from the Knot equalled Geoff Parkin's best C League score of the season with 48, whilst Art Higham weighed in with 42.

Closest match of the night saw the Waters Green Rams just beating the Albion by two points. The Albion, freshly shaven after last week's kerfuffle, did very well with Jenny Wright scoring a season's best 27, the same score as John Hargreaves. The Rams just edged it though thanks to an excellent 39 from Adum Carr, ably supported by 27 from Tracey Crellin – both season's best performances.

Elsewhere, the Park Tavern beat the Prince of Wales with Nick Lloyd–Griffiths (27) leading the way for the Park, whilst the Sutton Church House beat the Chester Road Tavern by six points with Betty Dobson and Barrie McQuinn contributing 24 each. Steve Moores had a season's best 42 for the Chester Road.

Individually speaking, the final "Top 3" in the C League will be surely be Andy Bailey, Brian Bogie and John Hargreaves, the only question remains in what order.

Speaking of personal scores, we are now at the stage of the season when only either the best 11 (A League) or 12 (B & C Leagues) individual scores from however many games you have played are counted. Several players have now played more games than these numbers. Just in case anyone was wondering why their totals had not increased as much as they thought they should have ...

Puss Artists

Puss Artists

Continuing our ramble around the teams in the League, here are the Puss Artists in all their glory. Happily ensconced by the canal on Buxton Road, the revamped Puss in Boots (home of the Artists) happily welcomes all and sundry to its pleasant surroundings – even the sort of people who play in the Quiz League!

Our picture shows (left to right) the main man Andy Bailey, Ashley Cooper, Dave Cooper and Matt Eagles.

Week 15: 18 March 2008

Another high–scoring week in which the questions (set by the Castle) were very favourably received for the most part.

In the A League, the Ox–fford need one more win to secure the League title after pipping the Principals in the tightest of contests, finishing 179–176 to the Ox–fford. Their meeting earlier in the season resulted in a narrow win for the Principals (171–166), so there has been barely anything to choose between the teams this season, both contests having been played on nights when the questions have favoured those of us who have answered a lot of quiz questions over the years! Mark Watson had his second 57 of the season for the Ox–fford with only the true identities of Hinge & Bracket sinking the full house ship ... Paul Morrissey also scored a season's best 42. The Principals scored very consistently also with Graham Bailey and Alan Levitt each contributing 42. Tim Findlow and Alan Gilday had season's best 39s.

Elsewhere, the Dolphin beat the Ox–fford 'C' 174–156, albeit the 'C' were missing some regular players due to illness and that awful "earning a living" business. Peter McBride (45) and Alan Hodgson (39) top scored for the Dolphin and Derek Owen contributed his season's best score of 27. Alice Walker chipped in with 45 for the Ox–fford 'C' and Tim Massey scored a season's best 30.

The Dolphin Dragons secured their A League status for next season with a narrow six–point win over the New Castle. Chris Wearne top scored with 27, another season's best (lots of them this week). Graham Wallace and Shauna Barstow each scored 30 for the New Castle.

The two relegation places will be shared by two of three teams – the Castle, New Castle and the Church House Bollington. All three teams have identical records and are separated only by "total points scored". The Castle and Church House Bollington meet each other in Week 17 which could be decisive ...

In the B League, congratulations once again to the British Flag whose promotion to the A League is assured. On the night the Flag lost to a thumping performance from the Harrington Academicals, who now look favourites to join the Flag in the top shop next season. Dave Partington (39), Rob Parkin and Stuart Mills (33 each) and Mike Hewitt (30) all scored heavily for the Academicals.

The Three Crowns have become the League's draw specialists and shared their match with the Baths Hotel 143–143 to give the Three Crowns their second draw of the season. Dave Pennington top scored for the Three Crowns with 33 whilst Mike Vickerstaff (39) and Mary Bloor (season's best 36) did the same for the Baths.

The Cock Inn just beat the Waters Green Wonderers by 1 point, with several people on both sides getting 27s – Jackie Hulme for the Cock, Bob Langstaff, Wendy Brown and Jon Thompson for the Wonderers.

Finally, the Lamb Inn edge ever closer to the trapdoor to the C League as they lost 128–119 to the George & Dragon who continue their extraordinary second half to the season winning their fifth game on the trot. 27 was the highest score here too, with Paul Griffiths (Lamb) and Malcolm Asquith (G&D) being the top scorers.

The situation at the bottom of the B League is nothing like as clear cut as the A League, but the Lamb are running out of options and need to win their last two games to survive. The other place looks like it might be between the Three Crowns, Baths Hotel and George & Dragon, but much can happen yet.

In the C League, one more point will guarantee the Knot Inn promotion in their debut season, despite their loss this week to a bravura performance from the Albion, who it was pleasing to note had a full complement of four again this week. John Hargreaves (42) and Roberto Rodriguez (30) had season's best scores for the Albion who won 150–136, Art Higham scoring an excellent 39 for the Knot.

The second promotion spot looks like it should be between the Albion and the Puss Artists who completed a 139–116 win over the Harrington 'B'. Andy Bailey maintained his form with 36 whilst Matt Eagles had a season's best 27. Dave Cooper for the Puss and Geoff Parkin for the Harrington also scored 27.

The Sutton Church House beat the Prince of Wales with yet more "best scores", 27 from John Stein and 24 from Ray Henry doing the trick. The Park Tavern beat the Waters Green Rams thanks to 42 from Nick Lloyd–Griffiths and 30 from Shaun Lloyd–Griffiths, again both season's best efforts.

Week 16: 1 April 2008

Some issues settled this week, but much remains to be decided in the final two weeks of League action – on the 15th and 22nd of April.

