Falmouth Fall to Fierce Competition
Ballycastle Finally Show Guts
Holyhead Lead the Way!
Welcome to another fantastic long issue of Quaffles and Bludgers. We welcome you here at our new home in the Daily Prophet where you can find the best Quidditch news that the British & Irish League has to offer! Covering the last month of sports, I shall waste no time on introductions and get straight into the action with Matchweek 19 showing a good arrangement of matches – some of them downright terrible! We hope you enjoy…
Matchweek 19 began with a game against bottom of the trough Chudley against the highflying Harpies. Chudley were always up against it, but the Harpies completely dominated the competition, shutting the Cannons out of Holyhead’s side of the pitch. Only once did the Cannons manage to get points on the board, whilst Holyhead’s Chasers scored goal after goal, the Silver Wolf in Persephone Vitrac performing particularly well in such a quick game that there was time for some of the viewers to apparate to the next game across the country. Holyhead 210 – 10 Cannons!
Viewers who had left the Chudley Cannons vs Holyhead Harpies game to find more of a contest at Portree as they took on the Appleby Arrows were sorely mistaken however as they arrived to watch the Arrows in the middle of a decimation against top class Portree. The Pride came out swinging as the Arrows tried to set their mark, not only keeping them out of the air with some expert work with the beaters’ bats but also managing to score 14 shots on goal before their seeker finally put the Arrows out of their misery with the catching of the snitch. Portree 390 – Appleby 10!
Across the nation the Montrose Magpies took on the Wigtown Wanderers in a hotly contested competition between the pair. At first the match looked a whitewash as Wigtown seemed to come out swinging, a vengeance propelling them on as they sought out the quick 15 goals to nil mark that would save them from the potential of a surprise snitch catch. It was not to be however, and whilst forging their way to the potential victory that many fans believe they deserve, the Montrose Magpies managed to snatch the snitch from the jaws of defeat, earning themselves the victory over the fairly dour Wanderers. Montrose 150 – 100 Wigtown!
Meanwhile the Wimbourne Wasps held court for the Falmouth Falcons as Barry Fletcher’s side faced off against the fairly decent opposition side. With many expecting a wash-out for the Wasps, even Wimbourne fans found themselves utterly surprised when the side came out with a quick and concise gameplan, burying the Falcons in a veritable swarm of players at all times to keep their eyes off of the prize of the victory. Still Falmouth showed their quality, managing to get a solid 43 goals on target, yet despite this effort they were still defeated when the Wasps got their hands upon the snitch. Wimbourne 670 – 430 Falmouth.
Elsewhere, Puddlemere United took on the Banchory Bangers in another closely contested team that sort the returning bangers show Puddlemere their rough style of play, causing multiple fouls and with multiple players almost injuring themselves as they attempted to do flashy tricks all about the stadium. Whilst the fanfare was triumphant for the Bangers, it was silenced by a Puddlemere who seemed to lock up their defence like a vault, keeping Banchory only 80 points ahead of them as they sought out the snitch. Successfully catching it, some Puddlemere fans are calling this one of the greatest games of the season so far. We’d be hard pressed to agree, but we’re never against letting fans enjoy themselves! Puddlemere 560 – 490 Banchory!
The Kenmare Kestrels played host during Matchweek 19 to the Tutshill Tornadoes, managing to dominate them both in the sky and on the scoring board as they allowed only 11 goals to slip through their thick-and-fast defence before absolutely beating Tutshill upside the head with 43 goals in response. Conquering Tutshill, Kenmare clearly played the game in order to show the rest of the league what they can do. “Don’t count us out yet!” Many heard were sure they heard Tutshill captain, Lacey Bolton yell. And we’re not going to! Kestrels 580 – 110 Tutshill.
The final game of the week was between the Ballycastle Bats and the Caerphilly Catapults. Both of the teams playing out of their skin, Ballycastle managed to take a 22 goal lead against Caerphilly however as their skill shined through, Beater Caryxander Sterling making a rather stellar showing of his skill – honed in Japan as it were with currently highflying Osaka Shooting Stars – as he and the rest of his team put Caerphilly to the sword. The Catapults finally ending the misery that was being piled upon them with the snitch’s capture, the score was set at Ballycastle 320 – 250 Caerphilly. Game, set, match!
