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 600 to 30 Tutshill Tornadoes
Fans weren’t sure what to expect from this match after the Harpies’ performance last week and it was obvious as they packed into the stands. No one was sure if losing to Puddlemere United was a mere fluke or the start of the Harpies’ downfall this season. Fortunately, the team didn’t seem to have been shaken by their loss. From kick off the Harpies proved they were ready to do whatever it takes to keep their top spot. De Luca really shone this week, scoring twenty of the forty five goals Harpies took this match. Vitrac and Parris spent much of their time stealing the quaffle and performing impressive maneuvers to keep the ball out of the enemies’ hands and put it into De Luca’s. Naturally, the pair managed their fair share of the scores as well. Fans watching wondered if the Harpies were showing pity when Ó Ceithearnaigh allowed Tutshill to score a mere three goals but Galloway’s quick capture of the snitch proved that the girls in green had no interest in mercy.
Puddlemere United 40 to 490 Montrose Magpies
With both teams fighting to keep themselves out of the dreaded bottom two, fans were eager for a ferocious fight between Puddlemere and Montrose this week. But PU fans were left disheartened and despondent after watching their three chasers score a meager 4 goals to the Magpies 34. Now, some eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed some less than favourable behavior between Puddlemere’s own Jack Jones and Grier Madden. Known to often be at odds with each other over their differing play styles the two are often caught with post-match locker room arguments. However, this match might have pushed their questionable teamwork over the edge as some fans thought they saw Madden purposefully miss a bludger that caused some serious damage to Jones’ side. Whether that is true or not we may never know but what is true is that with Ainsworth’s snitch catch the Magpies have catapulted back to the middle of the leaderboard.
Kenmare Kestrels 560 to 280 Wimbourne Wasps
Things seemed to start good for the Wasps, as their score was in their favour in the first fifteen minutes of the game. Fans were excited, black and yellow was worn with pride. A dream had come true. Until the Griffin Twins emerged out of nowhere, and ‘just having fun’, they started to score and score. The emerald wave soon surrounded the black and yellow, and the quaffle seemed to be flying non-stop against Goodwin Malloye, who had started to feel quite confident after the first minutes of the games. But we all know what they say: ‘Never fall asleep when quaffles bounce’. A special mention can be thrown to beaters Ayo Onyilgowu and Magnus Laufreyn, who despite their well positioned bludgers, couldn’t stop the Griffins and their pace. Laufreyn, whom we got to give us an statement after the game, told us this:
“The drive to win is only stronger after a defeat, ja?”
Of course it does, Magnus! And those Swedish words yelled after in the locker, absolutely must mean the same! At least we got to see a bit of action, and better moves from the Wasps. Just not good enough to put up with the Kestrels. Better luck next time!
Caerphilly Catapults 480 to 630 Ballycastle Bats
Might we have the match of the season under our belts already? We just might unless two other teams can top the absolute spectacle of what we witnessed this week between Caerphilly and Ballycastle! I’m telling you folks, this game was a nail-biter! With Ballycastle hoping to break their two game losing streak and Caerphilly hoping to continue their two game winning streak, both teams were eager to end up on top. From the second the game began, neither team had a chance to catch their breath as the quaffle changed possession faster than you can say Creaothceann. Everyone was on their feet as the chasers played the most intense game of keep-away we’ve ever seen. For the Catapults, Ruta Kovalyov might have set the record this season for the amount of assists given. From stealing to setting up a shot, Kovalyov dominated the pitch from end to end giving the Catapults a decent lead to start. However, her reign drew short when Captain Ada Ivers decided enough was enough and formed a practical force field around her chasers. Between Ivers and Sterling, their quaffle-carrying chasers were led to the goals un-bludgeoned until they had tied up the match. Each team adapted to the other, forcing each other to overcome the new plays through intuition and innovation. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen teams switch up play styles so much before in one match. From there on out the scores kept rising, neither team letting the other have more than a 20 point lead. The fans were going absolutely wild, chanting, jeering, whooping, and swearing, hoping that their rabbit feet and four leaf clovers would bring their team the luck they needed. But folks, neither team needed luck with the skill they were bringing to the match! The game drew on, the players exhausted; the match was topping five hours of play when finally the flash of gold caught the attention of both seekers. Toutorix Tracy and Avery Whittle shot like bats out of hell after that little golden devil. Bludgers were sent after each seeker but nothing could keep up with these two. Tracy and Whittle shoved into each other in any effort to throw the other behind, neither was relenting, they were putting every last drop of energy they had into catching that snitch. And then in a move of the century, Ballycastle’s very own Avery Whittle jumped upon his broom, letting go completely, shoved off and tackled the snitch! Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest sight or the best executed but it worked! With the snitch, Ballycastle broke the tie game for an end score of 630 to 480!
