Broomsticks, bludgers, golden snitches. There’s no sport in the wizarding world as exciting as Quidditch! Little news to bring to you this week, or at least no transfers and unusual hostilities, just the normal sort we see every week. I have Norman Flaircloughe helping with this week’s coverage and with that announcement, we’ll be launching straight into coverage of the matches!
Holyhead Harpies 400 to 150 Kenmare Kestrels
The first match of the week ended up being a tighter one than expected- if only because no one expected the Kestrels to manage a goal. With the Holyhead Harpies and Kenmare Kestrels on opposite ends of the leaderboard, fans went into the match prepared for a complete shutout. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately for fans depending on which side you were on, that didn’t end up being the case. Rather, the Kestrels fought against the Harpies with all they had, managing an impressive 15 goals. While it didn’t make enough of a difference to spare the Kestrels a loss, it did make for a more interesting watch and as any Quidditch fan knows, the Kestrels are always looking to put on a good show. All things must come to an end though and with the Harpies pushing back with all they had, they managed to sink the quaffle past Kestrel keeper, Reese Barret, a whopping 25 times before seeker Kelsey Galloway closed her hand around the snitch.
Caerphilly Catapults 500 to 260 Puddlemere United
You know when you have two old blood teams going up against each other that you’re in for a treat. Usually at least. The start of this season is proving difficult for Puddlemere even as they’ve been trying out new recruitment methods for fresh blood. With three losses under their belts, United fans were hoping that they would pull it together to secure an underdog victory but left disappointed though not sad. The match was fierce as the Catapults started strong, sending three quick goals through the hoops. These sudden scores kicked Puddlemere into overdrive and their beaters came out of their shells and with a vengeance. Avery lived up to his lineage trying to beat the Catapults back while Grier stuck to his ways of forging his own plays but the Caerphilly beaters seemed to put up an impenetrable wall around the rest of their team. With 35 goals to Puddlemere’s nothing-to-scoff-at 26, the Catapults secured their victory with rookie Toutorix Tracy catching the snitch. All together it was a stunning match between two teams that are steeped in our wizarding history. Maybe next week Puddlemere! What’s a few losses in a nearly 900 year history anyways?
Banchory Bangers 0 to 310 Tutshill Tornadoes
It’s a rare day that a match ends with nil scored by one team but it’s even rarer when it happens on home turf. The past might be the past but with Tutshill resting mid-league the past three seasons and the Bangers dancing in and out of the bottom two, hopes were already low that Banchory would eke out a win. The match started strong enough with both teams giving it their all for an early lead but it was quickly clear where this match was going. Tutshill’s beater pair seemed to be working more in unison than ever before as Heath’s aerial tricks and Downer’s outstanding communication (and an excellent example of her very own Downer Downing I might add) combined to push back the Bangers three chasers into submission. Not even Doirend ‘No Pads’ Rayne could withstand the aerial assault unleashed upon their team. 16 goals later and a snitch catch by Captain Lacey Bolton and the Bangers left the pitch with their heads held low. Perhaps it’s time for the Banger’s to ease off their ragers and stick to practicing? Maybe it would help ease their fan base as some were heard consoling each other about how they at least weren’t as bad as the 14th place Kestrels. We reached out to the Bangers’ team manager for a comment and with a large, weighted sigh, he had this to say:
“Obviously no team wants to see a pointless game, especially on home turf – we’ll certainly need to play hard if we want to make back that points difference – but I can’t fault the team. Some managers and players, you know, they’re quick to blame whoever, but I know my team played the way I’d told them, the way they’ve been training, and I don’t think they did anything wrong. Tutshill have been having a strong season so far and you have to respect that, you have to respect the score-line at the end of the day. We don’t see this as a defeat but more of a teaching moment as we head into the rest of the season – though if anyone wants to offer us a financial takeover before the January transfer window, Banchory wouldn’t say no.”
