Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 7 February 2012

image for University Challenge: Clare Just Fail To Storm Pembroke's Castle There's a castle at Pembroke. Not at the college, though, which is another Oxbridge college names after somehere it isn't.

There was very nearly a coup in the latter stages of this ultimately exciting match.

As Clare staged a roaring comeback from a seemingly hopeless position (the score at one stage read an embarrassing Pembroke 140 Clare minus 5) the excitable Daniel Janes seemed to all but usurp skipper Jonathan Burley's answering prerogative.

Both Cambridge teams went into this match needing one win to make it into the semi-finals, the loser would have one more bite at the apple.

During the first half, Clare just could not get going and Pembroke stormed into a huge lead. Around the halfway mark the score was 180-10.

(What on earth has happened to the comedy tastes of undergraduates? Pembroke failed to identify a sketch by the Monty Python team, plumping in stead for the Two Ronnies!)

At last someone gave Clare their wake-up call and they started to go like a train - congratulations for knowing the biblical Abraham's family tree!

They managed to get within 30 points of their opponents when, unfortunately for them, Cao - who had the fastest starter finger of late - finally let Pembroke back in when he jumped in incorrectly on the geographical description of a strait. Had he been able to wait, the last part of the question named some examples and Pembroke couldn't miss.

This restarted Pembroke who stretched away again in the dying seconds, to win 250-175.

Well done then to Edward Bankes, Ben Pugh, skipper Bibek Mukherjee and Imogen Gold. They join Worcester College in the semi-finals. Clare must try again.

Selectors think on: the first two semi-finalists each have a woman in the team - one a skipper.

*Correspondence about our coverage of matches featuring Worcester College continues...

Blenheim T. Thurspit, of Saltaire, West Yorks wrote to complain: "Speaking as a son of the fine city of Worcester, I can't stress enough how tiresome are the constant references to Worcestershire sauce, Royal Worcester porcelain and Sir Edward Elgar.

"There's far more to this great and ancient city - for instance, it is the birthplace of Dave Mason, guitarist with Traffic and writer of their acid trip pop classic, Hole In My Shoe.

"Surely the man who penned the immortal lines, 'I looked in the sky/Where an elephant's eye/Was looking at me/From a bubblegum tree...' is to be acknowledged as one of the greats, up there with Sir Edward."

EIF News & Features can only agree, Mr Thurspit.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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