Right then, lets get down to business. That there has been nothing clear cut or predictable about this year’s series is shown by the fact that both teams contesting Monday night’s final lost their first quarter final matches. Lets get the statistics out of the way first, then, shall we ? Both teams have played 6 matches so far in this year’s series.
The average match scores for both teams are : -
York – 214.2
Magdalen – 265
The average match score for their opponents is a lot closer : -
York – 155.8
Magdalen – 153.3
The average winning margin of both teams are these : -
York – 58.3
Magdalen – 111.6
So going on the stats alone, it’s a win for Magdalen, then. Not only that, but lets not forget that Magdalen only lost by 5 points to Sheffield, while York were beaten by 85 points by Peterhouse.
However, its not quite as simple as that. Magdalen have been impressive throughout the competition, but they have never again looked quite as impressive as they were in their first match, when they looked like series champions in waiting. As for York, they looked unimpressive right up to and including the defeat by Peterhouse. Then a transformation seemed to happen, and they have looked a different team since. They beat Sheffield in the semis, who were favourite for the final among many people , this writer being one of them.
What it may come down to is the fact that although captain Andrew Clemo has received useful support from his team mates, it is his performances that have really driven York on to the final. As for Magdalen, Will Cudmore has been a huge star on the buzzer, but Kyle Haddad-Fonda and James McComish have also been big hitters in the buzzer battle during the series. If Andrew Clemo has a bad day at the office in the final, you feel that York will struggle for starters. Yet if, for example, Will Cudmore struggles, Magdalen still have plenty of firepower.
Put a gun to my head, and insist on a prediction, then I’ll say that I think that Magdalen are the more likely winners. But York are a team with momentum at the moment, and if Andrew Clemo has one more great performance on the buzzer, then they can win . I wish both teams the best of luck, and thank you both for the entertainment you’ve provided us with this year.