Harpies Decimate Lacklustre Competition
Falcons Feast on the Kestrels
Cannons Close Top Four Gap
Welcome to this week’s summary of Quaffles and Bludgers, the best place to stop off to get your Quidditch news – apart from the pitch itself of course! This week we cover the last three competition weeks of the British & Irish Quidditch League, the best in the world of course, so buckle up and strap in as we take you through the competition’s best games and the worst games throughout the season so far.
Beginning our first matchweek were the Banchory Bangers who took on the Wimbourne Wasps to an incredibly close, incredibly quick, high octane game between the pair of them, with Wimbourne getting to a quick start as they scored not one, two nor three shots on goal but instead managed to sink four before the Bangers managed to get an answer in edgeways. Regardless, the competition between the two was fierce, and Wimbourne were leading within the thirtieth minute by fifty points before the Bangers managed to get their gloves upon the snitch, a crash landing catch that called an end to a very tight, very quick game. Banchory Bangers 240 – Wimbourne Wasps 130!
Next across the country we travelled to Falmouth, where Barry Fletcher’s side were ready to take another victory, and take it they did. With a dominant performance which showed off the brutal play that we’ve come to expect from players like Darragh Daly and Jasper Baxter, Falmouth absolutely dominated little minnows Kenmare, showing them what it is like to play with the big dogs of the League. Manager and Coach Barry Fletcher looked very amused as his team came away with a dominant win. Falmouth 320 – 120 Kenmare.
Puddlemere United, a team performing above expectations this year took on the Montrose Magpies and drove them to an incredibly close contest, playing out of their minds in a game that ended between the pair with less than fifty points between them. With Puddlemere’s attacking presence almost reminiscent of Portree’s own scramble attack formation that they’ve used to great effect during the year – with players positioned almost all over the field to throw Beaters and the like off – they proved very effective at penetrating the Montrose defence which was out in storm. The Magpies however clinged on, and whilst the Puddlemere attack was shockingly strong their bulwark approach to the game kept them in for a close affair that finally came to an end midnight on the thirteenth – Puddlemere 450 – 410 Montrose!
Ballycastle – resurgent and eager to get back in the top four spot for their chance at European competition – took on the Wigtown Wanderers in a close bout, with Ballycastle holding the lead for the majority of the game with only a few blips in their performance. Wigtown however held the previous league champions to a closely contested game which surprised many what with how dire Wigtown had performed in the last few months. Eventually however Ballycastle clinched the win and pushed their points differential ever closer to a positive number and closer still to their competition for fourth position. Ballycastle 370 – 310 Wigtown.
Elsewhere in a game that surprised many Chudley put the Pride of Portree to the sword with a fantastic performance that lead to the record for the fastest game in the year of British & Irish Quidditch so far, with the bout between the two teams lasting for 23 minutes and 16 seconds overall. With the plucky Cannons managing to keep up with the Pride, dropping only ten points to them in the eighteenth minute Chudley then did the impossible and caught the snitch, closing the game out with a fantastic scoreline that shows just how close the game truly was. Cannons 240 – 100 Portree.
Tutshill meanwhile were swept aside by the Caerphilly Catapults, the teams both showing off a rather delightful smattering of poor play between themselves to make Tutshill’s presence at the bottom of the League – after their mid-table finish the season prior – resolute. Tutshill originally started relatively well, scoring 40 points higher than Caerphilly in the opening moments of the game before it seemed that the balls were lost and the players were simply ambling around the air doing nothing. After an hour or so of no action, when spectators began to quit the stadium and head for greener pastures the snitch at last came into sight and was caught – rather easily in fact – by the Caerphilly Catapults, bringing the dreadful game between the pair to an end much to the relief of not only the crowd and the referees, but the Wizarding World on a whole. Caerphilly 200 – 90 Tutshill.
Finally in what – depending on which side you are on and which team you support – was seen as either the most exciting and skilful play of Quidditch so far in the League, or perhaps the most dull and morale-destroying game was the match between Holyhead and Appleby, the Arrows hoping to get their pursuit of the top four spot and a place in the European Cup secured after their early-season resurgence into the annals of British Quidditch royalty. However this was not to be as Holyhead had other ideas. Staking their claim upon the League it seemed, Holyhead put 440 points between the Appleby hoops without even giving them a taste of the ball, the Arrows missing their mark each time they came close to an ounce of possession. Then, with a quick Snitch catching the game was bought to an end – some felt to almost save Appleby the humiliation of a drawn out competition – with Holyhead having scored all of the points and Appleby holding all of the regrets. Holyhead 590 – 0 Appleby.
