Welcome back to Quaffles & Bludgers! We’re finally here, readers! The semi finals! The winners of today’s matches will battle in Doda Pilii, Romania’s infamous Beetle Pitch in front of all of Europe for the European Cup- No pressure, am I right?
Anyways, today, we bring to you a summary of the Semi Finals! After this, we move on to the Final held in Doda Pilii, Romania.
Once again, we at the Daily Prophet would like to remind readers that tent rentals are available August 14th* with the Final being held on the 21st. Tickets will be offered at VIP, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd class prices with seating available for each tier and can be located at the ticket booth at the campsite. Without further ado, let’s jump into it!
San Pietro Lupi [Italy] 150 – 480 Appleby Arrows [British and Irish]
It was an unusually foggy day that awaited us in Appleby-in-Westmorland for the first of the Semi-Final matches. A low-lying cloud clung to the earth, obscuring sight beyond a mere meter and a half and setting a difficult scene for the Appleby Arrows and the San Pietro Lupi. In a surprise move, Appleby Arrows captain, Turlough Parsons pulled Keeper, Dale Morris from the lineup, putting in reserve, Haisley Rothenburg among rumours of the men butting heads. Despite this change and the weather, the Appleby Arrows didn’t seem to be lacking confidence as they took to the pitch opposite San Pietro. The match got off to a slow start with the heavy fog slowing down players, but the suffering was short lived. Despite the ongoing length of the match, the Appleby Arrows managed to entirely block out fan favourite San Pietro from scoring a single goal, managing an impressive lead early on that only seemed to grow as the first hour moved into the second. By the end of the second half a gloom had settled over the pitch and it wasn’t only because of the sudden downpour of rain- rather, it was the Italy side’s disappointment as McNee and Moore managed to steal and score again and again with Barnett paving the way with his fast flying and skilled steals. Eventually, the Lupi seemed to give up getting past Rothenberg and turned their focus to protecting their seeker to put an end to their embarrassment. They did manage to secure the snitch, but the distance between scores was too great and the San Pietro were forced to face the music, leaving the Appleby Arrows to move on to the Finals!
Holyhead Harpies [British & Irish] 520 to 290 Varna Lamia [Bulgaria]
In a move that is unheard of in the history of the Euro Cup, Holyhead decided to make some drastic changes to their line-up ahead of the semi-final; after suffering a harsh training injury, Withka finally decided to hang up her gloves and retire – a move that, sadly, we saw coming a while ago – leaving newcomer and reserve chaser, Francheska De Luca to step in, and on the beater side Wednesday Crowley stepped back for Lilibeth ‘Lil’ Bennett to take over.
The changes of course reached the ears of Varna Lamia, who then came into the match believing they had already reached the final. That was their first and last mistake. De Luca immediately showed Varna, and the spectators, that while she was previously a reserve, the Holyhead roster has no signs of weakness; straight out of the fate, De Luca took Holyhead up 50-0 in the blink of an eye, with Vitrac and Parris quickly following De Luca’s lead. Lil Bennett put in a strong performance too, which saw Varna’s seeker Davidu Borisov struggling to move more than 5ft before taking another bludgering.
Varna were able to sink some nice goals, with the infamous Ivankov-Bakalov-1-2 set-piece coming into play a few times, but Holyhead soon learned how to manage it, and kept the pair separated. Holyhead took the snitch eventually, ending the match at a strong 520-290. While some fans might still be worried about the team changes so late in the tournament, it appears Holyhead still have every chance to take the Euro Cup as they head to the final.
That rounds up the semi finals, bringing us down to our final two. For those unfamiliar with these teams, we’ll give you a quick rundown before we move into the finals this weekend. We look forward to seeing you all there.
Location: Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, England
Uniform: Pale blue emblazoned with a silver arrow.
Current Manager: Charlotte Cuttlehook
They say the Appleby Arrows’ most glorious hour was their 1932 defeat of the then European Champions, the Vratsa Vultures. The match lasted sixteen days in dense fog and rain, and was one of /many/ times the team proved they’d do whatever it takes to win. The Arrows aren’t against bringing their wands onto the pitch and securing a win by any means necessary and they seek out players who feel the same way. Their methods on the pitch haven’t made them friends and most teams are loathe to face them on the pitch, though none so much as the Wimbourne Wasps. The Arrows look for players that are willing to play a little dirty and they don’t mind ignoring a few sparkings on a player’s record.
Justine McNee – Alleged to have cursed a few players in the back AND in the air, McNee isn’t one to play nice. She’s known to talk a lot of trash in the press but doesn’t back it up in person- at least not one on one.
Scotty Moore – Rumoured to be having a slow season so far, Moore isn’t a fan favourite this season. After a breakup with his ex, Fiona, he’s been notably bitter and has been playing very aggressively.
Jenson Barnett – Often cited for his adaptability, Barnett is known to have a massive ego- a fact that has gotten him in trouble more than once. He both flies and plays very loose and very dangerously, and he lives his life the same way.
Turlough Parsons – Interviews with former Arrows have painted team captain, Turlough Parsons as rude and patronising, often and especially to his own team. Despite this, he has had no trouble maintaining a winning team that has fought their way into the top four.
