York defeated Trinity Laban way back in July, winning by 185-105 after a sprint in the final quarter. The unchanged team might not have wanted to leave it so late this time:
Alex Leonhardt, from Porthcawl in Wales, studying Political Philosophy
Robin Virgo, from Stamford, studying Chemistry
Captain: Rebecca Woods, from Chester, studying Psycholinguistics
Edward Haynes, from Kenilworth, studying Biology
New College Oxford looked very impressive when they racked up a score of 230 in their first match, made even more impressive by their opponents, Homerton, scoring 145 and surviving to the repechage. The favourites for tonight’s match were also unchanged:
Remi Beecroft, from Letchworth in Hertfordshire, studying Psychology and Philosophy
India Lenon, from London, studying Classics
Captain: Andy Hood, from Wasperton in Warwickshire, studying PPE
Tom Cappleman, from Bracknell, studying Maths
So, on paper, New College looked the likely winners, but York would surely give them a good match.
Well, at first, it was all looking rather close. The sides swapped starters to start with, with generally more starters than bonuses being answered correctly. Then, after the first picture round, York began to pull away a bit, and pulled out a lead of 100-45. Could a shock be on?
New College thought otherwise. They began to buzz back into the match, with a run of starters, including the picture round, on music performers from Sheffield.
The third quarter began with Tom Cappleman beginning a surge on the buzzer not dissimilar to one he showed in the first round. York’s lead soon became a deficit and New College began to pull away into the distance.
One starter question I managed to work out using DoND stats:
“If there are five different coloured balls in a bag, how many different combos of three are possible?”
Well, it’s ten. At 5-box, there are ten different 2-box pairs you can end up with. The same applies here, if you assign each coloured ball a board sum. Tom Cappleman managed to work this out as well, and New College’s lead was up to 175-100.
There was still plenty of time for York to recover the deficit, and Rebecca Woods tried to launch a fightback by taking the next starter. It didn’t seem to work, as New College continued to take starters, and soon, their lead was up to 215-115, and surely they were home and dry. But York weren’t going to just roll over and die, and valiantly fought back by taking three consecutive starters, but no bonuses went with them. At the gong, New College won by 215-145, but the match was certainly closer than the score suggests.
York did indeed give New College a good fight. It’s a shame they fell silent in the middle phase of play, otherwise it could have gone right to the wire. Rebecca Woods and Edward Haynes got three starters each, but the side was let down by just 11 bonuses out of 27. Andy Hood and Tom Cappleman got five starters each for New College, who answered 17 bonuses out of 39, which is pretty good, but a slight step back from the 19 out of 33 they managed in the heat. Still, they do have potential to do well in the quarters, so we’ll see how they fare there.
Next week’s match: Warwick vs King’s (good luck James and co!)
Tonight’s Only Connect was the first semi-final, and a really closely fought game as well, with only one point separating the teams at the end. A fine display from both teams, considering some of the questions were really hard, including one Victoria Coren described as ‘evil’.