Tough Love – Harpies & Falcons Cross Talons
Bats Get Boxed
Appleby Hanging by a Thread
Welcome avid reader to this week’s summary of quidditch action in the British & Irish Quidditch League, the only place where you can find the best Quidditch commentary for the week. You join us here today after the most exciting – and some believe – the most important part of the season, as Boxing Day lays behind us and the League settles into its usual position, showing favourites for victory and surprising contestants at the top end of the table.
We kick off today’s match reports on a closely contested game between the high flying Arrows against a lacking Puddlemere team who – not including their farce of a game last week, which we here at Quaffles & Bludgers shall not be speaking about – have not recorded a win in the league since the third of October. Appleby came out swinging against a far weaker, frankly demoralised looking Puddlemere, though United gave a go of things, which is more than can be said for their attempt at play last week. The pair seemed rather close, with Appleby having some of the wind taken out of their wings by the closure of the league, with typical suspects Falmouth and Holyhead knocking them off of their number one pedestal and – in many’s eyes – stifling the Arrow’s dreams of striking true at both a trophy and a position in next year’s European Cup. However, after around an hour of no scores, with Puddlemere’s defence finally remembering how to play the game they get paid to partake in, Appleby managed to get hold of the Snitch and bring the game to an end. Appleby 300 – 120 Puddlemere!
Elsewhere the Pride took on a resurgent Bats side who were eager to show off their quality. With news their Beater Caryxander Sterling – recently married in Japan to bride Marzia Sterling during his tenure with Osaka – is set to return on a full professional contract, the Bats looked eager to bring themselves swinging into the new year and to knock Appleby from the top four with a victory. However, their hopes were dashed as Portree led them to a beautifully close game, the Pride having done their research and countering the Bats wherever they could. The teams ended up at loggerheads, with only a snitch catch separating out their very close scores. Pride of Portree 350 – 130 Ballycastle Bats! Osaka Shooting Stars are yet to comment on the return of Sterling to his club, though fans are noted to be thankful of his service to them whilst their Star Player Makoto Furukawa returns both to Osaka and to the Japanese National Team after a severe injury knocked him out of the game.
Elsewhere in a surprisingly dominant game on behalf of the Banchory Bangers, the Bangers took on the Montrose Magpies with Banchory bringing the Magpies to a halt with a bang as they stormed ahead with a 190 point lead. With the Bangers outperforming their competition, it came down from a snitch catch from the Magpies to make the points deficit they held far more minimal. Winding the game down after it took just 2 hours for Banchory to leave the birds of Montrose looking far out of their depth the Magpies were able to walk away with the snitch at least, and no threat of losing by over 200 points, which would have been a new record for the team. Banchory 520 – 480 Montrose.
Across the nation the Kenmare Kestrels took on the Caerphilly Catapults in another exciting yet close game as the pair clashed voraciously against each other. Caerphilly taking a few leaves out of Falmouth’s book, the team played a ferociously defensive game, ceding some penalties yet getting all of the value out of them as they left a brave Kenmare side looking battered and bruised after they came away with their victory in what was a closely contested affair. Caerphilly Catapults 640 – 600 Kenmare Kestrels!
In one of the most incredible games we have ever seen here at Quaffles & Bludgers, we find ourselves at Falmouth, where the top two in the league came together in a clash of the titans. Barry Fletcher had one story for his team – violence is the answer – and he used it to full effect, with Falmouth Beaters and Chasers all ceding penalties for aggressive play or illegal maneuvers, not enough to call the game to a head however. With Falmouth beating on Holyhead who instead wove their way through the game with finesse and style, we found particular interest in some of the more brutal tackles the Beaters made – namely Darragh Daly, who has been reported as having a vested interest in one Persephone Vitrac, the pair being a noted couple.
We caught up with Vitrac herself and asked her a number of questions, wondering whether or not she allows quidditch to affect her outside relationship with Mr. Daly. She commented,
“Interfere? Nah, it only makes things a little more interesting. We’re both very competitive people, so matches against one another get real fun- you know, wagers to see who picks our next date or… Other things. Besides, he’s always quick to kiss me better afterwards, draws the line at Baxter doing the same though.”
We here at Quaffles & Bludgers pressed the issue, interested to hear what the Silver Wolf had to say further, wondering if perhaps her game was affected either positively or negatively by this, and whether it was overly wise to make bets on her own play.
“I think so, yeah. Makes it a little more personal, doesn’t it? Course, that last game was a fluke. With the full moon so close, I wasn’t at the top of my game.”
In terms of our wonder at whether making bets on her own play was perhaps a worry to her more professional terms, she responded:
“Worrying? What? You think a little wager between lovers is going to stop one of us from doing our best? Daly and I both agree- our careers come first and the relationship after. This is the dream job for both of us so… Regardless of what playful bets we place, we’re still going out there and holding nothing back for the sake of our careers, our teams, and our fans.”
