Belfast Telegraph

The final Countdown for Eoin Monaghan

By Amanda Poole

Boy wonder Eoin Monaghan has sailed through to the final of cult daytime words and numbers quiz Countdown.

The 14-year-old Abbey Christian Brothers’ Grammar pupil was seeded second in this year’s series and saw off number three seed Daniel Pati yesterday, comprehensively beating him 108-77.

Mr Pati admitted he had been nervous about facing the formidable schoolboy in the semi-final and was gracious in defeat, calling Eoin “a fantastic player”.

Host Jeff Stelling called Eoin a “boy wonder” and said his performance on Countdown was “mind-blowing”.

Eoin’s average score in the series is an impressive 114. He beat his rivals eight times in a row, then had to bow out of the competition, before being brought back for the series finals.

He is now at home in Banbridge, as the shows were filmed over the past few months, but the Co Down teenager is remaining tight-lipped about the result of tomorrow’s final, much to the frustration of his school friends and teachers.

The principal of Abbey Christian Brothers’, Dermot McGovern, said: “Being an obedient kid, he said he can't tell me the result. Even when I pushed him — I asked, did you win? Did you get to the final? He said ‘I can't tell you that, sir’.”

Mel McMahon, head of English at the school, said everyone is very proud of Eoin’s achievements and described the talented youngster as “a ferocious reader and a great speller”.

Eoin was on fine form in the semi-final, and remarked it was “brilliant” to be through to the final. He will now take on top seed Jack Hurst.

Eoin has repeatedly dispensed with his adult competition in all his appearances on the 63rd series of the classic gameshow.

Countdown was the first show to appear on Channel 4 when the station opened in 1982, well before Eoin was born, but being a Countdown champion has always been an ambition of his.

To find out if his dream comes true, tune in to Channel 4 at 3.25pm today.

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