Matchweek 20 saw a much closer contest between many of the teams in the league, with each team eager to put their mark upon the League with the closer that the end comes. With only one complete washout with the week’s battling, it seems every team is eager to show that they could potentially challenge for the title, either now or in the years to come.
Kicking off Matchweek 20 was the Montrose Magpies as they put a somewhat flagging Falmouth side to the sword. Despite the skill of Falmouth’s beaters, the Magpies clearly had a game plan of ball monopoly and kept themselves as far away from the two International Stars in the Falmouth driving seat, keeping themselves as far from the English and Irish duo as possible. Eventually stealing the snitch from the Falcons’ talons, Montrose took the victory. Magpies 680 – 550 Falcons!
Holyhead took on the Banchory Bangers next, with the Bangers trying to rely on their loud and proud style of play as they took to the skies, pushing Holyhead as best as they could. Expressing all the flair that one might think possible in a game of Quidditch, it still wasn’t enough to dethrone the Harpies, who managed to keep themselves ahead of the opposition, even managing to catch the snitch to add insult to injury in their victory over Banchory. Harpies 680 – 350 Banchory.
Elsewhere in Chudley, the Cannons of the town’s namesake attempted to take on the Pride of Portree who were busy flying high above the competition. With Chudley trying to act out a decent game plan against the opposition, they managed to score 6 goals within quick succession of each other before Portree really came online, scoring 15 goals themselves in response before catching the snitch in quick succession, ending the game after half an hour with a 240 point lead over the opposition. Portree 300 – 60 Chudley.
After a heavy loss against Portree the week before, the Appleby Arrows hoped to get back on track with a scintillating performance against the Wigtown Wanderers, playing an incredibly tight game against them. With both Chasers and Beaters alike playing their socks off, it eventually came down to a duel between the seekers, with Appleby succeeding in their hopes to pull a win from nought, getting themselves slightly back on track. Appleby 690 – 670 Wigtown.
Elsewhere the Wimbourne Wasps took on the Caerphilly Catapults in a game not half as well contested as some of the others we’ve seen so far. With Caerphilly only managing to get 7 goals upon the scoresheet before having to divert their attentions to desperate defence and the fine work of their seeker, their efforts were only enough to keep their failure from building up to monumental levels. Wimbourne executing a fantastic game plan, the Wasps managed to pull themselves up to a 66 goal score line against a very leaky Caerphilly defence, with Caerphilly ending the game with the snitch. Wimbourne 660 – Caerphilly 220.
Kenmare and Puddlemere meanwhile met across the nation in a bout that whilst scintillating and exciting to watch didn’t hold enough points in the affair to keep it competitive. With Kenmare pulling ahead early on with 10 unanswered shots upon the rings – successfully bagging themselves 100 points – Kenmare allowed Puddlemere to answer them, but only barely. Continuing their onslaught yet allowing Puddlemere to continue playing their game – a fact that was no doubt seen as somewhat humiliating by the Puddlemere players – the Kestrels saw the game out with a tidy score. Kenmare 680 – 370 Puddlemere.
To round the Matchweek off Ballycastle came to logger heads with the Tutshill Tornadoes, who despite the status of both of the teams, have a long history of being a difficult bridge for the Bats to cross. With Ballycastle hurtling out of the changing rooms with determination in their eyes and scoring 15 shots on goal in the first 30 minutes of the game, it took another 6 hours of game time for Tutshill to double that scoreline, the Bats’ Seeker unable to lock the game out in their favour. With Tutshill sitting at 300 points to Ballycastle’s 150 it only took the fine work of their seeker to snaffle away the snitch to end the game. 450 Tutshill – 150 Ballycastle! Reports coming from Ballycastle’s fan club is that they’re hoping the general fan outrage will convince the upper brass to sell their seeker to another team, with reports that the Vladivostok Vedmaks are interested in the purchase come next transfer window.
