My tip for the top, St. John's Cambridge took on City University in a very good, keenly contested and enjoyable match. St. John's you recall scored 345 last time out , the highest score of the second round of matches, but they were made to work for their victory in this match. City's highest score of this series might only be 230, but no mugs ever get to this stage of the competition, and they impressed with some fine answers on the starters, although they failed to convert some of the bonuses into points when they were sorely needed. Still, Paxman paid tribute to the fact that they did actually lead the match at a couple of stages, and also asked St. John's how they had ever managed to lose their first round match. Simple answer - the other team - Lincoln College as it happens - were better on the day.
St. John's then won the match by a 130 point margin, 265 to 135. Still, you have to say that they showed a little vulnerability - a couple of gettable starters were claimed by neither team. You have to say that their semi final against Corpus Christi looks a bit of a tall order, but then anything can happen in a two horse race.
For the record, here's the stats for the teams
|Team||---1st Round---||---Play Off---||---2nd Round---||---Quarter Final---||Average Score||Average win margin|
Corpus Christi, Oxford
On these stats you'd be foolish to bet against an all Oxford final. However, there's not a huge amount to choose between the average scores of Manchester and Lincoln College - less than one starter and its bonuses. There's less than 10 points between their average winning margins either, so though you might just give the edge to Lincoln College, Manchester are still very much in it.
On the other hand, although Corpus Christi's average score is only 45 points more than St. John's, their average winning margin is more than 100 points better. Having watched the last 2 quarter finals you'd be a very brave man to bet on St. John's now. So I'm afraid that its Corpus Christi who are going to be lumbered with the burden of bearing the Clark tip for the top from now on.