Falmouth Fly to Pole Position
Harpies Streak Takes Beating
Bats Challenge for Old Greatness
Welcome back to yet another fantastic article on the world’s greatest and most competitive sporting league – the British & Irish Quidditch League of course. Today we’ll be looking at both matchweek 14 & 15 and all the exciting events that filled those weeks. With Matchweek 14 proving extremely competitive whilst Matchweek 15 showing sweeping changes across the League. We’ll be looking forward to taking you through all of the exciting changes in the world of British sports today, in this edition of Quaffles & Bludgers!
This week we begin our exciting week with an incredibly close game between the mighty Falmouth Falcons versus an upstart Wigtown side, who pushed Falmouth to a game that needed saving via an opportune snitch catch that many are regarding as perhaps the best catch of the season so far. With Wigtown managing to avoid the usual brutal tactics of Daly and Baxter in the Beating side of the game despite both players dominating possession of the bludgers, the Wanderers managed to push the Falcons to a tight game – Falcons 600 – 560 Wigtown.
Elsewhere in a rout of a game we watched as the Wimbourne Wasps were thrashed tidily by the Montrose Magpies; the Magpies themselves on a fairly decent streak of games and finding victory once again in an utter domination that saw the Wasps needing a snitch catch at the end of the game to keep the deficit below 400 points for the sake of their continued run in the middle of the League. Montrose 600 – 280 Wimbourne.
Nearing the other end of the country we watched as a confident performance from the Caerphilly Catapults put down the Chudley Cannons, the Cannons getting a bit of wind in their sails with a few surprising victories over their opposition in the last few weeks. Caerphilly however came into the game with a swagger in their step and put the Cannons away with ease, leaving Chudley fans all over the country merely sighing and pointing to their team as they gradually slip into old habits, throwing away some of the wins they had received earlier in the League to keep them above Tutshill. Caerphilly 700 – 320 Cannons.
In what was a more closely contested battle between two fantastic rising sides, we saw a true spectacle in the game between the Banchory Bangers and The Pride of Portree, with the Bangers managing to see off The Pride after a closely contested affair that ended with a fantastic and frantic snitch chase within blisteringly cold winter weather and sheets of sleet. With The Pride putting in such a fantastic display, their fans will no doubt feel a touch stung after the Bangers managed to take a late victory after four hours of battle in the skies – Banchory Bangers 600 – 350 The Pride of Portree!
In easily the biggest upset in the entirety of the League so far, your favourite sports journalists found themselves watching as the Tutshill Tornados who have so far been entirely woeful in the League managed to bring down the mighty Holyhead Harpies, bringing their streak to an end in an incredibly close game that looked to go Holyhead’s way until the Tornados managed to catch the Snitch in a miraculous turn of events, leaving the score incredible tight. Tutshill Tornados 410 – 390 Holyhead Harpies.
In the final game of Matchweek 14 we saw a strong Appleby sweep away Puddlemere United with a dominating score, showing off all of their class as they trounced their opposition and showed them barely any time with any of the balls, demolishing them in almost every position they could. Closing out the game with a fine catch from their Seeker, Appleby closed out the game with a commanding scoreline against opposition Puddlemere, leaving the game set at Appleby 690 – 220 Puddlemere United.
With Matchweek 15’s start we found ourselves at what might possibly be the rout of the season, watching as the Appleby Arrows decimated a usually decent Montrose side, forcing them into a game that was such a slog for them it was only when they caught the snitch at the end of the game that fans realised they had only managed to score one shot through the hoops. Appleby played a tight game that was full of rampant showings of skill, the team despite being shoved to third position in the league seemingly refusing to accept any idea that they might not be contenders for at least a place in the European Cup. Appleby 500 – 160 Montrose.
Elsewhere in the country yet another team found themselves being absolutely outgunned and outclassed by the opposition as The Pride of Portree put the Caerphilly Catapults to the sword, dominating them in a test that saw not even a lucky snitch catch send Caerphilly into the triple digits in regards to their points. With the Pride playing fantastic Quidditch for their fans, it’s no wonder that they’re so excited by their future prospects – especially with recent reports that Tri-Wizard Champion Elliott Reid has signed a contract with them to be fulfilled once he leaves school. A steal of a player indeed; Pride 560 – 70 Caerphilly!
In what was an incredibly close game in comparison to the two games that came before, Puddlemere took on a resurgent Ballycastle Bats side fresh off of a victory the week before. With rookie Carxyander Sterling – taking the last name of his wife, one Marzia Sterling – taking to the broomstick for the Bats for the second time in his so far short career the boy impressed alongside his competition, bringing Ballycastle to a gentle lead of 680 to 500. It was only with the intervention of Puddlemere and some hotshot seeking that brought the score down to a closer occasion, though a win being given to the Ballycastle Bats regardless. Ballycastle 680 – 650 Puddlemere.