Banchory Bangers 80 to 190 Appleby Arrows
Well folks, not all games can be as exciting as the last and that’s exactly what happened here. It was a perfectly mild afternoon when Banchory and Appleby went head to head in a match that threatened to put fans to sleep. While the Bangers managed to score double as many goals as the Arrows, neither team was doing anything particularly exciting nor worthy of note. It was, unfortunately, one of the most standard games I’ve ever seen in my life. However, it would be a great game to show off the tried and true quidditch methods and plays! At least there’s that! The Bangers managed three steals from the Arrows (arguably the most exciting parts of the match) but with a snitch catch by seeker Everett Butcher, the game ended unceremoniously at 80 to 190 for Appleby.
Wigtown Wanderers 230 to 660 Pride of Portree
Ouch! Not a great day for the up and coming Wigtown Wanderers as they faced off with Pride of Portree. Scoring over twice as many goals, nevermind the snitch, Portree wrecked the Wanderers over the course of two and a half hours. From the blow of the whistle it was clear who was in charge. With Picasso, Reid, and Weekes running up a tried and true pass and assist methodology, the Prides took control of the quaffle and the pitch. Of course they couldn’t have pulled it off without their faithful beaters, Fujiwara and Ungaro, behind them keeping them safe from aerial attacks. In one rather remarkable move, Fujiwara saved Picasso from a sure hit to the head by performing a backflip over her just to knock the bludger back in the face of Cade Lindon! On top of that, if it weren’t for Pride’s keeper, Hayoon “Doll” Seol, the game surely wouldn’t have had such a wide split. Covering the hoops with the ability of three people combined, Seol has proved herself, yet again, as a formidable player and keeper. At the end of the day it still was a good match and not nearly as lopsided as some seen earlier this season. Check in next week to see if Wigtown can redeem themselves!
Chudley Cannons 250 to 270 Falmouth Falcons
My my, we nearly had quite the upset here folks! With these two teams placed side by side I think we all knew which one had the most bets to them (Hint: it rhymes with the Balmouth Balcons). Though with the Cannons having their first good season in a while, all bets were off! As the game started, Falcon fans were growing weary as the Cannons took possession of the quaffle and made a bee-line for the hoops. Chaser Consus Król put one through, then on the ball in Casimir Utkin intercepted the throw and shot it back at the Falcon’s Keeper for yet another goal within the first minute of the game. From there the Falcons buckled down realizing that the Cannon’s were no laughing matter and took control. In true Falmouth style, cracking skulls was on the menu as the beaters did more than hit bludgers with their bats. Each beater earned one sparking shy of being ejected from the match until Falmouth had scored 27 goals to the Cannons 10. Chudley still wasn’t one to be discounted, however, as they pushed forward broken and bruised in a hardy attempt to win. After all, with Sayaka Satō as your seeker all you need to do is get 150 points shy of a win to take the glory. Unfortunately for Chudley, Falmouth’s seeker Dot Townsend spotted the snitch first forcing Satō into an early catch. Both seekers had bludgers on their tails as they raced for the snitch and it would be Townsend who took one to the back leaving Satō with the snitch in hand and 3 goals shy of a victory.
