York bow out gracefully in the semi-final of University Challenge

We spoke to the captain David Landon Cole about his experience


This evening York unfortunately lost to the unbeaten Peterhouse Cambridge in a nail biting semi-final of University Challenge.

Questions to York covered topics from dystopian literature to German composers, but their stirling effort was not enough to make their way into the final, as they lost by 145-100.

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The team alongside Jeremy Paxman and Jeremy Quacksman

After ten minutes, Peterhouse found themselves on -10 to York’s 40. But after this slow start Peterhouse took the lead with 5 minutes to go thanks to their knowledge of Shakespeare characters and rare Scottish animals.

York mounted a challenge in the final few minutes answering an entire round on European leaders in breath-taking speed but the young Peterhouse team ultimately proved too much.

For Peterhouse, Powell with the most expressive face in the history of higher education based quiz shows and Woods with a permanently inquisitive left eyebrow put on another impressive display and were ultimately deserving victors.

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On their way to the semi-final York demolished Manchester in the opening round 265-90 and beat Christ’s Church Cambridge 225-120 in their second tie.

York narrowly lost to this evening’s competitors, Peterhouse Cambridge in their first quarter final 165-185 but sealed their place in this evening’s semi-final by beating St Catherine’s Cambridge and Imperial.

York’s captain David Landon Cole told The Tab: “One of the nicest things about the entire process has been how engaged people from York have been. Not just from the University, but the whole city. I’ve literally had people I don’t know buy me drinks in the pub. Everyone at the University has been really friendly and really supportive and that’s been lovely.”

“It was a huge amount of fun. We spent a lot of time practicing so got to know the team quite well. Other students on the program were really nice. They filmed several episodes a day, so there really was a sense of camaraderie in the green room.

Cole also recommended a few pub quizzes in York to help our chances of at least getting one question right in future: “There’s one at Alcuin which is pretty good. There’s one at the Charles in Heslington and there’s occasionally one at the Accorn.”

The team have been fantastic ambassadors for the University and can only hope Cole and the rest of the team are bought even more free drinks when we all return after Easter.