A Game of Two Halves
Higher mathematics, they say, is a team game, and nowhere was that more evident than at Old Trafford last Thursday night when a capacity crowd was both thrilled and astounded by the final of the FMAANC Mathematics World Cup.
It's been more than one hundred years since FMAANC - The Federation of Mathematicians, Arithmecists and Associated Number Crunchers - staged the first legendary tournament, but arguably this year has seen the most eventful contest yet. It's been a long and rocky road to the final for both teams.
The plucky newcomers, Trinomial Academicals, appeared to come from nowhere to dominate the championship in its early stages. With staggering displays of tactical calculus and skilfully deployed complex fractions, they reached the final in the face of staggering odds. Their opponents, Cassio Athletico, did not have such an effortless journey, despite being easily the most experienced team in the league. Their tally of impressive wins in previous years was certainly little comfort for them during their match against Hypotenuse United when their star striker, Professor Arthur Winstanley BSc, disconcertingly lost his way during a quadratic equation and was disqualified for being offside.
Thankfully there were no such schoolboy errors to taint last night's game, as Casio fielded their classic four-four-two formation and delivered a devastatingly confident display of topography before running rings around the opposition with a series of precisely executed Venn diagrams.
Despite this, Trinomial Academicals remained solid throughout and a dazzling burst of differential geometry kept the veterans on their toes. At one point it looked like an inspired surge of trigonometry had the opposition cornered, but in the end the final result was inevitable. Casio once again proved that their formula for success is unbeatable and it all added up to a crushing defeat for the new boys.