A team from Monmouth School for Boys triumphed yesterday in a nail-biting finale to win the 39th Prep Schools’ Challenge.
Monmouth quartet Oliver, Ollie, Jason and William (pictured left, with Dr Andrew Daniel, Headmaster of Monmouth School for Boys) pipped The Downs 320-290 in the final of the hotly-contested general knowledge quiz.
The Downs (pictured at the bottom) fought back to lead the final with just eight seconds remaining before the hosts hit back to edge in front.
The visitors tied the scores from the last question to force the final into a sudden-death round.
In growing tension, Monmouth held their nerve, answering three more questions correctly than The Downs to win the event.
It was a gallant performance from The Downs who had been comfortably beaten 400-90 by the Monmouth quartet in the pool stages.
A delighted Oliver, from Monmouth Boys A team, said: “It was a very well played final and I think it was a very fair contest.”
Team-mate William added: “We defeated The Downs comprehensively earlier in the day but they grew into the competition and were very tough opponents. It could have gone either way.”
The A team overcame the school’s B team in the quarter-finals before defeating a team from Monmouth School for Girls in the semi-finals.
The winning Monmouth team received the Christabel Knight Cup from Dr Andrew Daniel, Headmaster of Monmouth School for Boys.
It was Monmouth’s first win since 2013 and the eighth time a team from the school had clinched the coveted trophy since the challenge was founded in 1980.
The Downs were denied their first overall victory since 1991 but had the consolation of picking up the runners-up salver from Dr Daniel.
Abberley Hall, Beaudesert Park, Hatherop Castle, Moor Park and Tockington Manor also fielded teams in the invitational event which is hosted each year by Monmouth School for Boys.
Abberley (6s) won the A final, defeating Monmouth Boys B 240-130, to clinch The Gordon Woods Cup.
There was also success for The Elms who won the battle for third place against Tockington and carried off The Mark Neale Cup.
Pool A: Monmouth Boys A 400, The Downs 90; The Downs 160, Hatherop Castle 80; Monmouth Boys A 330, Hatherop Castle 40.
Pool B: Tockington 90, Monmouth Boys B 240; Abberley (6s) 200, Monmouth Boys B 70; Tockington 10, Abberley (6s) 220.
Pool C: Beaudesert 90, Moor Park 200; Monmouth Girls 210, Moor Park 60; Monmouth Girls 160, Beaudesert 100.
Pool D: Monmouth Mixed 160, Abberley (100) 150; Abberley (100) 250, The Elms 100; Monmouth Mixed 170, The Elms 100.
Quarter-finals: Monmouth Boys A 180, Monmouth Boys B 10; Abberley (6s) 100, The Downs 180; Monmouth Girls 130, Abberley (100) 120; Monmouth Mixed 100, Moor Park 90.
Semi-finals: Monmouth Boys B 260, Abberley (100) 170; Monmouth Boys A 280, Monmouth Girls 150.
Third place A v B: Hatherop 90, Tockington 100.
Second place A-D: Abberley (6s) 260, Moor Park 110.
Third place C v D: Beaudesert 120, The Elms 130.
Winner B v Winner D: The Downs 250, Monmouth Mixed 60.
Third place winners: The Elms 100, Tockington 60.
A Final: Abberley (6s) 240, Monmouth Boys B 130.
Grand final: Monmouth Boys A 320, The Downs 290.