Broomsticks, bludgers, golden snitches. There’s no sport in the wizarding world as exciting as Quidditch. And exciting is exactly the word we here at the Daily Prophet would use to describe the start of this season!
Before getting into the first few matches of this thrilling season your reporter would like to cover some of the most interesting news to come from the League. From burned bridges to charity work, we bring you the top headlines to date.
Rothenberg Abandons Appleby Arrows
Team sweetheart Haisley Rothenberg has been said to have finally tired of the Appleby Arrows’ violent manner and hostile nature. During the summer transfer window, she was said to accept a contract offer from the Ballycastle Bats, taking long term Bat Hardy Barnes’ place. The team had been looking to ditch the Keeper for some time as his jealous streak left him butting heads with his teammates and showing up in Witch Weekly for all the wrong reasons. At a press conference announcing the new contract, Rothenberg had this to say:
“I did the switch because the Ballycastle Bats seem calmer and my grandparents have always been big fans of theirs. It wasn’t a secret that I didn’t fit in with the Arrows all the time. All I have to say to my former teammates at the Appleby Arrows is that I wish them the best of luck in their future endeavours. They might be rough and rowdy, but they’re not bad people at the core. I feel confident heading into the new season, and I’m excited to play on such a storied team this season.”
Her fellow teammates were also reached out to. Justine McNee, Chaser, said, “Honestly, Rothenberg never seemed to fit in on the team. Too goody two shoes, we were all willing to take risks. Hopefully she will be happier elsewhere. We’re doing fine this season so far and Barnes seems to be the better fit, at least to me.” In regards to whether she had a message for Rothenberg, she added, “See you on the pitch Rothenberg. Pretty sure there will be a right hook in the future on the pitch for ya!”
Wimbourne Wasps Sign Swedish Stud
The Bats weren’t the only team to draw in fresh talent despite the economic crisis this window. The Wimbourne Wasps managed to sign a newcomer to the British and Irish League and to Professional Quidditch as a whole. Freshly graduated Magnus Laufreyn was quick to sign with the Wimbourne Wasps, surprising everyone who expected the Swedish player to take to a Swedish team. At the local press conference the Wasps announced the new Beater where he was allowed to speak a few words, saying the following:
If I stayed in my part of Sweden, there is no Pro League to speak of. If I moved elsewhere to join a team – Malmö, for example – it is as good as moving to Denmark. So, I would have had to move in any case, and the offers I had in the UK were too good to not consider. There were some other reasons… unfinished things, so to say. […I joined] the Wasps [because they] are a great team with a long, proud history. Like Durmstrang Institute. Me, Ayo Onyilgowu and Tilly (his partner) were friendly even before I signed, but Ayo is a formidable Beater and we play very well together. I am not sure what the rumours [regarding rivalry with the Arrows] are. They might be true. Or maybe not. [Regarding the Holyhead Harpies] I am very fond of them. I am friends with the whole team, but closer to some. Vitrac is world class. A great player and a good friend. Galloway, Bennet… all of them are notable. They are a good lot. [And] Technically, yes, I am single.
His fellow beater, Ayo Onyilgowu was reached out to as well for a statement, however, was unavailable.
Pro Players Burn Bridges Becoming Blacklisted
Reports have come in across the board of players finding themselves blacklisted after being less than courteous in their responses to managers interested in signing them. Despite the economic crisis, Quidditch continues on, as expected of the most determined and talented athletes in the business. Naturally, due to said crisis, it would of course be expected that teams would have less to offer when attempting to retain or sign players. However, the news coming in seems to suggest that players have felt confident to tell managers and scouts to get lost in much less polite terms. In fact, the following is a snippet of a leaked letter from one well known ladies’ man.
With your head so far up your [CENSORED] I’m surprised you could even see that I’m the best of the best. Reserves? Who do you think I am? I don’t do a “chance for movement.” I’m Darragh [CENSORED] Daly.
Tell your players to watch out on the pitch. The Falcons are coming for you and your “winning” team.
Responses such as this and others where managers were told by players to ‘get serious or get stuffed’, have led to team managers blacklisting professional players they refuse to work with. Which leaves us at the Prophet wondering if we might be seeing these players on the top teams much longer.
We reached out to Daly for a comment on the matter and he had this to say:
“I have no idea if I’ve actually been blacklisted from any team. All I know is I received more than a handful of disrespectful offers which were responded to in kind. Wigtown gave me the most interesting offer I’ve received in years, captaincy. Unlike the Falcons, they were willing to change things up to reach a higher level. The Falcons have decided that doing the same thing year after year will get them to the top. They didn’t agree with my vision so I jumped ship to a team that did. Of course, taking on captaincy of a team new to me is difficult but with how aggressive we all play I have no doubt in my mind that we’ll be climbing the ranks as a force to be reckoned with.”
