Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas University Challenge - Round 1 - Match 4

Christmas University Challenge - Round 1 - Match 4

Warwick vs Sheffield

David Jean
Davey Christodoulou
Christian Wolmar
Carla Mendonca


Graham Stringer
Faye Simpson
Georgi Ergatoudis
Stuart Palmer

The series of Christmas University Challenge continued with the fourth heat in the first round. Both teams were aware of the need to score at least 130 to make the final (Manchester’s score of 125 from the first Christmas University Challenge episode remains the lowest scoring winner so far). With a Radio 1 controller and MP Sheffield had quite a varied team and I was hoping for a nice close contest.

Christodoulou got the first buzz for Warwick who managed to get  two bonuses and move to an early lead and Christodoulou again buzzed with a Shaksepeare answer followed by some excellent team work to grab all bonuses. 45-0 after only moments.

And guess what? Christodoulou nabbed an opening hat trick with the most impressive start to a show in this run of Christmas University Challenge. She was instrumental in nearly every answer the team gave and showed a huge breadth of knowledge to pummel Sheffield into the ground in the opening minute racing to a stunning  65-0 lead. Sheffield finally got going with a buzz from Ergatoudis  but failed to capitalise.
Christodoulou made a few mistakes, perhaps getting over confident from her early success but came back with a correct buzz on Jupiter to retake control. An enjoyable round on postage stamps followed by the end of which Warwick opened up a 85-15 lead and looking well on course to smashing the required mark of 130.

A music round covering pop bands named after books/authors saw Warwick reach a 110-30 lead and by the time Christodoulou had yet another strong buzz, their place in the Christmas University Challenge semi-final guaranteed as they moved to a 130-30 lead.

Paxman even began to lose his rag when Sheffield failed to buzz in following two failures by Warwick. With Christodoulou in such form and team captain Wolmar cutting in with some excellent points, it really was a case of men against boys and Sheffield were well out of their depth. They looked slightly embarrassed but there was little they could do. They simply got caught out by a far better team who had a fantastic evening.

The score ended up with Warwick getting the highest total of Christmas University Challenge thus far with a very impressive victory of 225-50!

Christodoulou remained in great form throughout, commanding the team despite her not actually being the captain and with her in this sort of form this will be THE team to beat. Another fantastic episode of Christmas University Challenge and a front runner has definitely emerged.

For anyone following the show it might be worth noting that there is no episode of Christmas University Challenge being shown tomorrow (Friday 23rd December) but instead the show returns for its fifth and final first round hear on Christmas Eve at 4.45pm.

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