Given that it’s generally regarded as England’s second city and that Countdown films next door in Salford, it’s a bit weird that this was only the first Countdown in Manchester tournament.
But somehow it was – and what a success it was, getting a stonking 33 people in, including 6 first-time players!
After three rounds, there was only one unbeaten player: soon-to-be-televised-on-Countdown Stephen Read, on 6 out of 6 wins. He was to face off in the final against event stalwart and former Nottingham and King’s Lynn champion Rob Foster. (Videos from the game are available on our Twitter page, HERE.)
It was all square until the 11th round, when Stephen spotted UPBRAID – and then extended his lead a few rounds later by spotting TELOMERE and solving the final 6 small numbers round perfectly! Neither player could solve final conundrum LANCENOVA – that fell to audience member, 3rd placed player and Champion of Champions XIV champ Dylan Taylor, who unscrambled it as VOLCANEAN. Final score: 122-97 to Stephen!
In just 10 1/2 months since his first event, Stephen has won a gobsmacking 3 out of 5 events, and made the final of another event. Proof that newbies can smash FOCAL events! 😀
Cheers for organising, Matty and Jack! The final standings and scores from the day are all available HERE, so have a look at those, and don’t forget to check the UPDATED FOCAL STANDINGS and the GALLERY, which has been updated with plenty of beautiful pictures from the day, including Michelle Nevitt with her fist in her mouth at the pub afterwards.