Matchweek 21 was equally as competitive and equally as exciting. Kicked off by the Wigtown Wanderers versus the Banchory Bangers, the Wanderers came into the game expecting the typical nature of Banchory to show through – and show through it did. Banchory spent almost the entire game dancing upon their brooms, showing such delightful ability in flight that it almost seemed like at times they forgot how to play quidditch. Scoring 14 goals interspersed throughout the game, their efforts weren’t enough to prove competitive with the Wanderers, and once Wigtown got past the 150 point difference it was clear that Banchory had lost the game even before the snitch had been caught. Eventually the game came to a close after a long 11 hours. Wigtown 480 – 140 Banchory.
Elsewhere in a much quicker, equally as thrilling spectacle the Tutshill Tornadoes took on the Wimbourne Wasps, the Tornadoes fresh off of a victory over Top 4 contenders in the Ballycastle Bats. Showing that same work ethic and ability to turn any situation in their favor, the Tornadoes twisted Wimbourne’s own game plan against them, ending up locking out the overly defensive Wasps in a whitewash. Tutshill 520 – 100 Wimbourne.
With the Chudley Cannons holding absolutely nothing to prove against the rest of the Quidditch world, the plucky little team who had seen more success this year than they had in the last twenty travelled to the Kenmare Kestrels. And they played. Their. Socks. Off. Flying out of the gate like the best of the World, Chudley came swinging at the Kestrels with a confidence one could practically feel in the air. The energy booming through Kenmare’s stadium, Chudley took the tactics used against them previously and worked them to great effect against the Kestrels, locking them out of the game completely and allowing Chudley to run rampant over their entire team. Cannons 330 – 10 Kenmare.
Halfway through Matchweek 21 the nation saw Ballycastle and Falmouth took off against one another. Both being stereotypical rivals and competitors for the prize of coming first in the league and taking home the championship, runners up from last year Falmouth found themselves outgunned and outmatched by Ballycastle’s impressive performance, with highlights from Ballycastle’s Keeper and Beater duo as they managed to face off and put the International competition to the sword in a hotly contested, exquisite display of British & Irish Quidditch. Ballycastle 580 – 280 Falmouth.
With the last game holding two of the three top contenders from last years performance, it was Holyhead’s time to continue their streak as they took the skies against Puddlemere. However, Puddlemere intended to put a spanner in their opposition’s works as their Beaters shifted around the pitch like hitmen, specifically targeting individual Holyhead Chasers and Beaters whilst trusting in their Keeper to keep the opposition’s score fairly low. With the Holyhead Chasers looking almost as though they were ready to throw in the town, Puddlemere finally managed to get hold of the Snitch after only scoring 3 goals the entire game, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and finally shattering the Holyhead streak. Puddlemere 180 – 100 Holyhead.
Elsewhere, two very overperforming teams took each other on as Montrose travelled to Portree to take on the Pride. The two teams clashed almost immediately, with fans reportedly dueling outside of the stadium and Goblin protestors picketing the match itself before being moved on by disgruntled stadium security. When the game commenced the match was like lightning, with both teams almost evenly matched. Towards the end of the 4 hour extravaganza, it was only the quick work of Montrose’s Beaters who allowed their Chasers to get the team 3 scores ahead before the Magpies’ seeker caught the snitch and ended the game. Montrose 390 – 210 Portree.
Finally to close out the week came the game between Appleby and Caerphilly, the Arrows eager to continue the success they had felt from last weeks’ game against the Wigtown Wanderers. Playing to their strengths – remaining nippy about the field and being aware of the effect of rogue bludgers upon their position – the Arrows managed to snatch point after point from the desperate Catapults, who altogether came to the game far too heavy handed to catch the Arrows in their stride. With the snitch caught, the Arrows ended the game with another victory in hand. Appleby 460 – 290 Caerphilly.
Matchweek 22 – the final week in our round-up for the month was filled with rapacious excitement all round, kicked off by the Wimbourne Wasps and the Appleby Arrows as the Arrows sought to get another feather in their cap in taking down their arch-rivals. With the Stingers in their seats, Wimbourne proved to be tough customers for their arch-rivals in the Appleby Arrows, keeping the score at relatively level heading until Appleby just barely managed to pull themselves ahead, eventually catching the snitch and closing out the exciting Derby. Arrows 690 – 490 Wasps!
