Warwick beats Bristol in University Challenge quarter-finals

We won it with 17 seconds to go

Team Warwick won this evening’s University Challenge quarter final against University of Bristol, coming back from 100 points down in the last eight minutes.

Celebrating his win with more than a few drinks, team captain Giles Hutchings admitted: “Around two thirds of the way through, we thought we’d lost.”

At 20 minutes in, the score was Bristol – 130, Warwick – 30. But after slowly making a comeback, the most intense part came right at the end. With one minute to go, the score was Bristol – 115, Warwick – 105.

With 45 seconds to go, Bristol’s Rolleston buzzed in with the wrong King Henry, meaning that they lost five points. The score was now 110-115, with a 10-point question left.

17 seconds to go and it happens: Paxman begins asking about an Austrian director, and suddenly Sophie Rudd’s voice like a victory horn, cutting him mid-question – “FRITZ LANG!”.

Slipping in one more bonus question before the gong went, Warwick finished in the lead with 120 points to Bristol’s 110.

Giles said: “The turning point of the game was probably when I got the only maths one about Gauss. But we couldn’t have won it without Rudd.”

To qualify for the semi-finals, the team still need to win one more round of quarter-finals in order to have won two games out of three, as they lost the first one against Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

The show was screened in the Terrace Bar on campus, but if you missed out on the excitement, you can watch it here on BBC iPlayer.