Wigtown Wanderers 490 to 300 Montrose Magpies
It might have taken four games of painful defeat and an increasingly wary fan base but the Wigtown Wanderers have their very first win of the season! Many thought the Magpies had the match in the bag but this bout held too much on the line for the Wanderer’s to go down easily. The avid quidditch fan might remember that just last season Ainsworth (Magpies) held the spot of Captain for the Wanderers only to be replaced by the ex-Falcon, Darragh Daly. Ainsworth is quoted saying that she wanted ‘to see the Wanderers put down by the end of the season.’ On top of that, Adam Fletcher, nephew to the Falcon’s manager Barry Fletcher, is said to be having a bit of [bat] swinging contest with Daly due to a shared romantic link, Holyhead Harpy, Persephone Vitrac. Those two combined surely gave Daly and the rest of Wigtown the fire to push back hard against Montrose. The teams pressed each other, pulling out every stop and every trick from their playbooks to squeeze another goal through. Fletcher took the reins as beater and seemed to find that hurtling a bludger at Daly was the way to a win. Not once, not twice, but three times, Fletcher successfully gave body blows to Daly which served to bring the game to a whole new level. With the Wigtown captain appearing to be short of a front tooth, Daly pressed his team forward to focus on their goal of putting quaffles past the keeper giving hope to some that Daly is falling into his role as captain more so than expected. The match was neck and neck, neither team taking more than a thirty point lead, bludgers flew, blood fell, the fans were on their feet screaming at the top of their lungs, pounding on the railings. Then, it all happened in a flash. Shay Clark of Wigtown ripped the quaffle through the hoop as both seekers tore straight up towards the high noon sun. Hands outstretched, one to secure the win, one making a last ditch effort to even the score despite an assured loss. The stadium was silent except for the rippling capes of the players below and the crack of bats aiming their bludgers towards the seekers. All eyes turned into the blinding sun.
The roar was like nothing Wigtown had ever heard.
The snitch glittered in Proudfoot’s hand as a beacon of hope to the loyal supporters of the Wanderers. They aren’t going out without a fight. Of course, this doesn’t bring the Wanderer’s anywhere close to the top four but….they were left with a proud foot to stand on.
Chudley Cannons 370 to 200 Wimbourne Wasps
Yet another upset is under our belts as the Chudley Cannons faced off against the Wimbourne Wasps for their third win of the season. The Cannons came out to play hard against the slightly higher ranked Wasps and both teams were leaving everything on the pitch. The Wasps, like their namesake, were quick on the attack with both beaters, Onyilgowu and Laufreyn, pairing up to take the chasers down. The pair were as smooth as dragon butter as they took well timed knocks against the Cannons leaving more than a few bruises to mend (and likely some egos to repair. I’m looking at you, Clarity Terrell). But for all their efforts the Cannon’s were still putting goals past Keeper Goodwin Malloye. On both sides, the chasers were having one hell of a standoff as the quaffle was repeatedly stolen and passed around like an ashwinder egg fresh from the fire. By the end of the match the spectators’ necks were growing sore from the constant ping-ponging of the quaffle between the two team’s hoops. But with two more goals and an easy catch by the Cannon’s not-so-secret weapon, Sayaka Satō, the Cannons secured their victory and unseated the Wasps for the 5th slot in the league standings!
Falmouth Falcons 420 to 300 Ballycastle Bats
It was a rainy day on the outskirts of Ballycastle for one hell of a standoff between two teams fighting for two very different reasons. With the Falcons surely aiming to unseat the Harpies from their number one seed and the Bats fighting to keep away from the bottom two, both had a lot to lose as the rain battered the pitch. The goggles were cinched on tight, cloaks snug around the neck, and the teams were off! The Falcons, as brutal as ever, held nothing back as they went for the moneymakers, aka the Bat’s faces. But the Bats know how to protect their assets and their defensive skills are well matched to their offense. Sterling showed no mercy as he sent bludger after bludger flying back the other way and with a few assists from Captain Ada Ivers, the Falcons were struggling to keep up with the Bats scoring. The low ranked Bats overpowering Falmouth was sending ripples throughout the crowd but eager to prove himself, Albert Lamb unleashed and fought back with the aggression and surprisingly ingenuity we expect from any Falcon. This appeared to give the team the needed boost to help even out the score before Dot Townsend ended the match with a clutch game-winning snitch snag.
