A team from Monmouth School for Boys triumphed in a nail-biting finale to win the 39th Prep Schools’ Challenge.
Monmouth quartet Oliver Edwards, Ollie Ray, Jason Pinto and William Wilton pipped The Downs 320-290 in the final of Sunday’s hotly-contested general knowledge quiz.
The Downs 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 Edwards, from Monmouth Boys A team, said: “It was a very well fought final and I think it was a very fair contest.”
Team-mate William Wilton 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.
Monmouth School for Girls, 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.