In Wales we managed to watch as one of the strongest teams in the league put out what will no doubt be regarded by fans as their weakest performance in both this years season and the last, with the Holyhead Harpies taking on a Wimbourne Wasps side who no one believed would have a shot. The Wasps came out with the aim to sting however, and sting they did, with their beaters playing a particularly brutal game against the opposition and forcing the Holyhead Chasers into repeatedly tough situations – one perhaps wonders if a particular Silver Wolf was thinking too much about a recently received transfer offer from a French Superteam or two – whilst their own Chasers capitalised. With the Harpies’ seeker getting their hands on the snitch to end the game after four and a half hours of brutalising, the game came to an end with abrupt applause from Wimbourne fans all over the country. Wimbourne 510 – 370 Harpies.
Following the trend with more hotly contested affairs we then found ourselves later in the week watching the Falmouth Falcons take on the Banchory Bangers in a tight game that saw both sides use their supposed ‘dirty’ tactics to try to get the leg over the opposition. Falmouth however showed their grit however, and with a bit of shouting from one Barry Fletcher, Falmouth Head Coach from the sideline the team pulled it together, Jasper Baxter managing to knock one of the Banchory Banger’s chasers from their broom with a sideswipe that many Banchory fans believe was made to look accidental rather than be the actual accident the ref deemed it as. After that it was only a snitch catch that could keep the game close, with Falmouth’s victory putting them back on top of the League above the dire Harpies. Falmouth 640 – 620 Banchory.
In Chudley the Kenmare Kestrels came to the small town looking to play, and play they did, with both teams holding scrimmage over the air in the stadium. With tight play and some fantastic moves from both of the bottom-to-mid-table teams it was almost as good a viewing experience as some of the more classy or exciting play we saw in other games within the last two weeks, with Chudley pressuring the Kenmare Kestrels at every moment. With Chudley gradually pulling ahead of Kenmare, it was only when the Kestrels managed to pluck the snitch out of the air that they claimed victory over a very unlucky Chudley side, only a few points shy of locking Kenmare out of the chance at a victory. Kenmare 670 – 590 Chudley.
Finally in our last game of the season we found ourselves looking once more at a less contested game, with Tutshill fresh off of a victory against previous league leaders and no doubt feeling as though they were on top of the world, able to beat anybody. Wigtown put a swift end to this however, hammering Tutshill from the get go, presenting them to the idea that perhaps they couldn’t beat a team of their class, let alone anyone. With Tutshill reeling from the thrashing they were promptly being forced to enjoy, Wigtown allowed them to take hold of the snitch to end their defeat, with the Wanderers taking the game – and the wind out of Tutshill’s sails. Wigtown 490 – 230 Tutshill.
In transfer news a number of interesting stories have appeared across the League in true January window fashion. With Caryxander Sterling’s recent return to the British & Irish League we caught up with him very briefly after the team’s victory over Puddlemere, managing to get hold of him outside of the changing rooms. When asked about whether he was pleased to be back in the country he nodded.
“I’m always happy to play for Ballycastle, they’re my childhood team. It’s a gift to be part of this team and the fact they’ve called me back from Japan.”
Pressed for time the Beater left us, but we find ourselves pleased at the fact that he is pleased to be back with us.
Turning now to another interesting story, we here at Quaffles and Bludgers managed to get hold of Ayo Onyilgowo, rookie beater for Hufflepuff who wasn’t picked up during the draft window in the summer from Hogwarts. With Wimbourne offering the boy a contract now we had some questions to ask him about whether or not he thought it was perhaps a move of desperation from the side he had joined. He responded,
“Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise but honestly I’m really humbled by all the pro players. I thought about the past and not making the cut but maybe my gods were telling me I had to have patience. It’s really an honour to play for the Wimbourne Wasps and I intend to make sure they know I’m the best for the position.”
Perhaps a bit of a mixed message there for Wimbourne fans who so far have reacted neither positively nor negatively to the story, most of them having never heard the name before. Asking Ayo if perhaps he was worried he might not get any game time signing on as a rookie, he said,
“I don’t worry about that; I trust the judgment of my team. I take time on the sideline as a way to observe the other players so I can become even stronger in my game….so far I’ve managed to learn players’ patterns and little habits. It’s great to be able to have that kind of chance, you know, they say you can’t just run before you walk….right?”
A positive attitude from a positive signing one can only hope, as Wimbourne languish – despite their recent titanic victory over Holyhead – at sixth in the table behind the Ballycastle Bats, both teams knocking on the door for a top four position.
In a more European story we caught up with Persephone Vitrac with more questions about her potential signing to the Parisian Hellhounds, who officially released a statement before the Holyhead match of their intent to buy both the Silver Wolf and her fellow Chaser Margaery Goldolfin for the sum of over seven thousand galleons per month. With Goldolfin already having spoken out about her intent to sign the contract and make the move to more personal negotiations. Asking the Silver Wolf on her thoughts about this, she responded
“Not at all. It seems to me like if Paris is offering so many contracts to the Harpies, we must be doing something right. I wouldn’t want to mess that up and I’m sure the others feel the same way. I won’t lie, it’s a lot of money and I’m sure a lot of people, my family included, would want me to accept it but my home is here and the Harpies are my family. I didn’t choose to play for them for money and money isn’t going to sway me away. Someone who’s just hopping from team to team chasing the biggest paycheck isn’t playing for the right reasons, you know?”
Always interesting talking to Holyhead’s new Chaser. Join us next week for some more fantastic Quidditch reporting. Stay safe and have a great week.