IF I was a betting man which, I hasten to add, I am not, I would consider it a reasonably safe bet that a different name will be etched on the roll of honour declaring this season’s County Quiz Supremos.

Following their reversal, 69-73, to the Six Bells (Headington), and with front-runners, the Chester Arms (East Oxford), edging out a plucky Royal Sun (Begbroke) 78-74, current champions, the Plough (Wolvercote), lie rooted to the bottom of the Premier Section table, six points adrift of the leaders with just six fixtures remaining.

Theirs is a serious mountain to climb if they are to retain their title.

Meanwhile, the Six Bells’ victory enabled them to go second, leapfrogging the Hatchet (Childrey), who lost a high-scoring local derby, 71-81, to the Bell (Grove).

Such is the closeness of affairs that should, this week, the Hatchet overcome the Chester, and the Six Bells defeat the Chequers (Chipping Norton), there will be a three-way tie at the top.

Equally intriguing is the quest for laurels in the West Division.

The Windrush Club (Witney) have regained the lead after despatching previous pacesetters, the White Hart (Eynsham), 73-66, but a quick glance at the run-in and one suspects this battle will go down to the wire.

Over in the East, long-time leaders, the Green Dragon (Haddenham), slipped up again, this time 63-66 at local (ish!) rivals, the Eight Bells.

This success for the Long Crendon outfit takes them to within four points of their increasingly jittery neighbours.

The King’s Arms (Wheatley) may yet have their say in the destination of the crown, maintaining second spot after narrowly seeing off the Gatehanger’s Inn (Ashendon) in a low-scoring contest, 56-53.

Oh, and what of the mighty Oakley Army (Chandos Arms), I hear you cry.

Well, they continue to lurk around the peripheries after routing (because that is what armies do!) the Highwayman (Kidlington), 72-39.

The outcome of matters in the North also appears far from settled with the three big guns all winning last Thursday.

Visitors the Rock of Gibraltar (Enslow Bridge) saw off the Sun Inn (Hook Norton), 65-58, while the Blue Boar took the honours at the Black’s Head (Bletchingdon) 70-65, with the Crown (Church Enstone) scoring a close-fought victory at the Chequers 73-69.

Over the next three weeks these protagonists are scheduled to meet one another – although my hunch is that we may have to wait until the final week before this section’s issues are determined.

A pity that the Black Swan (East Oxford) had not brushed up on their knowledge of British military history! Failure to deal with this specialist round handed victory, and perhaps the Oxford Division title, to the Green Road Club (Kidlington), who squeaked this table-top clash, 67-65. The North Oxford Conservative Club moved into third after a valiant comeback triumph at the Woodman (North Leigh), 75-71, while the Seacourt Bridge stay fifth despite amassing the evening’s highest score, 85, 27 more than their vanquished opponents, the Gardener’s Arms (North Parade).