The following week held similar results within the quidditch league, though things shifted and changed for each teams as many of those who lost their games or won their games found themselves upon the opposite end of things, allowing the League a touch more of the competitive leeway that we so love in our sport. This week of matches began on the 20th of January with a positive routing of the Kenmare Kestrals, Kenmare still trying to work off their demolishing at the hands of Falmouth the week prior received another demoralising defeat by Puddlemere United. Puddlemere of course a team now on a streak of victories, the usual lower- mid table team emulated the Holyhead Harpies before them and kept the possession away from Kenmare, playing quick and greedy Quidditch to keep the ball in their hands as they racked up one hundred unanswered points before closing the game with a Snitch catching. Puddlemere United 250 – 0 Kenmare Kestrels.
Elsewhere in flying form the Chudley Cannons were regretfully brought down by what many are beginning to call an ever lucky Banchory Bangers side. With both teams showing off a lot of competition despite the disparity of their situation – Banchory involved in the scrimmage for fourth position whilst Chudley sit at the bottom of the table with Tutshill to keep them company – Banchory managed to take away the win after falling 140 points behind the plucky Cannons. Despite the loss Chudley fans remain happy and hope to get some new blood to turn these sorts of close losses into victories. Chudley 420 – 430 Banchory.
Elsewhere the Wigtown Wanderers – eager to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of the Ballycastle Bats – bounced back with a victory over the Caerphilly Catapults, who showed off equally terrible quidditch much in the same vein they had decided to show off in their vilified victory over the equally terrible Tornadoes the week prior. Playing some impressive quidditch, the Wigtown Wanderers managed to sink 18 shots on goal to bring themselves out of the threshold of a loss to a Snitch catch, only to have this exact thing happen to them as Caerphilly raced after the Snitch, one of their players actually being sent off of the pitch for foul play against the Seeker, with the Catapults’ modus operandi clear: catch the Snitch as soon as possible. This catch was not enough however, for in almost prophetic fashion Wigtown pushed themselves above such losses, taking the victory with skill and finesse one might expect to come from one of the world’s best. Wigtown 180 – 150 Caerphilly.
Falmouth meanwhile across the nation put the sword to the Appleby Arrows in their attempt to once more get their show back on track and take a victory to propel them back into some sort of leading position. Falmouth – uninterested in Appleby’s hopeful growth into a top tier British & Irish side went out with the same lethal intensity that they tended to hold during their games, sinking goal after goal and shattering at least three of the Arrows’ broomsticks in the process as they took the game 570 – 460 on Appleby’s part, the team keeping things nice and close with a late Snitch catch to stop their punishment. Falmouth 570 – 460 Appleby.
The Wimbourne Wasps – after falling to a miserable defeat at the hands of Banchory the week prior shocked fans of British & Irish Quidditch across the two nations however as they felled the mighty Ballycastle Bats, the Bats seemingly on a warpath to regain their top-four spot, hoping to ascend after the failure of the Pride of Portree to take a victory last week. The Wasps started the game with a shocking intensity, and despite the work of Caryxander Sterling accidentally breaking one of their Chaser’s legs in the process the Wasps managed to take them game with a Snitch catch to close the contest out. Wimbourne 590 – 420 Ballycastle.
The Pride of Portree got back to their winning ways with a convincing sweep of the Montrose Magpies, the Magpies themselves in a bit of a tough spot with their loss of Puddlemere last week seemingly demolishing their morale whilst the victory has propelled the United to new heights. Portree came out swinging, wanting to return to their winning ways after losing to the Chudley Cannons – a match that their Captain stated was a fluke victory much to the chagrin of many who wish to see the Chudley Cannons succeed in the league like old times. With 610 points on the board before an hour had passed, and the Magpies looking dour with each ding of the bell signalling more points weighing down upon them, it was only the Snitch being caught that saved them from a potential sweep and the humiliation Appleby had felt in the week prior. Portree 610 – 150 Montrose.
In the final game of the week the Tutshill Tornadoes travelled to Holyhead to take on the Harpies who – after their incredibly strong performance last week – seemed a touch shaky upon their brooms, struggling to get into the rhythm of the game and allowing Tutshill the chance to play. The Tutshill Tornadoes are not regarded by the dear editors of this work to be the most skilled in the League, but if allowed to play Tutshill Quidditch they can be a force, and a force they were. The Tornadoes fought for every score and defended goal they could, battling against the Harpies as The Silver Wolf Persephone Vitrac fought with her colleagues to score as much as possible, shoving Tutshill to a close encounter that was ended by Holyhead catching the snitch – at a most opportune moment as Tutshill were beginning to get some real momentum behind themselves. Holyhead Harpies 310 – 290 Tutshill Tornadoes.
