THE ‘Cat’ called it! During the course of an enjoyable evening quizzing a couple of Sundays back, he informed me, somewhat resignedly, that the Plough (Wolvercote) always returns home empty-handed when they play at Far From The Madding Crowd ‘A’ (Oxford City).
And so it came to pass as they succumbed 79-89, in the highest-scoring encounter of the night, and thereby ending their hopes of landing the Premiership for another season.
The reward for the deserved victors is an away match this Thursday in a winner-takes-all shoot-out as we enter the final round of fixtures for this campaign. Their opponents, front-runners the Ploughman’s Bunch! (also Wolvercote), maintained their slender advantage after battering the Bell (Lower Heyford) 99-56. They would have topped 100 points but for mistaking a picture of Bangladesh for that of Belgium: a common error! It’s one-all in the match-ups so far between FFTMC ‘A’ and the Bunch! Too close to call, good luck to both.
Things are far more clear-cut in the West. Having led the section from day one, the Royal Sun (Begbroke) confirmed their superiority, and with it the moniker of champions, following a 77-66 defeat of the plucky Black’s Head (Bletchingdon). There was a curious start to proceedings during which it appeared that the tie might break all existing scoring records. This was quickly averted, however, when it was spotted that the question master was awarding three marks for every correct answer instead of the customary two!
The White Hart (Eynsham) secured the runners-up berth with an eye-catching 82-64 success over the Seacourt Bridge (Botley), who must now settle for third.
In the North, the Blue Boar Bees (Chipping Norton) are the new title-holders in all but name. Such is their heavier weight of scoring, that even a loss in their last match at the Bell would mean their stablemate, the Blue Boar, needing to post a total of fantasy proportions against the North Oxford Conservative Club (Summertown). The Bees attained this virtually unassailable position courtesy of overcoming the Woodman (North Leigh), 82-70. The Blue Boar ‘A’ at least take matters to the final week after a resounding 87-61 triumph over the Sun (Hook Norton).
Looking like they’re heading back to the Premiership, the Hatchet will be strongly fancied to take the Oxford Division when they tackle the Black Swan (East Oxford) this Thursday. Their 85-79 win over the Windrush Club (Witney), coupled with a 75-all draw for nearest challengers, the Green Road Club (Kidlington), at the Gardener’s Arms (North Parade), has left them in a commanding position.
Champions-elect, the Green Dragon (Haddenham) further stamped their authority in the East as they swept past the Chandos Arms (Oakley), 82-57, whilst third-placed Eight Bells (Long Crendon) upset second-placed King’s Arms (Wheatley), 76-71.
In other results, the North Oxford Conservative Club overwhelmed FFTMC ‘B’, 88-39, and the Chequers (Chipping Norton) moved off the bottom of the North division after soundly thrashing the Black Swan, 78-51.
James Carr’s questions
Q. Which is the largest mammal to build a nest?
Q. Which character from a famous Music Hall song gives his name to a bookies’ slang term?
Q. In which English city would you find the district of Holgate?
Q. Which body of water separates the west coast of Finland from the east coast of Sweden?
Gorilla, Burlington Bertie, York, Gulf of Bothnia.
A full fixture list and details of the league can be found at oxfordshirequizleague.co.uk