Pride Makes a Move For Number One
Ballycastle Claws Way Up
Kenmare Falls From Grace
Welcome to this week’s edition of Quaffles & Bludgers, the only place to get the latest scoop on all things professional Quidditch! These last two weeks the fans have seen something a little different with each week seeing 3-4 matches rather than the usual 7. Another change readers might notice is a deviance from our usual writer! Unfortunately, he’s gotten a touch of the mumblemumps and has been put on bedrest, preventing him from attending any matches so far! Shall we jump right into it then?
Our first game of matchweek 24 took us to Banchory, Scotland to see the Bangers face down the Caerphilly Catapults. Given the vast gap in placements on the chart, fans of the Bangers expected the match to end in one of the infamous Banchory Ragers but unfortunately not even Harvey’s determination could see the team to victory. Instead, Captain Gabriella Dudley of the Caerphilly Catapults led an aggressive campaign against the Bangers, sinking shot after shot with the assistance of Kovalyov and Bélanger. With Königsmann blocking all but a measly 6 shots from the Bangers’s trio of chasers, the Catapults easily reached a point where not even a Banchory snitch catch could endanger the match for them. The team showed no signs of losing steam and with the rookie Toutorix Tracy easily securing the snitch, the Welsh team secured victory over the Banchory Bangers. Caerphilly 410 – 60 Banchory
Our next match, a showdown between table leaders Holyhead and Portree, promised to be far more exciting than the slaughter we left. Quidditch fans have been more than intrigued to watch Portree work their way into the top three, overtaking Falmouth easily, and the crowd was alive with anticipation for this match’s outcome. From the moment the quaffle was in the air, chasers on both sides put on a hell of a show. Weekes, Longo, and Picasso made chasing into an artform, the quaffle shifting between hands numerous times and making Harpies Keeper, Biddy Ó Ceithearnaigh fight for every block she managed. And there were not many to be managed on this day. On the other hand, the Silver Wolf Vitrac, actual harpy Ligeia Withka, and transfer Jolene Parris put on an equally impressive show, keeping only 5 goals behind the other team. With beaters targeting chasers on all sides- a stunning display put on by Lindiwe Ungaro as she blocked Tempest Kendrick from taking off Weekes’ head- the match remained anyone’s game until the snitch finally showed itself with a glistening of gold. With both Kelpie Galloway and Marfa Parma on the snitch’s tail, it was more luck than skill that Galloway managed to close her fingers on the snitch and end the match that kept us all on the edges of our seats. Holyhead 620 – 520 Portree
The final game of matchweek 24 took us to Falmouth to see the Falcons face off against avian opposition the Kenmare Kestrels. Anyone could look at the table and see that we were about to witness a massacre and a massacre did we witness. The match started off with Darragh “Danger Zone” Daly sending a bludger screaming at Kenmare chaser Colin McClarkin, to the fans’ dismay. McClarkin took the hit and suffered a broken collarbone for his trouble, taking him out of the chase while Healers tended him. Maybe it was the downed chaser that caused Kenmare to struggle to keep up with Falmouth this match, but the rest of the match was a slog as Falcons racked up shot after shot. Even Hall Mynatt’s catch of the snitch could do nothing to save the Kestrels from a brutal defeat here in Falmouth. A disappointing end to the matchweek if there ever was one, especially for Kenmare fans. Falmouth 580 – 390 Kenmare
Moving on to matchweek 25, our first game took us to River Piddle in Dorset, England to witness Puddlemere United take on the Wimborne Wasps. Fans weren’t expecting much out of this match, with Puddlemere resting in the relegation zone and Wimbourne waiting to claw their way into the top four, but we were all surprised by the show those robed in blue and gold put on. From the moment the quaffle was in the air, Puddlemere was on top of it with Barber, Jones, and Massey putting on a masterful performance that left fans wondering where this kind of playing has been all season. Verses of Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys, and Chuck That Quaffle Here by Celestina Warbeck filled the pitch even as rookie Onyilgowu did his best to break some bones and take down the Puddlemere trio. Unfortunately none of it was enough and Wasp fans didn’t even cheer as Seeker, Alex Tollemache caught the snitch and brought an end to the game, still in Puddlemere’s favour. That win took Puddlemere out of the relegation zone and back into the fighting mid. Puddlemere 580 – 470 Wimbourne
After that brutal match, we were off to Wigtown to see the Wanderers face down previous league winners the Ballycastle Bats. The match went as would be expected based on these teams’ previous performances over the course of the season. The Bats came out strong with Townsend and Fox monopolising the quaffle with Piper being quick to pass to one or the other to secure a goal. While the Wanderers started out strong with Ivers, Clark, and Paternoster managing several goals, this came to a stop when Ballycastle Beater Caryxander Sterling took Paternoster clean off her broom and tumbling down to the earth. While healers tended Paternoster’s injuries, the Bats took advantage of it, scoring enough points that Arethousa Ainsworth’s catch of the snitch did nothing for her team. Fans who lingered in the stands after may have caught sight of Ainsworth and Ivers having some quite hostile words down on the pitch. The match results saw Ballycastle move up on the table, putting them on the tail of the top four. Ballycastle 540 – 480 Wigtown
From there, quidditch fans traveled to Appleby-in-Westmorland to see the Arrows and the Montrose Magpies. Despite having signed not one but two Agincourt Axes transfers, the Montrose Magpies’ performance this match was an utter disappointment to fans and reporters alike. Vrykulesti and Fletcher were not enough to see the team once known as the most successful in the league to victory as the Appleby Arrows utterly dominated them on the pitch. The match got off to a questionable start as Magpie accused Arrows Chaser Justine McNee of petrifying Keeper, Myles Burnham, but nothing was proved as the spell seemed to wear off by the time referees noticed. Moore and Barnett on the other hand scored shot after shot while Burnham was seemingly under the spell’s hold, vaulting the Arrows into an area where not even a snitch catch threatened their victory. Ever the fan of a fast and brutal victory, Everett Butcher didn’t waste time in catching the snitch after the first glint of gold caught his eye. As the game came to an end, the Arrows maintained their place in 4th, only remaining behind the Falcons due to their draw. Appleby 410 – 40 Montrose
The final game of the matchweek saw Tutshill and Chudley face off in Tutshill, England. Chudley fans were eager to see how the match would turn out, given the recent winning streak the team has been on thanks to seeker Sayaka Satō. Unfortunately, one player cannot carry the weight of a team for long as this match proved. Tutshill came out swinging this match, with Annie Downer demonstrating her patented Downer Downing move fairly early on in the match. Combined with Heath’s flashy but brutal performance, the Cannons struggled to get a foothold for most of the match, only managing to secure 14 goals in relation to Tutshill’s 69. Chudley keeper Justyn Riley didn’t seem fast enough to hold off Tutshill, a fact that had many fans calling for the veteran’s retirement. Even Sotō’s performance wasn’t strong enough to put an end to this massacre- at least not in favour of the Cannons. Her catch of the snitch saw the match end somewhat less brutally than would have been without, but Tutshill still took the victory. Tutshill 690 – Chudley 290
And with that, this week’s edition of Quaffles & Bludgers comes to a close! We hope to see you next time for more excitement as the season approaches its end! Ta-ra!