The Ox–fford sealed their third successive A League title with a 174–124 win over the Castle. Since the turn of the millennium only the Ox–fford or the Dolphin have won the A League, but this season has shown that the Principals are now a mighty force to be reckoned with after adding to their squad at the start of the season. The Ox–ffords / Dolphins and the Principals look set to contest the A League scenario for a while yet, unless you fancy the challenge ...

The runner–up spot is still up for grabs and any of the following three teams can still do it.

At the other end of the table, two from three of the Castle, New Castle and Church House Bollington will go down to the B League. Next week sees a "four–pointer" between the Castle and the Church House, with the winners surely staying up and the losers going down.

In the B League, congratulations to the British Flag and the Harrington Academicals, both playing in the A League next season and deservedly so. The Flag just need one more point to secure the B League title from a mathematical perspective.

At the bottom end, the Lamb Inn have it all to do and the Three Crowns and the Baths Hotel are the others under threat. The George & Dragon continue the most remarkable "game of two halves" ever seen, with their sixth consecutive win – following eight consecutive defeats at the start of the season.

In the C League, hats off to the Knot Inn, Champions and promoted to the B League at the very first time of asking – an excellent effort. Runner–up spot is still anyone's guess, with the Puss Artists and the revitalised Albion fighting tooth and nail, although the Sutton Church House and the Park Tavern can't be ruled out either.

Much more discussion will follow after next week's results ...

Week 17: 15 April 2008

Following the penultimate round of League games for this season, much is still up for grabs.

Only the Lamb Inn have fallen through the relegation trapdoor so far, although the New Castle and the Church House Bollington have an uphill mathematical struggle in the A League tonight whether they win or lose.

The B League title still hinges on next week's results. The Harrington Academicals could pinch it from the British Flag if they win and score heavily enough, whilst the final relegation place rests between the Three Crowns and the Baths Hotel.

In the C League, the Knot Inn are champions and assured of going up, whilst the Albion have gone from strength to strength after their team's trip to the barbers and will join the Knot if they can win next week. If the Albion lose next week, a win for the Puss Artists could see them pinch the second spot.

There are also lots of people in all three Leagues who could still get into the "Top 10" individual places depending upon next week's performances.

Week 18: 22 April 2008

And now, the end is not just near ... it is here!

After eighteen weeks of titanic struggle, congratulations are due to the triumphant teams and commiserations to those less successful – next season it all starts afresh!

In the A League, the Ox–fford won the title for the third year running, and the Principals enjoyed an excellent season in finishing second. The Principals also have the Plate Final at the start of next season to look forward to. The New Castle and the Church House Bollington fell through the relegation trapdoor, but both teams were excellent opponents (and good company) through the season and will be missed.

Mark Watson won the A League Individual standings with Alan Hodgson second. Mark and Alan have shared this honour between them since the turn of the Millennium, and Alan is still 5–3 ahead over the last eight years! Alan has been a fantastic player in this and many other fora over the years, and his standing in this arena remains unchallenged (and unchallengeable) in your correspondent's view.

Third place was shared this year between two other titans who could not be separated over fourteen games: Haydn Thompson of the Ox–fford 'C' and Peter McBride of the Dolphin.

The B League saw the tightest finish of the season, with the British Flag winning the title on "points scored" (or "goal difference" as we like to call it). The Flag just pipped the Harrington Academicals by dint of scoring 19 points more over the sixteen games after finishing with identical Won / Drawn / Lost records. Congratulations to both teams – a wonderful effort.

The Baths Hotel and the Lamb Inn will start next season one rung lower, but their time will surely come again.

Malcolm Asquith from the George & Dragon won the Individual title and this is his first such title in the League. Malcolm – well done indeed.

Jon Thompson from the Waters Green Wonderers was second after a brilliant season, and Jackie Hulme from the Cock Inn claimed third spot – with three other players just one question behind her. A doff of the cap is due to both.

In the C League, the Knot Inn won the title and promotion in their first ever season. This is a great achievement and congratulations go to all the Knot players. They have a very strong squad and will challenge in the B League next season. Their Plate Final in October against the Principals will also be a sight to see ...

The Puss Artists also had a great season, finishing second and up to the B League next time round.

Andy Bailey from the Puss Artists heads the C League Individual standings and has had a fantastic campaign. Brian Bogie from the Knot Inn finished second having played only the minimum counting games whilst John Hargreaves from the Albion capped another fine season for him with a well–deserved third place.

In terms of questions, the Principals crept up on the rails and won the Cars and Vans 4U Ltd Question Setters Trophy with their Specialist questions from the last week of the season. They just edged out the long–time leaders the New Castle by 0.36 of a point. Incredibly close stuff, and both teams deserve much credit, but well done to the Principals for winning this trophy for the second time in three years.

Cup Final and Presentations: 13 May 2008

There was an excellent turn–out, the Cup Final was a finely contested affair, and the butties were very welcome too. I have only a small number of trophies left in my possession; I will contact the winners separately.

In the Cup, the Dolphin beat the Ox–fford 'C' by 114 points to 98. Congratulations to all concerned.

Thanks also to our very own Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, otherwise known as Rick Davis and Allan Sherratt, for asking the questions and scoring respectively – much appreciated, your fine efforts added to the night's entertainment as always. Given that Rick was not too well last week, his efforts were above and beyond even our usual high expectations – Rick, thank you.

The League Champions also deserve much credit, namely the Ox–fford (A League), British Flag (B League) and Knot Inn (C League).

The final trophy of this year will be settled at the start of next season as usual. The Plate finalists are the Knot Inn and the Principals; this game will be played at the AGM before the start of next season, sometime in September or early October. Date and place to be confirmed, although the place will undoubtedly be the Weaver!

If I don't see you before we start again, have a great summer and I will be in touch.


Mark Watson.

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