Plough pleased by triumph in Sixties-themed contest

AFTER a barren summer and a comparatively unpromising start, by their own high standards, to the winter campaign – a period during which they have played second fiddle to their stablemate – the Ploughman’s Bunch!, the Plough (Wolvercote) finally laid their collective hand on some silverware last week, as they landed the 1960s themed Tabletop. Goodness me, it was close though.

Split across three venues, the 20 sides were tested on a mixture of topics including sport, entertainment and politics on a decade renowned for assassinations, widespread independence movements and massive shifts in popular culture.

At the leg staged in the Sun (Hook Norton), the Blue Boar Bees (Chipping Norton) emerged victorious with a total of 124, six greater than their joint tenant, the Blue Boar ‘A’. Concurrently, over in Wheatley, at the King’s Arms, the Green Dragon (Haddenham) prevailed by two from their hosts and, with 128, overtaking the mark set in Hook Norton.

However, it was at the North Oxford Conservative Club (Summertown) where the battle for honours was decided, and which provided the first six home.

Lying third entering the last round, the Plough pulled out a magnificent effort of 54 to finish on 144 and so sneak home by a solitary point from the gallant White Hart (Eynsham) with the Bunch! a further two back in third. That’s now three different winners from the three Tabletops staged, the predicted deluge of trophies for the Bunch! yet to materialise.

With the festive period now upon us, there is a scheduled cessation in hostilities, the cudgels being taken up once again on January 2 with the Sport Tabletop, the league programme resuming the following Thursday.

Having bagged the Premiership in the summer, the Bunch! enter the break two points clear in the winter equivalent. They are in prime position to justify my pick for the crown, although we are barely a third of the way into the season.

Two of my other selections are faring less well. In the North, titleholders, the Blue Boar ‘A’ 

have had a miserable start, sitting fourth in the table, some distance behind barnstorming pacesetter, the Bell (Lower Heyford). Meanwhile, my tip for the top in the Oxford Division, the Hatchet (Childrey), lie third but only one win behind front-runner, the Green Road Club (Kidlington).

Less bold a prediction was that for success in the East for the Green Dragon. They boss that section having picked up four victories from five starts. In the west, my choice, the Royal Sun (Begbroke), occupy top spot with a 100 per cent perfect record, but the White Hart are in cracking form in second, and defending champions, the Windrush Club (Witney) are looking increasingly menacing, a place further back. This division will go down to the wire.

Finally, I would like to wish all readers and staff of the Oxford Mail a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, on behalf of all of us in Quizland.

  • James Carr’s Questions

Q. Who, in 1964, became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize?

Q. Which comedian had the biggest selling single in the UK in 1965?

A. Martin Luther King; Ken Dodd (Tears)



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