April 28, 2015 in Celtics
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April 27, 2015 in EQC
Done and done. Some ambitions fulfilled and others frustrated. The 2015 Celtic Nations championship is done and dusted.
Our own headline is that Ireland finished second. Out of three. This might not seem like that much of an achievement but, trust me, it is. We are the most recent arrival on the international scene from this part of the world and, in the previous two runnings of this event, finished dead last. Yes, Scotland won comfortably. Their strength in depth (as witnessed by their constant rotation of players from the A team right down to the C team fairly demonstrates) is impressive. However, Wales did beat them in the Euros last time out.
An ambition yet to fulfilled is a personal one. Since joining this scene I have taken part in nine international matches (EQC 2012, CN 2013 and now CN 2015) and lost them all. 🙁 Of those defeats though, two have been by a single point, one was two points and a yet another was by six or so. Yesterday morning I had another such slap in the face and the team of myself, Kevin Jones, Hugh Brady and Dan O’Malley conspired to lose after being 11 points ahead with two categories to go. Our Scottish opponents stole two of our final set (worth 3 points each) and then answered two of their own last category. And thus, emerged as winners by 45 points to 44.
This was the closest Scotland came to defeat in an international match this weekend. After dodging this bullet, they went on to claim what chief organiser Gareth Kingston called a ‘blue wash’ and comfortably win the championship.
Congratulations to our A team though, who defeated Wales for the second time shortly afterwards. This team was made up of the Davids, Lea and McBryan, Lorcan Duff and Hugh Brady, who had stepped up from the B team following that Scottish heartbreak. It capped off what was a very impressive debut from Hugh, who I hope will continue to join us at events such as this.
Yesterday I promised you the questions from the set created by Lorcan and myself for Saturday morning. Here it is: Scotland v Wales, set 1.
I’ll be back online later with a selection of photos from the event. As for now though, excuse me while I go and catch a flight.
Day 1 of the 2015 Celtic Nations kicked off at 10am and, from then until after 9pm, was full of quizzing. Personally, it also contained some major disappointments, along with minor triumphs for yours truly.
The day began with the first set of international matches. These featured the hosts taking on the defending champions Scotland. As I mentioned yesterday, the way the event works is that for each of the international matches the nation not taking part is in charge of the questions. Myself and Lorcan Duff wrote this first set of questions (I’ll upload them later, if you’d like to give them a go). I took charge of the A match, featuring the like of Anne Hegarty (from The Chase) and 2014 Brain of Britain champion Mark Grant, whilst some of my team mates hosted the B, C and even an informal ‘D’ match. I’m glad to say the feedback on our questions was very positive (even the ones which were deemed “a bit hard” for this august group!). In the A room, Wales got off to a terrible start and never could catch up; Scotland ended up winning by 10 points.
Straight after this match everyone was in action in the weekend’s individual event. This saw us all taking on a 100-question paper over 75 minutes. The questions were good, hard, as one would experience at the EQC itself. To be honest though, I felt the 75 minutes was a tad long. You know what you know. At the end, Mark Grant successfully defended his title, comfortably so, as his 79 points total was nine ahead of Scotland’s Rob Hannah. Ireland’s Mark Henry has been in great form in the Hot 100 lately and he carried this in to the individual quiz, emerging at the top Irish player on 67, which was good enough for fourth overall. Our new player Hugh Brady had a terrific debut: his score of 62 saw him finish in ninth, just two points behind Dave McBryan and one behind Lorcan. The top eight players from each nation contibuted points to the overal competition, based on where they finished. My own 52 points was only good for 21st in the room but it did see me contributing some points to this table.
As it happens, I won’t get to start competing straight away at 10am as a match between Wales and Scotland is the opening event. A few of us on the Irish team will still be in action, so to speak, as we function as quiz-masters for three simultaneous matches between the two nations’ A, B and C teams. We also provide the questions: in this instance, myself and Lorcan Duff combining for this first set of the weekend.
Following that, here’s the timetable for the rest of the day:
11am – 1pm Individual Quiz
1pm – 2pm <Lunch Break>
2pm – 4pm Team Quiz
4pm – 6pm Pairs Quiz
6:30pm – 7:30pm Ireland v Scotland A, B, C
7:30pm – 8:30pm Ireland v Wales A, B, C
8:30pm – 15 to 1 Tournament
That’s a lot of quizzing! 🙂
If you’d like more info during the day, check out the event’s Facebook page. I’m sure it will be updated as events progress. I’ll be back tomorrow with a report on how the Irish quizzers got on today.
April 1, 2015 in Quizzes
One year on from the quiz I hosted in aid of the local primary school, I was again invited to provide the questions for 2015’s event. The school staff also asked me to host once again but, alas, due to family reasons I couldn’t.
After being impressed with the number of school children who attended last year’s quiz, I decided to make this year’s questions a bit more child-friendly. I have since been told that this worked out well as there were even more kids in attendance this year!
However, in amongst questions about nursery rhyme characters, medieval history and ‘make and do’, I also endeavoured to place at least one (if not two) tough questions in each round – to keep adult teams interested.
Hopefully that worked out and I wasn’t being cursed by the all-grown-ups teams in the room…