Monday, 31 July 2017

University Challenge 2017-18: Round 1: Match 3: Southampton vs Cardiff

Evening all. If you haven't already, do try and check out the new Quizzy Mondays podcast, where Chris Ducklin of last year's East London UC team talks about the week's quiz shows. I joined him for the first episode last week, and he intends to see if other bloggers will be willing to join in too. You can find it on Twitter, @QuizzyMondays. Now, on with tonight.

Southampton University was founded in 1952, and its alumni include radio comedy mainstay Jeremy Hardy and BBC news mainstay Jon Sopel. It has regularly sent teams to UC, reaching the QFs in 2013-14; it last appeared two series ago, going out in the second round. This year's foursome were:
Juan Paolo Ledesma, from Hampshire, studying Medicine
Andrew Knighton, from Fareham in Hampshire, studying Medicine
Captain: Lorna Frankel, from Wiltshire, studying Natural Sciences
Niall Jones, from Chalfont St Peter in Buckinghamshire, studying English

Cardiff University was formerly part of the University of Wales, becoming independent in 2005, and its alumni include another BBC news regular, Huw Edwards, and failed HIGNFY presenter Neil Kinnock. It last sent a team to UC, who went out in the QFs. This year's quartet, hoping to do better than the last Welsh side to face a Southampton team did, were:
Freddie Colleran, from Halifax, studying Engineering
Daniel Conway, from Chiswick, studying Medicine
Captain: Ian Strachan, from Nuneaton, studying Chemistry
Rosie Cowell, from Newport Pagnell, studying Philosophy

Off we set again then, and Mr Jones opened the scoring for Southampton, and the first bonus set, on Sinbad the sailor, which I missed a bit of as I left the room to close the doors so I could hear properly, gave the side a full set. Miss Frankel was up next, and the resultant bonuses were also cleanly swept up. Just one bonus came with Southampton's third set, before Mr Strachan finally found his buzzer for Cardiff; alas, all he did was lose his side five, handing Southampton possession and another full bonus set. The first picture round, on maps with missing borders, went to Southampton, who cleaned up again, and already led 115-(-5).

Already, it was looking like game over as a contest, and Mr Jones only added to that thought by correctly offering Kyrgyzstan for the next starter. All three bonuses were converted once again. A second starter in a row went to the Soton right winger Mr Jones; just one bonus this time, but even at this very early stage, it didn't really matter. Mr Knighton ensured all Southampton players had at least one starter to their name, though no bonuses came with it this time. Cardiff managed to get a buzz in on the next starter, but not the right answer, Southampton couldn't either. Mr Jones only added to the Welsh side's misery by getting the next starter, but the side missed all the bonuses again, albeit amusingly as an obscure incorrect answer to the first turned out to be right for the third!

The music round saw Mr Ledesma win the race to be (AFAIK) the first UC contestant ever to correctly offer 'Katy Perry'! The bonuses, on tracks using the 'Millennial whoop', gave Southampton another full house, and a lead of 200-(-5). Finally, Mr Conway broke Cardiff's duck, and took them into positive figures. Alas, a bonus set on the work of Doris Day got them nothing more. A second starter went Cardiff's way thanks to Miss Cowell, and bonuses on landscapes proved a bit more to their liking, as they managed the one. Mr Jones restored normal service for Southampton, and a bonus set on the human skeleton was very quickly dispatched.

The second picture round, on tourist attactions built for World's fairs, went to Cardiff, who took two of the bonuses, leaving the score at 225-40. Mr Jones then fell foul of a swerve that saw his answer emerge as part of the question, but Cardiff failed to take advantage. Another two starters was dropped, before Mr Jones ended the rot by taking Southampton's latest starter. Just the one bonus followed, but at this point, it was just a question of how many more points both sides could manage.

Another starter was dropped, the next saw Mr Ledesma (and myself) identify the main breeds of swan. The bonuses got them nothing more again, before Mr Ledesma took a second starter in a row; one bonus on sparkling wine followed, as we both identified 'cava'. There was time for Mr Knighton to take the final starter, and two of the final bonuses to follow; at the gong, Southampton won 280-40.

A pretty one sided match in truth, not much more can be said. Unlucky Cardiff, who just simply never got going, but came across well when they did nonetheless, and deserve credit for making it on the show in the first place, so good on yous. Very very well played by Southampton though, and we shall most definitely look forward to seeing you again in the next round! Could be a team to watch!

The stats: Messrs Ledesma and Jones were joint best buzzers of the night, with six each, while Messrs Conway and Strachan and Miss Cowell all got one each for Cardiff. On the bonuses, Southampton converted 27 out of 44, while Cardiff managed 3 out of 9, and both sides incurred one penalty.

No show next week, as LIVE athletics gets priority, so we're back in two weeks' time. I hope.

Only Connect is on next week, and this week too for that matter. Be back with that on Sunday. Also, stay tuned for a new non-quiz series I may or may not decide to start at some point in the next few weeks.

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