GREAT MELVILLE QUIZ: Reserves humble in victory

A team comprised largely of leading Reserve players and management has won the 2016 Great Melville Quiz.

Stu Campbell, Josh Nooijen, Devon Williams, Grayson Sutcliffe, Cam Olsen, Merv Williams, Jonathan McAdam, Wytse Bouma and Pam Bouma also won silliest team name for their handle: “I’m Not A Boxer But I’ll Take A Hook”.

They won a $100 Melville bar tab by a margin of two points from Benteke Fried Chicken, a team comprised predominantly of Kieran Lomas.

Winning team skipper Stu Campbell said on-field form played its part in clinching the quiz title.

“We came into this quiz buoyed by the confidence that comes from being a Reserve team that is eight points clear at the top of the league – and quickly found ourselves eight points clear in The Dinsdale Office on a Monday night,” he said. “Coincidence? I don’t think so. This is a parable for our time.

“Other teams may have known more, but they didn’t have our confidence to go with the gut feeling with the tricky questions. And we put everything out there on the quiz table, we left nothing in the tank – apart perhaps quite a lot of beer.

“Hopefully this is just the first leg of the treble for us.”

Campbell acknowledged the calibre of the opposition, with all but one club team represented along with some outside entries in a field of 16, which raised a four-figure sum for Melville United.

“Make no mistake, we are very, very humble in victory,” he said. “We knew there were better teams than us, but somehow they couldn’t match our chemistry, they didn’t know each other’s games like we did.

“You also need a good spread of specialist knowledge to win these things. Our team had members who knew almost everything, plus Grayson as well. The only things we don’t know much about is football and women.

“But we were surprised other teams didn’t do better. We knew the Aaron Scott Experience team (5th) would find it difficult with two Welshmen on board, but the Federation, women’s and Old Boys teams, they hardly fired a shot.

“Alan Holt’s team never quite gelled either, and Mike McMillan’s team was completely nobbled when there wasn’t a single question about Raoul Island.”

Campbell said everyone had expected the Old Boys to stack their team by including Josh Billman and Gavin Douglas.

“But to their credit they stuck with Phil Wheatley and Kris Allen, which was morally the correct thing to do, even if it ultimately cost them.”

Arran Clement, cultural advisor for the winning team, said one of the keys to success was getting there early and getting a good table.

“It’s a very under-rated aspect of pub quizzes,” he said. “But you will note we were right in the middle, where you could hear all sorts of things from other teams.”

Grayson Sutcliffe, the team’s theological expert, said a grasp of ethics was also important.

“Quizzes are a microcosm of life in general,” he said. “You have to know what is right. And you have to know what is wrong. Sometimes it is that simple.”

Aaron Scott, skipper of the Aaron Scott Experience, said his outfit was always on the back foot after Steve Williams withdrew at very late notice.

“Then again, it’s probably good Steve wasn’t there when you saw how much the Welshies were drinking,” he said. “Best he doesn’t know that.”

Neil Mouncher’s Federation team was thereabouts, but had nobody who could name the starting line-up for the 1973 FA Cup-winning Sunderland team. “I was only five at the time,” said Mouncher, a Sunderland fan.

Club captain Phil Wheatley said the quiz was incredibly successful.

“Even apart from the fundraising and the social dimension, there is always an anthropological curiousity in seeing fellow club members adapt to the competitive atmosphere after dark,” he said.

“When you looked around the TDO on Monday night there was this fascinating milieu of incredibly smug-looking Melville people, all basking in the warm glow of their superior knowledge, and table after table of would-be boffins with that unmistakable look of predatory eagerness.

“But if there was a teeny weeny criticism of the evening for those of us of an academic bent, it was probably that we didn’t have enough questions about Shakespeare, quantum physics or Rotherham. Still, always next year.”

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