Dr Oakley reports:
Having defeated KES Birmingham in the Regional Final last November, the Shrewsbury team earned a tie against Dixie Grammar in Market Bosworth in the Inter-Regional Round of 16, which was held on 15th March. Dixie Grammar have enjoyed success in the Junior Competition and have qualified for the National Rounds of the Senior Competition in the recent past.
There was no neutral quizmaster (we gave Richard Osman a call but he was busy*), so it fell to me to read for the first 15 minutes and then swap with the teacher from Dixie for the second half.
In contrast to the earlier rounds in Birmingham, Shrewsbury got off to a good start, answering three starter questions before Dixie reached the buzzer. An incorrect interruption from Alex opened the door for Dixie, but Alex closed it slightly with the next question on ‘John Johnson’ aka Guy Fawkes.
Ollie pre-empted ‘Which Spanish tennis player…?’ – there are not many in common parlance to choose from. Starters 14 and 15 went to Dixie, and they began to make a dent into Shrewsbury’s lead. Tom then got his first starter on politics and followed it with correctly identifying ‘Three Men in a Boat’ from its opening line. Dixie got the final starter before half-time and the scores stood at 360-200 in Shrewsbury’s favour.
A change of reader (but no time for oranges) meant teams had to regroup. For a few minutes the match seemed evenly poised, with starters being exchanged and bonuses on chemical elements and murder victims polished off. (A question on Julius Caesar at this stage was very apt, given the date.) Dixie knew their onions on all things edible, but Shrewsbury were not going to be knocked off course by ‘Charybdis’. The final five starters of the match all went to Shrewsbury. Tim impressed everyone with his answer ‘L.M. Montgomery’, and a full set of bonuses on banknotes took the final score to a 730-340.
It was an impressive all-round display and the first time we have got this far in the competition since 2002.
The team will compete next in Westminster on Sunday 22nd April.
(*There is not one ounce of truth in this.)