This year’s House Challenge Final took place in Assembly on 13th June between Wills and Honan. Wills had vanquished Thompson and Steel on their route to the Final, while Honan defeated the might of Munawir Hill and the smarts of Sheppard.
The format was simple: each team were asked 30 questions with correct answers scoring two points and incorrect answers seeing the question put to the opposition for the chance to ‘steal’ one point. Teams consisted of four members and had to contain representatives from the Shell, Remove and Lower 6th year groups.
Honan began the tournament represented by Sarah Zhari, Uma Scott, Natasha Johnson, and Asyiqin Zailani but were forced into late changes for the Final, drafting in Nadia Johnson and Haziqah Abdul Ha’ak to substitute for Sarah and Asyiqin respectively. Wills, on the other hand, would benefit from consistency of selection as their team, made up of Zach Ridzuan-Allen, Jay Chew, Cyrus Sharma and William Roué, were ever-present throughout the tournament.
The Final was a thrilling affair with both teams going toe-to-toe in an event that was the academic equivalent of a heavyweight boxing match. Wills moved into an early lead with excellent knowledge of South African politics and US presidents but were soon pegged back as Honan demonstrated a better recognition of Greek philosophers, famous paintings and English translations of Japanese words. With ten questions remaining, all was to play for as scores were level. Mr Devenport, a hybrid of Richard Osman and Carol Vorderman, crunched the numbers and could barely contain his excitement as he relayed the score-line of 31-31 to the audience and competing players.
In the final ten minutes, Honan were on inspired form with a string of correct answers causing Wills to wilt under the pressure applied. Honan’s educated guesses regarding American sports franchises were to prove the final nail in Wills’ coffin as they came up short for the first time in the history of the House Challenge at MCM, losing by 33 points to 41.
A huge thank you goes to Mr Devenport for his scoring input, and Mr Scott and Miss Gueganton for their excellent work as quizmasters.