Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

image for University Challenge: Manchester Too Tasty For Worcester Sauce. Worcester product.

Oh dear! What shame!

This was a mouth-watering prospect - two of the most entertaining sides in the competition squaring up for a cracking semi-final.

But what a let-down.

Well, to be perfectly fair, Manchester were entertaining, as well as sharp. But poor old Worcester simply never got going... the score was already a daunting 115-0 before they managed to get to the starter-for-ten buzzer first (and got it wrong).

They won the very next starter but failed to pick up the bonuses and then saw their ten points whittled back to zero with two wrong interruptions. By the time they got off the mark again - and staged something of a rally to 40 - Manchester were out of sight on 185.

But, like I said, we should not overlook Manchester's entertainment value, best displayed by skipper Tristan Burke's admission - along with most of the viewing public - that 'I don't even know what the question means' when confronted with bonuses on polynomials.

So farewell Rebecca Gillie, Dave Knapp, Jack Bramhill and Jonathan Metzer. It was fun while it lasted.

Good luck in the final, Tristan Burke, Luke Kelly, Michael McKenna and Paul Joyce.

Final score: Worcester College, Oxford 65 Manchester University 240.

*Our postbag continues to bring correspondence regarding coverage of matches involving Worcester College...

Ms Lamborghini Film, of Ashton-under-Lyne, writes: "Typical of the male-orientated media and academia to mention people like Edward Elgar and Dave Mason with regard to top Worcester folk. Even Prenderghast Chipotle, who clearly likes to think of himself as 'hip' (correspondence two weeks ago - ed.), can only come up with some talent show bimbo (Cher Lloyd - ed, again).

"The greatest mind to come out of Worcester is without doubt author, essayist and feminist champion Fay Weldon. My life has certainly improved since I took her advice and started picking up men's socks and cleaning the loo!"

"Oh give it a rest, for crying out loud," writes Mr Mark Rothko, of Barbican, London, who says that he is no relation to the celebrated Russian-American abstract/expressionist painter. "Worcester College is in Oxford so all this rubbish about the city of Worcester is irrelevant, isn't it?

"Anyway - what about Worcester's glove industry? No-one's seen fit to mention that... and where would the British Empire have been without gloves, eh? Answer me that!"

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

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