Pride of Portree 550 to 70 Appleby Arrows
Fans were wildly anticipating this match, eager to see two of our top four teams face off but no one could have been expecting the massacre it turned out to be. Lead by Turlough Parsons, the Arrows took to the pitch with the usual confidence, sure that they could take the victory and go back to drinking. Long time fans know, of course, that the Appleby Arrows have never managed to secure a victory when it comes to facing down the Pride and this match was no different. Despite the romantic duo Moore and McNee giving their all alongside Heartthrob Jenson Barnett, the Appleby chasers were no match for Portree’s beloved keeper, Hayoon “Doll” Seol. While the European Cup winners were able to sink seven goals, that was all they were able to get past the Portree star. On the other hand, Weekes, Picasso, and Reid dominated the pitch, scoring goal after goal. Fans barely had time to sit down between scores, leaving many on their feet as they cheered. Elliott Reid in particular had an impressive run this match, apparently having broken Weekes of his quaffle hog nature- or at the very least making him fight for it a little more. Between the three of them 40 goals were made past Hardy Barnes, the newest member of the Appleby team, leading to the Keeper receiving two green sparks for nasty behaviour- such as slamming the quaffle into the face of Picasso after a particularly impressive goal. Add in a snitch catch by Marfa Parma, and this loss for the Arrows was particularly embarrassing.
Puddlemere United 620 to 440 Holyhead Harpies
After last week’s loss to the Catapults, Puddlemere had nothing to lose and in what might be the biggest upset of the season, they demolished the #1 seeded Holyhead Harpies. Without jest I say that jaws were on the floor as Puddlemere opened up the match and landed a goal within the first ten seconds. However, it didn’t end there as Puddlemere seemed to be an entirely different team and scored goal after goal against the Harpies. I’d say that the most common feeling around the pitch was that of confusion from both sides of the coin. As Puddlemere kept the Harpies out of their goal while bombarding their way through Keeper Ó Ceithearnaigh, rumours already started to fly that the entirety of Puddlemere was actually another team under polyjuice potion. But I urge you to keep in mind that Puddlemere has the third highest goals scored ranking this season despite their high number of losses. They certainly know how to get them through the hoop. That said, so does Holyhead but they seemed to have an off match as chasers Vitrac, De Luca, and Parris struggled to get the 29 goals they managed to make. United Keeper Marsha Lyon proved her worth in this match but will she be able to keep it up for the rest of the season? That’s what fans want to know. Now, with 62 goals under their belt in this one game, it seemed that the Harpies sometimes know when to bow out and after a brief timeout their seeker, Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway, was on the snitch in an instant (some think she had been watching it the entire match waiting to score enough to win with a catch) and she made the catch look easy. However, a catch doesn’t equal a win but it does keep their score count high as they’re still at the top of the leaderboard despite their first loss of the season.
We reached out to the Harpies for a comment and Ó Ceithearnaigh came back to us saying,
“I think our loss was because I had forgotten to take care of Benjamin that week. It was his creation day and I had forgotten to wax him just right. Or maybe it was because I had given Archibald more attention the week prior, making sure his twigs were smoothed and trimmed. Either way, the stars did not align for the broom so his mood was off. I could not read him during the whole match.”
