Final Quarter final match – Oxford Brookes v. York
The tension was almost unbearable. You see, I didn’t really want either of these teams to lose. Yes, I tipped Oxford Brookes, and I did really want them to win. But you can’t watch a supposed underdog team like York scrapping it out, and getting good results like their last one, without feeling an admiration for them. For the record , OB, once again represented by Sara Johnson, Austin Sherlaw-Johnson, Richard Williams and captain Anthony McLarin beat Christ’s but lost to Sheffield earlier in the quarters.York, represented by Chris Caudwell, Ben Keane, Simon Donnelly and captain Andrew Clemo lost to Peterhouse then beat Bristol.
Andrew Clemo took an exceptionally first starter to get George Orwell just from the fact that he was born in Bengal. They took a full set of bonuses on quotations. Sara Johnson of Oxford Brookes took an equally good quick buzz on a definition of a vuvuzela. They too took the full set of their bonuses on the feat of swimming the Hellespont. This already had the makings of a fine match. Ben Keane of York took the next starter on the matrix. For once they only took two bonuses, this time on Tony Benn . Andrew Clemo took the fourth starter, identifying the island of Rhum. Mathematical problems proved to be just that – problems, as they only managed one of them. Thence to the first picture starter. Anthony McLarin couldn’t identify that the nations shown on a map were the biggest producers of gold in the world, wrongly opting for uranium. Andrew Clemo had it though. More of the same, with other commodities followed, and York were happy to take the first two. Was it my imagination, or were York beginning to build up a useful head of steam ? It looked like it when Andrew Clemo took the next starter recognising various uses of the word caustic. A good shout that one. The team built on the good work by taking 2 bonuses Nobel prize for economics. Austin Sherlaw – Johnson stopped the rot by taking the next one on the obituary of the late Alan Sillitoe. A set of bonuses on personality disorders helped narrow the gap as well, when they managed to answer the second. Still, York had certainly carved out a healthy lead by the end of the first ten minutes, leading by 100 to 40.
There was a terrific question on the next starter, asking about the largest countries in Africa, 4 of which are all contiguous with the largest – Sudan. Democratic republic of Congo was given, and OB correctly offered Libya, but incorrectly offered Egypt as well. Hard lines. Andrew Clemo knew that Algeria would do the trick. This earned a set on astronomy. Which didn’t do them a lot of good as they didn’t manage any of them. Neither did I. A question on geometry followed, which I’d lost the point of before JP even finished the question. Neither team managed it. Still , Ben Keane took the next for York, knowing that Klaipeda is to be found in Lithuania. Philosophers and philosophy condounded them – off the point I know , but I was pleased with myself for knowing that Zeno founded the Stoics – although where the name came from I didn’t know – more about that later. Now, you know me, when one team seems as much in control as York did at this point, but fails to convert the majority of the bonuses then I start to get a little anxious for them. They were winning the buzzer race, but not pulling away with any great haste yet. The music starter on national anthems followed – both belonged to the teams taking part in a FIFA world cup final. The first was obviously Italy. The second was France so it was obviously 2006, as Richard Williams buzzed in extremely swiftly to say. More of the same followed. They managed 2 more. Neither team could explain the acronym BOD. An early buzz from Chris Caudwell lost 5 points, while Sara Johnson took the starter knowing that the member of the heron family required was the egret. A set of bonuses on kings of France were taken in full. The fightback, so it seemed, was on. Austin Sherlaw- Johnson duly took the next starter, and no bonuses were taken on things to do with the word place. I thought Simon Donnelly’s identification of Rene Descartes on the next picture starter was excellent, and just the sort of thing you need to do when the opposition is coming back at you. As you might expect three more paintings of French mathematicians followed, of which they took all 3. Still, York could reflect on the opportunities they hadn’t quite taken in this round, as the gap had actually shrunk to 40 points by the 20 minute mark, as they led by 135 to 95.
I just scented the hint of maybe a grandstand finish coming. Sara Johnson took the next starter on the word mental – much to the noisy delight of the OB fans. 2 bonuses were taken on Sicily. A mathematical starter passed both teams by. OB’s Richard Williams knew that a misdemeanour is less than a felony. A set of bonuses on painters followed, and they took 2. Suddenly they were only 5 points behind. Neither team knew Perkin Warbeck. Sara Johnson knew a set of locations of Shakespeare plays. The prefix – dis – brought a full set of bonuses, and now OB were ahead. Simon Donnelly took the next bonus on the element tellurium. Good quick buzz that. More of the same followed as bonuses, of which they managed 2. Andrew Clemo buzzed in too early on the next , but neither team knew the dynasties of Byzantium. Austin Sherlaw-Johnson knew a series of people who played the clarinet. There was one particularly noisy OB fan who insisted on bellowing “Come on !” every time his team took a starter. You never used to get this sort of thing in Bamber’s day. 1 bonus was taken on the Cyrillic alphabet. Andrew Clemo took the next, identifying a description of an organ. A set of – ite words followed, and they took all of them, and the lead. They kept it in the next starter, as Andrew Clemo knew a question about Brazil when he heard it. 2 bonuses on hills followed, and a lead of 25 seperated the teams. A great starter linking personal qualities in titles of novels by Wolfe and Thackeray – vanity – was taken by Sara Johnson. Bonuses on names of dyes followed – they took one, but were still behind. Simon Donnelly gave away five by buzzing too early on the next - but a five point lead remained. . . and the gong sounded ! York won by 195 to 190.
I feel physically drained. I’m really sorry that I gave you the kiss of death by tipping you, Oxford Brookes. All I can say is that you have played very well all series, and would not have been out of place amongst the semi finalists. But very well done to York too. You’re a fine and gutsy team, and deserve your success.
Jeremy Paxman Watch
When the anthems of West Germany and England were played , and OB correctly identified this as the 1966 world cup final, JP chortled – “Difficult, wasn’t it ? “
When Andrew Clemo wrongly offered Walter Simnel instead of Perkin Warbeck , JP made a point of coming back after he’d offered it to OB, and reminding him that ‘He’s normally known as LAMBERT Simnel !”
Finally the purists will have enjoyed the way he delivered a great backhanded compliment to York – “Well done York – even if you were struck mute at the end there. “
Interesting Fact Of The Week That I Didn’t Already Know
Stoicisim takes its name from the greek word for the porch under which the philosophers in question used to meet .