Wondering perhaps whether or not the opposite of this rivalry could occur should Falmouth launch forwards and Holyhead behind, or the other way round, Vitrac had this to say:
“I feel like I’m on such a hot streak because I’m good, I’ve got a good team to support me, and because I give it my all. I’ve worked my arse off to improve my game and keep up with the other talented women on my team. Playing for the Harpies has been my dream since I was a little girl, watching my first match and I’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure everyone knows that we’re the best out there… So if Falmouth pulls ahead… They’d better watch their backs because the Harpies will be coming for them.”
Fine words from a fine player it seems. Regardless, Falmouth took the lead in the game and threatened to take it even further with their brutal play but were shut into a surprising draw with the Holyhead Harpies as Holyhead’s seeker, Kelsey Galloway, managed to barely beat out Falmouth’s in a tight contest, bringing the game to a fine end. Falmouth Falcons 680 – 680 Holyhead Harpies.
In a less exciting yet no less hard fought game, the Chudley Cannons returned to their old tricks of getting hammered by the opposition, with the Wimbourne Wasps putting them to the sword in a highly uncontested game. Despite the Cannons not laying in last position as they have for many years, they appear to have fallen back into a soft acknowledgement that they might not leave the bottom of the table, where relegation now awaits them. Wimbourne 610 – 200 Chudley.
In our final game of the Boxing Day weekend we saw another closely contested game between the Wigtown Wanderers and the Tutshill Tornadoes, with Wigtown managing – towards the end of the game after an injury taken by one of Tutshill’s chasers – to draw ahead of the Tornadoes on points. In a twist of the sport and one that we’re always oh so fond of seeing, Tutshill managed to redeem what was once a close game now quickly turning into a rout, catching the snitch after 4 hours of fantastic defence on both sides leaving the game at an incredibly close scoreline. Tutshill 660 – 640 Wigtown!
With Boxing Day over, the New Year comes and with it the opening of the Transfer Season. In transfer news reports have gone out that both Ballycastle and Falmouth have sent contract negotiations out to Portugal, Germany and France – most notably Paris. Ballycastle and Falmouth fans alike have grown excited at the prospect of perhaps seeing wonder duo Quincy Villeneuve and Lood Reinach not only in the British & Irish League, but also within their colours, the pair a sure shot at the European Cup. Meanwhile on reports of the Hellhounds looking to offer Persephone Vitrac a lucrative offer to come ply her trade for them in Paris, she responded with
“I don’t care how much money they offer, my heart is with the Harpies, has been since I was a little girl. The Silver Wolf’s here to stay.”
Putting an end to any speculation of this transfer. Chairman Chigashvili commented merely that, “Everyone has a price.” Perhaps this story isn’t over just yet.
Looking elsewhere within the French League with rumors that both the Montrose Magpies – who are already confirmed to have picked up Transylvanian young prospect and International player Lestat Vrykulesti from the Agincourt Axes – and the Tutshill Tornadoes were courting Agincourt fan favourite, Adam Fletcher, to return to his home nation, we managed to catch up with the man on his way to a practice. Initially unhappy to speak with us due to comments on the Little Lamplight Dueling Open that he partook in, Fletcher had this to say when asked about the rumors regarding Tutshill and Montrose’s desire to get him into their jerseys.
“I’ve been wanting to return to the Bri’ish League for a while, it’s just been a ma’er of waiting for the righ’ offer. Toos’ill don’ interest me really, neither did Puddlemere when they ‘ad an informal cha’ with me – no one in their righ’ mind would touch ’em with a ten foo’ bea’ers ba’ righ’ now – bu’ Montrose would be good. They’ve go’ top four potential bu’ they need a strong force like me if they wanna break past the likes of Pride or Falmouth.”
With certain members of the Agincourt upper crust and the opinions of fans of both the club and Fletcher, many feel like he is perhaps jumping ship right before coming ashore, with the club in second position and above the usual competition, with only Paris locking them out in pole position. Fletcher responded to fan’s thoughts with this comment –
“Agincourt did a lo’ for me, and I’ve done a lo’ for them. I’m leaving them in a stronger position than I found them in, I’m sure they understand I’ve go’a find a stronger position too.”
When asked as to whether or not Fletcher felt like perhaps he might be leaving the club because he felt the competition a touch too stiff, he responded
“‘Mountain’ is a bi’ of an exaggeration, inni’? They’re just players. I knocked Reinach off his pedestal easily enough last season, the though’ of getting to do tha’ again is a warming one.”
Mountain being in reference to the force of Paris right now, the only thing keeping Fletcher’s current adopted side from first place. When mentioning Lestat Vrykulesti’s signing by his hopeful new home Montrose, Fletcher responded simply.
“We ge’ on well yeah. It’ll be good to ‘ave a familiar friendly face definitely. I know a lo’ of the Montrose team as well of course bu’ mostly from my time a’ Falmouth when they were rivals. Good group though, Lesta’ will like ’em.”
With a thank you and well wishes given after his defeat at the Little Lamplight Open we left Fletcher to explore and discover more about what this year’s Winter Transfer Season holds for us.