In this term’s Junior Schools Challenge (inter-House quiz) competition the West team led by Emma Wallis stormed into a lead of 250-70 against East, only to lose 450-310 in the end (thus East scored 360-50 after seeming down and out early on). Cubitt beat South but against a knowledgeable North team they almost doubled their winning margin, reaching 600 points. In the other semi-final East were outgunned by Loveday who scored 830, so the final on February 6th was between two really top teams.

The end of the final was mired in the sort of controversy that nearly had CHDB running out of the dug-out like a certain Mr Ferguson: with the teams neck and neck Matt Foster answered a starter but neither TIMW nor referee PJL heard his answer, only an ‘um’ hesitation sound, so it was passed over. Of course Cubitt then lost by ten points (550-540) and so will feel especially unlucky. It really was one of those occasions when neither team deserved to lose and the audience were often amazed by the esoteric knowledge displayed. I always reckon a total over a thousand amounts to a high-quality encounter and the Cubitt team, superbly led by Fin Johnston and Angus McConnell-Wood, with Cameron Scheijde as the IVth Form player, were especially impressive on the buzzer: they scored 18-15 on starters. This was balanced by Loveday getting five bonuses for three-in-a-row to Cubitt’s three. I think if we had had to judge who had won without seeing the score we might have sensed that Loveday’s sheer breadth of knowledge deserved a win, but it was too close to call. Loveday’s IVth Former, Henri Martin, had the advantage of having been picked for the Michaelmas competition and made a major contribution. The LVth year was represented by Orlando Taylor and the UVth were the excellent Nat McAleese-Park and the phenomenal Christian Round.

My thanks go to TIMW our new quizmaster, for taking over this stressful role and for his great support of the competition over the years. We were grateful too that AJG, even in his term as acting Head, made a special effort to come to virtually all the matches.