Elsewhere, the Caerphilly Catapults took on the Holyhead Harpies, both teams coming off the back of losses that their fans saw as undeserved. Caerphilly attempted to come swinging at Holyhead, but the depth of the Harpies’ brilliance showed through as they played the Catapults like fiddles, dominating them in the air and on the points sheet. A largely uncontested fair, many Harpies fans found themselves pleased, if not a little bit wishful that they might get some proper competition from the other teams in the league, a haughty thing to say indeed. Holyhead 520 – 100 Caerphilly.
Meanwhile, the Kenmare Kestrels clashed with the Montrose Magpies, both teams having shown some rather stellar Quidditch in the last few days and both eager to make even more of a mark upon the league. With a rip-roaring game taking place, fans of both sides were greeted by some of the finest sport the league has seen in some time, with Kenmare pulling no stops in their attempted defeat of the Magpies, only to fall short thanks to a fateful Montrose snitch-capture pulling them ahead by only a heart-wrenching 60 points for Montrose. Magpies 590 – Kenmare 530.
Falmouth, off the back of two defeats travelled to Tutshill hoping for a win that would get them back on track to compete for pole position with the Harpies. The Tornadoes however had other ideas, taking Falmouth to the end of the world and back against as they showed a scintillating Quidditch performance – one that fans will be able to hold onto for a long while. Taking down Falmouth 410 points to 260 not only boosts Tutshill’s hopes for the future of their club in the league, but also plummets Falmouth down by a multitude of positions, now only just holding fourth, two points between them and rivals Ballycastle; leaving the Harpies at the top of the league all alone.
Ballycastle meanwhile took on the Banchory Bats – with both double B teams facing off against each other at the Bangers’ home ground, still a bit of a fixer-upper after all the years of disuse. Ballycastle cared not for the scenery however, and made it apparent almost instantly that they were there to /win/, pushing Banchory into a position where they couldn’t play the game the way they wanted. Struggling to even manage to get two scores on the board, Ballycastle stole the show with expert flying, reminding the rest of the league exactly how they clinched the title from the opposition in the year prior. Ballycastle 340 – 20 Banchory.
The Chudley Cannons off of the back of a victory the week prior travelled to Wigtown to face off against the Wanderers, who had been performing well themselves in the weeks prior. With both teams eager to get something out of the engagement, it was Wigtown that pulled ahead with a scintillating few shots that sent them hurtling ahead of Chudley by 170 points. Chudley lagging behind with only 5 goals throughout the entire game successfully making it past the Wigtown keeper, the Cannons had to turn their entire attention towards catching the snitch and keeping Wigtown out of their side of the pitch. And Chudley once again proved the entire Quidditch world to be fools, managing to not only successfully deny Wigtown any more points against them, but to also catch the snitch themselves, snatching victory from nothing. Chudley 200 – 170 Wigtown!
Finally, to finish off a month of fantastic Quidditch came the two P’s, Puddlemere United versus the Pride of Portree. With Portree having been nothing but a force of nature in the last few weeks of Quidditch action across the country, it was expected that they would perform again. And perform they did, with all of their moving pieces and positions shifting in a formation very similar to the usual swarm tactics that Wimbourne employ against others. Completely shrouding Puddlemere’s view of the goal posts with Chasers whilst Beaters employed their deadly arms to knock the opposition out of the sky, Portree managed to keep Puddlemere significantly behind them in the game, Puddlemere only scoring 21 goals to Portree’s 52. When Portree stole the snitch from the air and held it aloft in victory for all of their fans to see, the sense of defeat felt absolute, and Puddlemere hung their heads as they flew back to their locker rooms, united at least in their disappointment at their performance.
That about rounds off the last few weeks of Quidditch action throughout the nation! Join us again next time for some more great summaries on the worlds’ greatest sport in the worlds’ greatest league! Happy flying!