Harpies Captain Has Disciplinary Trial
We all remember the brawl that took place at the end of the Euro Cup between the Appleby Arrows and Holyhead Harpies.Upon receiving instructions to disperse or be benched until facing trial however, Holyhead Captain, Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway was reportedly heard telling Head of Magical Games and Sports, Lark Rosewood to ‘Bench This’. Galloway was in fact benched until her disciplinary trial where she was instructed to sit out on the next match as well as perform an act of public service. We reached out to Galloway for comment and were told this:
Bollocks and unfair. The tart has it out for me and my team because she has a vendetta. Hope this new minister will talk some sense into the bat with a trial of her own.
Now, let’s get into the good stuff, shall we?
The first week led to an unexpected leaderboard as teams surprised us with their first match. Whether it was the Arrows showing up still hungover to their first match, or the Falcons getting used to their new beater, almost nothing played out as expected.
Holyhead Harpies 640 to 90 Chudley Cannons
This match was one of the few that played out as expected as the Holyhead Harpies proceeded to remind everyone exactly how they’d made it to the Euro Cup. With Team Captain Galloway sat out and star chaser Persephone Vitrac facing the full moon, many expected the team to struggle, though not fall to the Chudley Cannons but the team put any an all concerns to rest, with Vitrac, Parris, and De Luca showing that nothing would stop them. The Cannons did their best but with Bennet and Kendrick on the bats, even Sayaka Sato stood no chance.
Falmouth Falcons 250 to 220 Wigtown Wanderers
With star beater Darragh Daly having left the Falmouth Falcons for the Wigtown Wanderers, fans eagerly awaited this match to see if the loss would prove fatal for the English team. Despite the swap out however, the Falcons managed to claim victory against their Scottish opponents, with Daly’s former beating partner, Jasper Baxter, going all in. Despite efforts, Clark, Ivers, and Paternoster couldn’t keep up with the Falcons’ chasers and it was only by Proudfoot’s snitch catch that the Wanderers didn’t suffer a more embarrassing loss.
Pride of Portree 410 to 370 Banchory Bangers
The performance of the Banchory Bangers was a surprise, leaving fans and the team itself thrilled as they nearly held their own against Top 4 team, Pride of Portree. Portree’s rookie chaser, former Hogwarts Champion, Elliott Reid proved himself this match, dominating the pitch with Weekes and Picasso, but not so much that it wasn’t a surprisingly close match with the bottom tier team nearly pulling a victory. In the end, Portree came out victorious by a mere forty points, thanks in part to Seol’s excellent keeping skills blocking the Bangers from climbing any higher before their snitch catch.
Appleby Arrows 80 to 680 Caerphilly Catapults
In one of the more surprising matches of the week, the Caerphilly Catapults utterly decimated the Euro Cup champs, Appleby Arrows. No one could have expected the bottom tier team to utterly demolish Europe’s top team and yet we witnessed it, leading many to wonder if the Arrows’ ascent to glory was little more than a fluke. Or perhaps it was the loss of their Keeper, Haisley Rothenberg, that saw to their fall from grace. With a 600 point lead, this put the Catapults in a new position on the board- first place, though the question remained unanswered as to whether they could hold it!
Ballycastle Bats 670 to 640 Kenmare Kestrels
With their newest keeper, fans of the Ballycastle Bats expected the Kenmare Kestrels to have a harder time scoring when the pair met on the pitch, however this hardly seemed the case. In fact, the Kestrels managed to score a surprising 49 goals with little difficulty. Spectators seemed quick to chalk it up to new team jitters however, happy to accept that answer as even a snitch catch from Kestrels Seeker, Hall Mynatt wasn’t enough to secure a victory over Ballycastle’s beloved team.
Wimbourne Wasps 690 to 540 Puddlemere United
Fans and spectators alike were eager for this match, waiting to see whether Wimborne’s newest addition would improve their standing this season and so far, no one was disappointed. Between Onyilgowu and Laufreyn, Puddlemere’s chasers had a hard time keeping in the air, their seeker struggling to secure the snitch as each chase McClarken found himself hounded by bludgers. It was by pure luck that the Puddlemere seeker actually managed to capture the snitch, closing the gap to something a little less embarrassing.
Montrose Magpies 640 to 500 Tutshill Tornadoes
No one could have expected Tutshill to put up the fight they did against the Montrose Magpies and not a soul in the stands was disappointed by the performance put on! With Montrose playing harder than we’ve seen them since Rosewood’s days, we had to wonder if perhaps Adam Fletcher has decided to make the most of his first full season back in the B&I League. Long time fans will recall the position the Agincourt Axes were in when they took him on and how during Fletcher and Vrykulesti’s time on the team, the team climbed to the top, putting them in a position to participate in the Euro Cup after the pair’s transfer to the Magpies. On the other hand, the Tornadoes ran an impressive match, not only keeping up with the Magpies but holding their own until Ainsworth managed to capture the snitch, ending the game in the Magpies’ favour.
