Challenging Times rematch planned - and this time it's personal


Far be it from Campus Times to accuse any college of being a bunch of whingers but: UL, what a bunch of whingers!

The denizens of Castletroy, still smarting from their defeat by DCU in the final of Challenging Times earlier this year, have challenged the DCU team to a rematch on October 29th, as part of the annual "35s" competition between the two universities.

For those who have just entered first year, or who have been living under rocks in some obscure section of the science faculty for the last 12 months, the DCU/UL "incident" is set to assume the same significance in college life as the de Valera/Collins factions have assumed in Irish history.

Basically, as the 1997 Challenging Times final on RTE television reached its end, UL trailed DCU by 170 to 175. Quizmaster Kevin Myers began the final question thus: "He was born in Australia in 1902 of Irish parents . . ." The DCU team interrupted the question, to which the correct answer was Francis Stuart. However, the words "Ned Kelly" began to emerge from the lips of DCU captain Michael O'Sullivan. An incorrect answer would have meant a five-point penalty for DCU and a tiebreak situation.

As O'Sullivan said the word "Kelly", the buzzer sounded and Myers ruled the question dead, in accordance with the rules of the competition. In the manner of Monty Python's Piranha Brothers, who once nailed a man's head to the floor, it was "cruel but fair".

"Basically, they contacted us and asked for a rematch and I said `Anytime you like, lads'," says a distinctly confident O'Sullivan. One of last year's victorious DCU team, Richard Walsh, will be missing for the rematch, but O'Sullivan says he had no concerns about facing UL on enemy territory, "not about losing, anyway". UL students' union expressed some surprise at the rematch suggestion but, if it goes ahead, your correspondent will put his head on the block and anticipate a victory for the whingers.

Incidentally, the preliminary knockout rounds for this year's Challenging Times - as always, an RTE/ Irish Times joint venture - will take place early next month.