In our next week of sport the table shifted and changed even further, with more losses and victories that none could see coming, along with a derby for the entirety of the two nations’ fans to enjoy. Beginning the week was the remarkable trumping of the Falmouth Falcons at the hands of the Caerphilly Catapults who had been – dare I say it – positively /awful/ in the weeks prior. Coming out with a clear, very simple gameplan the Caerphilly Catapults simply /let themselves/ be punching bags for the bruisers on the Falcon’s side, with the likes of Jasper Baxter and Darragh Daly not seemingly able to adapt to the playstyle as quickly as they might usually. The match smacked of a large team disrespecting the minnows, doubting their ability as they scored point after point, expecting themselves to remain safe from defeat until they were trumped by the Snitch as it rested within Catapult hands. Catapults 240 – Falcons 170.
Elsewhere the Banchory Bangers found themselves learning from the mistakes the Holyhead Harpies had made the weak prior in their difficult victory over the Tutshill Tornadoes – don’t /play/ with your food. The Bangers came out swinging against Tutshill, who without being given the time to actually /play/ their game were dominated, with only one own goal being scored on the side of the Bangers – seen almost as a joke on the Tornadoes behalf – keeping them from being swept as Banchory blew them away. Bangers 530 – 10 Tutshill.
The dire Appleby Arrows faced yet another – perhaps more straightforward – test of their ability this week against the Kenmare Kestrals, managing to come away with their first victory in the last three games after back to back defeats against Holyhead and Falmouth, two teams that they were hoping to match in class and calibre. Kenmare played a very average game which was blown out by Appleby’s hyper aggressive attacking strategy, the Arrows almost seeming to want revenge for the disgrace of losing their previous matches. Dominating the Kestrals across the park, Appleby ended the game with a sound victory of 300 – 80, scoring 70 points on the Kestrals and then catching the Snitch to further cement their dominant victory over them.
Puddlemere, on a hot streak of victories took on the mighty Cannons this week in a hotly contested fixture between the two. With Chudley playing out of their socks in an attempt to secure victories in three very close games and only coming away with one win, Puddlemere managed to secure yet another victory upon their scoresheet further cementing themselves as a capable team going into the future years of Quidditch within the nation. Despite Chudley’s best efforts the sloppiness that many have said is indicative of Chudley Cannons’ Quidditch failed them yet again, leaving the scoreline at Chudley 250 – 520 Puddlemere.
Across the nation a resurgent Wimbourne side – over their loss of the Bangers and being fuelled now by their victory over previous league victors and defending champions in the Ballycastle Bats – brought their A game when facing off against the Pride of Portree, another successful team this year and another scalp for them to add to their list. With what looked to be a new gameplan implemented to specifically deal with the classy style of game that the Pride have been bringing all season, the Wimbourne Wasps found themselves dominant as they took the Pride to a fantastic victory. Game, set and match. Wimbourne 680 – 360 Portree.
On a cold streak themselves, the Montrose Magpies found no mercy as they met the Wigtown Wanders, the Wanderers having come just off of a win against the Caerphilly Catapults. Plundits held the belief that with Montrose’s two new signings from the Agincourt Axes (Adam Fletcher making his return to British & Irish Quidditch, joined by one of his team mates in their first foray into the proper side of the sport) the Magpies were guaranteed the win. With this assumption, on top of the belief that perhaps the victory against such poor opposition the prior wouldn’t have much of an effect on the morale of the Wanderers many found themselves expecting a victory for the Magpies, only to watch as they were beaten around the field by a remarkably strong Wigtown side clearly hungry for a victory. Finally ending the thrashing with the respite of a successful seeker, Montrose finished the game 130 – 550 for the Wanderers, absolutely demolished by the opposition.
In the final game of the week the Holyhead Harpies took on Ballycastle Bats, the current League front runners facing off against the previous champions from the year prior. In a closely contested game between the pair it was the Bats who came away with the victory, with previous Slytherin Captain Persephone Vitrac facing off against once Co-Captain Caryxander Sterling in a bout that saw The Silver Wolf hunted across the sky by the red-haired man. Speaking to the Beater after the game, Caryxander – we’ll call him Cary in the interests of not wasting good paper space – declared that “(Persephone) Vitrac is hard to miss in the air. She’s either behind you scoring or in front of you with her silver or black hair billowing in the wind. Bit like a target ain’t it?” The man seemed to find much cheer in the victory and the friendly bout with his previous captain, though some Harpies fans were unhappy that their team were defeated in the bout that would have put them on steady ground with Falmouth prowling. Holyhead Harpies 450 – 570 Ballycastle.
That about rounds off our foray into the Wizarding World’s Premier sport, in its premier league. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading along with us, and we hope you enjoy the next edition!