Wigtown Wanderers 290 to 610 Holyhead Harpies
Matchweek Two started with an interesting matchup, pitting the Holyhead Harpies versus the Wigtown Wanderers. Fans who keep up with Witch Weekly might recall the Harpies’ chaser, Persephone Vitrac, had a very public relationship with the Wigtown captain, Darragh Daly that ended in disappointment. And for those fans who didn’t know, we at the Daily Prophet would love to know your thoughts on the downright bludgeoning Kendrick and Bennet gave to Daly. Despite the Harpies’ beaters focusing almost exclusively on Daly, the rest of the Wanderers seemed to struggle to keep up with the B&I League winners’ performance. With a snitch capture by Galloway, the Harpies finished strong, securing their place back at the top of the leaderboard for another week.
Banchory Bangers 270 to 680 Chudley Cannons
This was a match that really could have gone either way and yet no one predicted the Chudley Cannons to go as hard as they did. While the Bangers had a strong start, they couldn’t stand up to the Cannons’ might. Surprisingly, Król, Utkin, and Terrell dominated the pitch, scoring time and time again on Harvey. Add in Sato’s snitch catch and the Bangers were in for an embarrassing time while the Cannons clawed their way to midtable for the first time in years.
Caerphilly Catapults 290 to 350 Falmouth Falcons
Determined to prove they didn’t need Daly, the Falmouth Falcons gave their all against the Caerphilly Catapults and it turned out to be more than enough! Mack Clifford had a tough time at the start, allowing Caerphilly to secure 14 goals before he really found his rhythm. After that, Caerphilly’s chasers couldn’t manage to put the quaffle through the goals again. Rather, Paddon, Halloran, and Georgeson began to dominate the pitch, scoring an impressive 35 goals before Caerphilly seeker, Toutorix Tracy, captured the snitch, ending the game in Falmouth’s favour.
Kenmare Kestrels 420 to 550 Pride of Portree
In a somewhat less surprising turn of events, Pride of Portree put on an expected show, with newcomer Elliott Reid leading the charge alongside Valentine Weekes. The Kenmare Kestrels didn’t simply lay down and play dead, however, putting up a fight to hold their place. Instead, their team, McClarken (Colin, not to be confused with Callum McClarken of Puddlemere United) and the Griffin twins fought to hold their own, successfully managing to keep up with Portree just fine despite Seol’s best efforts to hold them off. In the end, it came down to a fight between seekers with Hall Mynatt and Marfa Parma going head to head. Ultimately, Marfa Parma was able to capture the snitch, putting an end to the game and the Kestrels’ hopes.
Puddlemere United 290 to 590 Appleby Arrows
After their last match, the Appleby Arrows set out with the intent to redeem themselves and they managed to do just that. In fact, Puddlemere managed to score only a meek 14 goals throughout the whole of the match, proving that the Arrows’ new keeper, Hardy Barnes, was worth the transfer. McNee, Moore, and Barnett on the other hand managed to sink the quaffle through the goals an impressive 59 times. It seemed the arrows were determined to prove that they did not need Haisley Rothenberg despite the way their previous match went. Still, Everett Butcher has seemed off his game since their Euro Cup victory and it was Callum McClarken of Puddlemere who managed to secure the snitch catch, decreasing the gap but leaving the Arrows victorious.
Tutshill Tornadoes 310 to 40 Ballycastle Bats
Tutshill has put on the most surprising show so far this season, holding their own against the Montrose Magpies last week before utterly dominating the Ballycastle Bats this week. In the biggest embarrassment of the week, fan favourites, the Ballycastle Bats were brutally defeated by the Tutshill Tornadoes. Rothenberg seemed to be out of it, failing to block most, if not all of the Tutshill shots, allowing them to manage 16 goals before Lacy Bolton captured the snitch. It was truly the shortest match of the week, leaving many fans disappointed and hungry for more.
Montrose Magpies 400 to 200 Wimbourne Wasps
In the final match of the week, the Wimbourne Wasps and Montrose Magpies faced off. Many fans were eager to see Onyilgowu and Laufreyn’s power plays again after last week’s performance however they found themselves disappointed. Rather, it was Adam Fletcher who stole the show, keeping a bludger aimed at the enemy at all times- with a particularly brutal and obvious focus on Laufreyn. With Ainsworth managing to capture the snitch, the Magpies climbed their way into the top four, settling in place just behind the Holyhead Harpies.
That’s all for this week, but we’re looking forward to another exciting week of Quidditch next week. Remember, it’s still early in the season and anything could happen, yet! We’ll see you soon!