Tutshill Tornadoes 470 to 390 Kenmare Kestrels
Another match, another loss for the last place Kestrels unfortunately. But! That doesn’t mean that they didn’t give it their all and fight til the last breath. The Kestrels put on one hell of a show for us as they fought tooth and nail against the Tutshill Tornadoes. It is becoming clear that, despite the fun-loving side to the team, the Kestrels are desperate to rid themselves of this early season losing streak by any means necessary. 39 goals is nothing to laugh at especially when the other team won by the saving grace of a snitch. The Tornadoes were having a tough go of it but managed to squeeze out a respectable 32 goals despite the barrage of bludgers barreling towards their bodies and brooms. Late in the match, the Kestrels were running at full steam, their sights bright, but then the focus fell to the seekers, Hall Mynatt and Lacey Bolton, as they took off at a full clip towards the Tutshill goal. The two slammed into one another, attempting to drive the other off the snitch, but Bolton’s quick thinking cinched them their victory. As Mynatt attempted one last time to run her off course, Lacey sank forcing him off course in return and giving her the split second of space needed to snag the snitch. Overall, it was a high energy, fast paced game that left both teams wanting more. You’ll get your win someday Kestrels! Don’t stop fighting!
Montrose Magpies 340 to 510 Caerphilly Catapults
Another tough week for the Magpies as they faced off against the 3rd ranked Caerphilly Catapults. Despite the Magpies being the most successful team in League history they’ve been having difficulty this season establishing themselves upon the upper leaderboard. Fans found themselves hopeful yet again as the two teams went head to head in an intense match that ended with more than a few raised eyebrows. The match started out strong with a few well placed bludgers by the Magpies’ Adam Fletcher who played as aggressive as ever but he was equally matched as the Catapults launched the bludgers back his way. However, a missed bludger that put Lestat Vrykulesti on the ground for a moment ended up with a screaming match to his beaters up above. Tensions rose throughout the course of the game with the close score keeping fans on the edge of their seats. All eyes were on the two seekers who hungrily eyed the horizon for any signs of the snitch. When Ainsworth (Magpies) suddenly dove, Montrose fans went wild thinking they were only moments away from victory but when Toutorix flew off in another direction we all knew something was amiss. Ainsworth was attempting a feint to throw off Toutorix but either he knew what she was doing or simply didn’t see her make the move at all. It was unfortunate then as the game ended only moments later with the snitch in Toutorix’s hand. With the Magpies defeated, Vrykulesti broke out into yet another screaming match with not only the Catapults but those on his own team as well. It seems that the pressure of repeated losses might be getting to his head. But tension was soon sliced as in the fray all of the Catapults suddenly found themselves stuck to their brooms. Fans suspect the harmless joke to be attributed to Magpie Myles Burnham with his penchant for mischief on the pitch.
Wimbourne Wasps 80 to 530 Banchory Bangers
After last week’s dismal zero score display by the Banchory Bangers, fans were left disappointed and concerned about their party lifestyles and presumed lack of practice. Apprehension sat heavy in the air as the teams took to the pitch and circled around mid field ready for the game to start. The whistle blew, each team raced towards the quaffle and the apprehension built as Wimbourne’s Robyn McKowen grabbed the quaffle and put it through the hoop with hardly any resistance. Banger’s fans slumped in their seats as they awaited yet another brutal loss. The Wasps scored another two goals before Banchory pushed one through but the game was far from over. McKowen again had the quaffle and being known for her rather risky flying, she was upside-down headed for the goal posts when a bludger, shot off by Anah Trengove gave a direct hit to her broom hand leaving it limp and hardly able to support herself. This must have been all the Bangers needed as it turned into an entirely different match. The Bangers came alive with impressive plays making mincemeat of the Wasps as they scored goal after goal. Peacock and Ó hÓgáin couldn’t seem to make up for the loss of McKowen with only five more goals scored before Bryson McConnell took the snitch ending the game with a rough loss for the Wasps.