Daphne Quinn – Known to be quite spoiled and arrogant, Quinn often speaks of her successful lineage and how she’s destined to be remembered forever. Interviewers will often do whatever it takes to avoid speaking with the young witch.
An oddly quiet member of the Appleby Arrows, Haisley seems to lack the nasty reputation the rest of her team has. Often painted by the press as the saint among the rotten apples, those on the team know the truth behind Haisley. She’s a two faced biggot who’s sent a hex or two towards muggle-born players every now and then. She’s a firm believer in her rightful place as the heir to her wealthy family and is often the member doing the most damage control, using her family’s funds to cover up incidents. Oftentimes she’ll bribe other members of the Appleby Arrows to take the credit for confundos she’s sent out.
Everett Butcher – Butcher prefers his games fast and brutal, said to want his opponents put down quickly. He’s known to be a leader on the pitch (but don’t repeat that in front of Turlough) and rumours say he’s in line for a captainship next season.
Location: Holyhead, Wales
Uniform: Dark green with a gold talon emblazoned on the chest
Current Manager: Gemma Roselet
As the only all-witch team currently playing in the British and Irish Quidditch league, the Holyhead Harpies know what it’s like to play in a Wizards’ world… and how to dominate it. The second oldest team in the league, the Harpies are defined by more than just their single gender roster- rather it’s their aggressive reputation, their elite gameplay, and their team bonds. With a long history of brawling both on and off the pitch and a zero tolerance for team transfers, the Harpies have had no shortage of free publicity filled with death threats, curses, and arrests. But that hasn’t kept them from becoming a fan favourite, especially as fans have watched them dominate the top four in recent seasons. For women looking to prove themselves on the pitch, the Harpies is the team to sign to.
Persephone “Silver Wolf” Vitrac – A player in her rookie year, Persephone Vitrac has already established herself as a star player among the Harpies. Whether it’s for her status as an outed werewolf, her prowess on the pitch, or her romantic exploits, Vitrac’s name has shown up in the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly a surprising number of times. Despite this, no one could say the rising star doesn’t take her place on the team seriously. Having already turned down several much higher paying contract offerss from the French League, the aggressive chaser has proven her loyalty lies with the Harpies.
Franchescka De Luca- Dark hair, pale skin, and an attitude that tells all that she doesn’t care about opinions. She was a last minute transfer to the Harpies before the Euro Cup began and there was some hesitancy in how well this Chaser would mesh with the other players who had already been together for many games- some for even longer than that- but as their last match displayed- she has ability to keep up with some of the best Chasers in the league. Ches is very obviously a tomboy, and not afraid to get loud, making her perfectly suited to get into it with opposing players, and even the refs. While it is not as common to see her starting a brawl, she will happily join in to defend or support one of her teammates. On the pitch she is very focused, but off of the pitch she likes to enjoy a good time, whatever that might mean to her.
Jolene Parris – Pretty with auburn hair, Jolene Parris is often spoken poorly of by other women in the League- At least women outside of the Harpies. New to the Harpies’ starting roster, having replaced one of their number stolen by the Parisian Hellhounds, she has a reputation for being a homewrecking… well.. Harpy, just because she can, leading to a slew of fights with other women. On the pitch, she’s noted to be an exceptional player which is said to make up for her extracurricular activities.
Shea “Tempest” Kendrick – There are few who haven’t been witness to Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick’s emotional outbursts. From snapping broomsticks to smashing referees in the face, this Harpy is one whose bad side no one wants to be on. Despite her tough exterior though, Kendrick is rumoured to be the most open and honest member on the team with the other women often seeking her out for her opinion and advice.
Lillibeth K. Bennet -‘Lil’ for her friends- displayed a good disposition and certain skills for Quidditch ever since she was young. Half-blood and pure Scottish, Bennet began her journey into a more serious Quidditch as soon as she was sorted into Gryffindor and was accepted to be part of their team. Sporting the number 5 during her Hogwarts days, Bennet made it into Captain of the Gryffindor Team as well as prefect on her fifth year, keeping both positions until she finished her studies. Once out of Hogwarts, she decided to take a break and travel around the world, interested perhaps in an artistic career but coming back to the UK into a job in the Ministry. Needless to say, that wasn’t the right path for her as she didn’t even last a year. Tempted once more by Quidditch and its ways, she proved her worth and finally made it into the big leagues. Thanks to her ruthless yet very calculated tactics, this small but feisty Beater finally found a home in the Holyhead Harpies, with high hopes to show her value on the next Euro Cup.
Biddy Ó Ceithearnaigh – Often seen as a dictionary of quidditch strategies and rightly called somewhat ‘spacey’ this former Ravenclaw is always focused when she’s protecting her rings. Off the pitch, she’s as prone to brawling as the other girls on the team, but she’s much calmer in the midst of a match.
Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway – Team Captain Kelsey Galloway is known to be quite the flirt both on and off the pitch, but don’t let that fool you. The self-assured blonde bombshell is deadly serious about her sport and her team and rumours have come from former Harpies regarding Galloway’s aversion to transfers. Since her time on the team, she’s shown herself more than willing to get into a post-match brawl for a whole host of reasons earning her a reputation among both fans and law enforcement.
*ICly tents are still available at the campsite, however oocly all tents have been rented.