St Edmund Hall through to University Challenge final!

16 Apr 2019

St Edmund Hall vs Darwin College in University Challenge

Our brilliant team of four undergraduates – Marceline Bresson (2017, Economics and Management), Lizzie Fry (2015, Geography), Freddy Leo (2016, History) and Agastya Pisharody (2017, Materials Science) – put in another superb performance last night on University Challenge to make Teddy Hall history by winning themselves a place in the final. That match, which will be against Edinburgh University, will be broadcast on BBC2 on Easter Monday (22 April) at 8:30pm.

In their semi-final encounter, St Edmund Hall and Darwin College, Cambridge got off to a fairly even start, before Teddy Hall slowly pulled a little ahead. Darwin, however, fought back strongly in the last few minutes of the quiz, making for an exciting and tense finish, but Teddy Hall just held out and the final score was 165-140. This means that our current team are the first to reach the final of University Challenge – with our previous best performance being the St Edmund Hall team of 1983, who were defeated at the semi-final stage.

A graph showing points accumulation in the match between St Edmund Hall and Darwin
A graph showing points accumulation in the semi-final match - created by @StatsUc on Twitter

Darwin, which is a postgraduate college, fielded a well-fancied team, particularly notable for their impressive captain, Jason Golfinos, who has the highest average score of any individual in this year’s series so far.

“I knew Jason Golfinos before the season began filming, having met him on the UK quizzing circuit earlier that year,” explained Teddy Hall’s captain, Freddy Leo. “I was absolutely terrified of the prospect of Teddy Hall running into Darwin, since I knew they would be almost impossible to beat. As it happened, we were ultimately able to come out on top, but only by the narrowest of margins and with a considerable dose of luck. Well played to them – they were formidable opponents and delightful in person.”

Final-year student Lizzie Fry said: “Being able to represent Teddy Hall has been an honour, as I’ve really enjoyed and gained a lot from my time studying here. Whilst I’m sad that that is coming to an end, I feel very fortunate to be finishing with an appearance in the University Challenge Grand Final, especially with such a lovely team.”

We wish the Teddy Hall team the very best of luck in the final! If you missed the semi-final, it is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

Thanks to @StatsUc for permission to reproduce their graphics.

Match statistics, courtesy of @StatsUc

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