Ballycastle Bats 240 to 550 Wigtown Wanderers
Well folks, it seems as though Wigtown might be falling into a stride here after two wins in a row that has dug them from 14th place to 8th! After weeks of growing doubt in new Captain Darragh Daly’s abilities, the Wanderers are starting to quell fears that they have doomed the future of the team. For both teams, the chasers were putting in good work along with the beaters stopping more than a few plays from working out. But the real star of the show was the Wanderer’s Keeper Mick Mooney who, despite his small stature, defended the goal posts with the skill he’s become known for (and with a few choice words for the chasers who got a little too close to the goal posts). Only 24 goals were let through to the Wanderers’ 40 before the two seekers began their chase. Avery Whittle (BB) and Evie Proudfoot (WW) closed in on the snitch as Whittle tried to distract Evie with taunts and arrogant remarks despite his team still being down 20 points short of a win even with the snitch. Ballycastle’s chasers pressed hard hoping to close the gap before the snitch was caught but for all of Avery’s self-confidence, Evie Proudfoot caught the snitch for the second match in a row. Perhaps her ‘personal snitch’ she carries around for practice is the winning ticket to becoming the best seeker in the league. And it seems that this second failure to catch the snitch might just fuel the fire to replace Whittle with someone more consistent.
Appleby Arrows 580 to 20 Chudley Cannons
I think I can speak for literally everyone when I say that we are all disappointed in the turn out of this match. Not because of a dislike for the Appleby Arrows but simply because we were all hoping that the Cannons were coming back into their heyday! Of course, this could just be a bad match and Chudley surely has more to give this season. But let’s dive into the details. From the start Appleby was flying absolute circles around the Cannons. Some reported that it even looked like a pro team facing off against children (not me of course). One thing that was accurate was that for a minute I thought I was watching a game of shuntbumps. The Appleby beaters, Parsons and Quinn, absolutely demolished the Cannons, repeatedly knocking the chasers and beaters alike from their brooms. About halfway through the short match, as Appleby was up 300 to 0, it appeared that they allowed the Cannons to make two goals with Keeper Hardy Barnes making a purposefully weak attempt to stop the shots. Some thought it was out of pure mercy but knowing the Arrows I’d say it was simply an attempt to make more of a mockery of the match. The Arrows kept scoring, racking up a total of 43 goals split fairly evenly between Justine McNee and Jenson Barnett while Scotty Moore spent more time punching the quaffle out of the Cannons hands (and occasionally making contact ending up with two sparkings against him for rough play). The game ended with an uncontested snitch catch by Everett Butcher and wavering dreams of the Cannon fanbase.
Pride of Portree 290 to 70 Falmouth Falcons
Here was a match that I’m sure many were excited to see. With the Falcons still sitting comfortably in second seed and Portree clawing their way back into the top three, the match was bound to be one for the books. The game began with Portree showing their might with a quick three goals, one attributed to each chaser as Weekes again appears to be leaning toward sharing the quaffle with his other two teammates. The Falcons were soon on their tail however with their bludgering pair coming after the chasers with a vengeance. Baxter, always known for his aggressive style, managed three shots that threw Portree’s chasers off the quaffle giving his own team ample time for the subsequent four goals made past Seol. Their luck would be running thin soon though as Pride’s beaters, Fujiwara and Ungaro, stepped up to the plate and began to beat back the Falcons from their aggressive offensive plays. Portree continued on with their quick goals, racking up an additional 80 points as opposed to the Falcons additional 30. The pressure was on for the Falcons and, in true Falmouth style, the match was bound to turn into a bloodbath. The Falcons took on a different play style, focusing less on defending their own chasers and more on taking out Portree’s. With rookie Elliott Reid set up to steal from Paddon, the beaters took a chance to get him out of the game completely. Lamb shot off a bludger and with Paddon flying right at Reid, he took a swing and “missed” the bludger but instead hit Reid square in the side of the head sending him into a death spiral to the ground. But this move would prove fatal to the team as in the amount of time it took for them to execute the play Marfa Parma, Portree’s seeker, had already captured the snitch and ended the game. It did appear, briefly, that a brawl was about to break out post-match due to a few unheard comments made from the Falcons but it was quietly and quickly dispelled as the refs got in between the players.
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!