Montrose Magpies 440 to 590 Holyhead Harpies
I’ve got a juicy one here for you, avid readers. Besides this game between Montrose and Holyhead keeping us all on our toes there was a noticeable amount of intrigue and drama unfolding between two players that caught everyone’s eyes! Now this game was strong, both teams playing admirably, Montrose putting Holyhead to the test playing in terrific form (especially given the difference in league standing). The game was neck-and-neck the entire match with both keepers, Biddy Ó Ceithearnaigh and Myles Burnham, having to defend their goals like never before. Ó Ceithearnaigh did have one particularly athletic save by only holding on with one hand to her broom and swinging around to kick the quaffle back into play! Brilliant stuff, really. But where the drama began to unfold was between the beaters and the chasers. Now as most know, beaters often send their bludgers after chasers to ensure they don’t score. Where we weren’t seeing that happen was between Montrose’s Adam Fletcher towards Holyhead’s Persephone Vitrac. For those who don’t dabble in the personal lives of our quidditch professionals, I’ll do that for you. See, Fletcher and Vitrac are one of the newest inter-team couples in the league and as everyone noticed, he seemed to refuse to send any bludgers her way. Now that could be chalked up to chance but what really stood out, even to the refs, was that he even went so far as to protect her from a bludger sent at her by teammate and captain Kane Curtis! Of course, this isn’t exactly an illegal move but it is generally frowned upon if you want to win. This undoubtedly begs the question, is there any other reason he would go to such lengths, risk being benched, and risk a loss other than protecting Vitrac from a bruise or two? Could something else be on the line? I’ll leave that up for you to decide. Anyways, Vitrac didn’t seem to like his behavior as she looked rather tense during the match and after as she was spotted storming off the pitch in quite the huff! Seems like someone is sleeping on the couch tonight! But back to the game that might just be the most exciting game of the season. Montrose and Holyhead were fighting like hell, ensuring that the other team didn’t get too far of a lead. It all came down to those small decisions, split second ideas like Bennet, who had picked up Montrose’s plays, choosing to send off a bludger towards Audley who didn’t have the quaffle yet and made the wise guess that it would be passed to her next. Those sort of moves were enough to make sure the match stayed close. Though this game all came down to a fateful snitch catch. Arethousa Ainsworth of Montrose was put on the golden trail first but Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway was quick on her tail. The two were in an all out sprint and the beaters began their aerial assault. The sound was deafening as gold, green, black, and white waved in the stands below. The chasers tried to get one more goal in before the catch but it was too late. Galloway made the push and wrapped her hand around the snitch in a moment of pure triumph. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this might just go down as the most exciting game of the season and certainly one of those most drama-filled!
Reaching out to Fletcher for comment was less than fruitful however, as the abrasive Beater only had this to say:
I wasn’ trying to protect ‘er, I dunno where tha’s come from. Just wasn’ feeling good, ‘sall. We all ‘ave low spo’s. I mean look a’ Daly, or Parsons. They’re in a constant low spo’. Mine was just the one game though, just the luck of the draw i’ was the match against Perse.
Wimbourne Wasps 680 to 250 Tutshill Tornadoes
It was redemption day for the Wasps after a dismal loss to the Kenmare Kestrels last week! Peacock was on the menu, folks, as his adoring fans flocked to the stadium to support their resident hunk and he did not disappoint. Well, after a bit of fumbling at least. Each team seemed to forget how to play as the whistle blew and both the Wasps and Tornadoes completely missed the quaffle, letting it fall to the ground in a less than exciting start. It only took a slew of missed passes, fumbled throws, and ten whole minutes of missed attempts for something to finally change. The Wasps were the first on the scoreboard and seemed to find their footing not long after. Peacock stole the show as he began a tirade of steals that threatened to keep Tutshill off the scoreboard entirely. Combined with Robyn McKowen’s raw talent for risky flying, the two started to rack up the points for Wimbourne. Tutshill put a good foot forward however and managed to work their way around them, sinking 25 goals over the course of the next two hours. Despite the solid effort, it still wouldn’t match the scoring prowess of the Wasps chasers and the shielding abilities of their beaters which lead them to 53 goals. On top of that, the snitch catch by Alec Tollemache of the Wasps sealed the deal and ended the game much to the glee of Peacock’s flocking fans.
Ballycastle Bats 470 to 270 Puddlemere United
Puddlemere is having a tough go of it this season with yet another loss under their belt securing their spot in last place. Fortunately, they were able to put a few more points on the scoreboard this game after last week’s embarrassing loss. Working up from the dismal 4 goals scored last game, Puddlemere managed a total of 12 through the hoops with Ariadne Massey earning a majority letting her throw her usual white rose to keeper Haisley Rothenberg. In her kind manner, Rothenberg took each rose and stuck it in her helmet leaving her with quite the crown and a trail of white rose petals falling behind her. Ballycastle was having a much better day, however, and planted a total of 47 goals between the three chasers. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t make the loss too embarrassing for Puddlemere as Avery Whittle failed to capture the snitch for the Bats again. This has led to more calls for his removal from the roster as Puddlemere seeker Callum McClarken managed to capture the snitch without being challenged by Whittle. In fact, while McClarken was chasing the snitch, Whittle was seen flying above the crowd attempting to start a “wave” as he seemed to feel far too comfortable with their lead. Despite that, Puddlemere’s capture of the snitch still wouldn’t be enough to boost them to a win but they could at least hold their heads a little higher than last week.
Appleby Arrows 540 to 440 Kenmare Kestrels
My oh my, the Kestrels are really putting in work these past two weeks aren’t they? Despite a loss, Kenmare is keeping themselves out of the bottom two with two high scoring games in a row and keeping the scores close. Jenson Barnett and Justine McNee of Appleby were the stars of the show in this match as they worked an impressive assist strategy that kept the Kestrels guessing about where the quaffle would end up next. Meanwhile Scotty Moore, who notably hasn’t been playing his best as of recent, focused more on intimidation tactics by blatching (flying with the intent to collide) forcing them off their course. This did end up with one head on collision resulting in a temporary benching for him. Despite that, the Arrows still racked up a whopping 54 goals as compared to the 29 the Kestrels managed. I would like to note an impressive play orchestrated by the Kestrel’s Griffin duo. With Billy flying straight at the hoops, he wound up for a shot and had absolutely everyone tricked thinking he threw it. In all reality, he never let go and instead tossed the ball up to Chloe who sped in behind him to make the shot. Really top notch stuff, you two! The game ended with a snitch catch by Kenmare’s Hall Mynatt which helped even out the score and bring them up the leaderboard.
Pride of Portree 490 to 240 Caerphilly Catapults
As the fans packed into the stadium on this rainy Saturday, it was clear that they already knew how this match would go. Purple and gold filled the stands with hardly a hint of Caerphilly’s green and scarlet. Despite the two games lost, it doesn’t appear as though the Pride’s fanbase has suffered, perhaps because they’ve long since managed to break their brief losing streak. This match had the healers working overtime though as Scotland’s favourite on pitch brawlers sent more than a fair few punches, hexes, and in Lindiwe Ungaro’s case- a thrown bludger bat, after the Catapult chasers. And really, one has to wonder why, as the Pride didn’t seem to be at a loss for skilled play this week, landing an impressive 49 goals between Reid, Picasso, and Weekes to Caerphilly’s disappointing, 9. A particular shout out needs to go to the impressive one-two combination pulled off by Seol and Reid where the former released her broom, dropping down so that she hung by her knees to block an incoming shot made by Gabriella Dudley before sending the quaffle flying to Reid. With some quick flying, Reid managed to cross the pitch, fast approaching the goal though Ruta Kovalyov and Kasandra Bélanger were closing in tight, hoping to catch him in a pincer move. What they hadn’t counted on was for Reid to pull up at the last second, leaving them to collide midair before he sank the quaffle through the hoop, much like he reportedly sank his wand into the skull of one vicious nundu last year. All in all, an exciting match that had fans on their feet and the crowd roaring.
Falmouth Falcons 690 to 450 Banchory Bangers
No one expected this match to be as exciting as it was. After all, the Banchory Bangers continue to underperform this season- and every other season if we’re being honest but unkind- but the team truly pulled out all the stops this round. Sure, it wasn’t enough to see them to victory, but they certainly made the Falcons fight for it! Pitting a group of party boys against England’s undisputed most violent team didn’t bode well for the Bangers, and yet with 45 goals between Ellington, Rayne, and Saylor to Falmouth’s 54, one has to wonder if this isn’t the beginning of some much needed improvement for the white and pink. Still, Clifford’s team wasn’t ready to take the loss yet and with Townsend’s skillful snitch catch and Baxter and Lamb bludgering the ever-loving souls out of Banchory, the Falcons proved yet again that they don’t need Darragh Daly to sit pretty in the top four.
Chudley Cannons 150 to 670 Wigtown Wanderers
It might just be that the Cannon’s fervor is over after this recent losing streak and this time to the previously bottom of the chart Wigtown Wanderers. With their third win under their belt, the Wanderers demolished the Cannon’s without letting them score a single goal despite a tenacious try. With Captain Darragh Daly in their back pocket, the two beaters drove back the Cannons on every play and anything that managed to slip by was saved by Mick Mooney who made Keeping look easy. At the same time, the quaffle was in Wanderer possession for nearly 90% of the entire match with a litany of steals and interceptions that left Chudley helpless. If it weren’t for Sayaka Satō’s incredible skill on her broom and at spotting the snitch it would have been yet another zero score game for the season. Fortunately it seems that she might be their saving grace in terms of overall points scored, keeping them from falling too far to the bottom of the leaderboard, though they still sit with the least amount of points out of every team.
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!