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 Calista Earnshaw, Norman Flaircloughe, and Christian Hastings helping with this week’s coverage, and with that announcement, we’ll be launching straight into a recap of the matches!
Holyhead Harpies 700 to 400 Appleby Arrows
What a game for the Harpies! If there was any match that we were waiting on, this was precisely it: a new encounter after the bittersweet taste of the Eurocup. Chaser Persephone Vitrac scored the first five goals for the Harpies, followed by an eager Jolene Parris, who easily followed her co-chaser in order to strike the following three quaffles into Arrows’ Keeper Hardy Barnes’ hoops. With a score 80 to 0 for the Harpies, the Arrows needed to make a comeback to at least save their pride. Jenson Barnett took the lead –surprisingly without the direct use of his looks — and brought the first two goals for his team. From there, there was a good response from the Arrows, as if they had somewhat woken up from some sort of nightmare. Unfortunately for them, the Harpies had the support of a roaring crowd, and as their score was only getting higher, they easily kept the Arrows at bay. Beaters Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick and Lillibeth ‘Lil’ Bennet managed to send their bludgers in critical moments, preventing the Appleby team from capturing the snitch at some point, and even score as many points as their team. With a score 550 to 400 for the Harpies, the Arrows really needed to catch the snitch to obtain at least a draw, but in the battle for the golden ball, Captain and Seeker Kelsey Galloway proved her absolute dominance by locking the victory for her team. Here are some of the comments made post-match. [Note: the Daily Prophet isn’t responsible for the opinions from the players and their views on past events.]
“Funny how things play out when you don’t get to CHEAT. [Expletive] cheated at the cup, and here’s my bloody proof.”– Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway
“It’s not the ARROWS problem the Harpies played like garbage last year. If anything they should be thanking us for making them play better this year! I’m not losing sleep over a bunch of crybabies”– Turlough Parsons
Pride of Portree 20 to 310 Ballycastle Bats
Historic game for Pride of Portree, and not in the good sense of it. Ballycastle started the game very strong, as chasers Tobin Townsend, Avonlea Fox and Deirdre Piper scored the first hundred points for their team, much to the surprise and discontent of the Portree fans. With Sonorus spells being casted to amplify voices shouting ‘Are ye blind?’ or ‘It’s a [expletive] quaffle, not a buttered potato!’, Pride of Portree fans showed their shock and disappointment with how things were going during the whole agony of the game. Rookie Chaser Elliott Reid managed to score the only two goals for Pride, one after the other, which seemed to give a slight piece of hope around the purple stands. Unfortunately for them, the Ballycastle beaters Ivers and Mordushku kept aiming towards Reid until the Golden Snitch appeared a fourth time and their bludgers were directed at Pride’s Seeker Marfa Parma, thus giving the advantage to their very own Avery Whittle who caught the snitch when the score was 20 to 160 for them. The aftermath of the match gave us two things to meditate about: Caryxander Mordushku’s more than usual aggressive gameplay and the rumours of Ballycastle players cheating. How, if not, would Pride of Portree end up striking only two goals? Certain sources indicate that these rumours might or might have not started around the Pride of Portree’s lockers area.
“Maybe Pride should be a bit less [expletive]?”– Caryxander Mordushku
“Ballycastle can talk when their win ratio is closer to ours.”– Elliott Reid
Wimbourne Wasps 340 to 620 Falmouth Falcons
The Wimbourne Wasps this week stepped up to the plate against the Falcons and truly gave them a run for their money which left even Wasps fans with their heads held high. The match started leaving the Falcons sweating as Wasp, Robyn McKowen, landed a goal past Clifford with exceptional ease. Wasp rookie, Magnus Laufreyn, followed her up by sending a bludger barreling into the body of Carran Georgeson leading to a brief outburst at his own beaters for not watching his back more. Of course, this only served to anger the Falcons more and heighten their aggressive style of play much to the chagrin of Layne Peacock’s face after taking a bludger to the jaw! Down to two and a half chasers, the Wasps were in for it as the Falcons showed their mettle and began to put goals down like shots of firewhiskey at the Three Broomsticks on a friday night. It wasn’t long before the Falcons took the lead and grew the difference by 13 more goals. Of course the Wasps weren’t completely out of the running with less than 150 points separating the two teams. Everything was coming down to a fateful catch of the snitch and the two seekers were neck and neck giving each other hell in a desperate fight for that famed golden ball. Wasp seeker, Alec Tollemache, was starting to pull ahead, fighting off Dot Townsend’s kicks and punches, and if it weren’t for Falcon beater Jasper Baxter the Wasps would have taken the win. In a last second move that stunned the crowd, Wasp and Falcon fan alike, Baxter managed to knock a bludger square between the shoulder blades of Tollemache and completely knock him off his broom sending him hurtling to the ground. Without a second thought, Dot Townsend sped off and caught the snitch uninterrupted.
Montrose Magpies 70 to 410 Chudley Cannons
Another week, another game… Or at least that would be the common thing to say if the Montrose Magpies would have got their bats, arms and eyes focused. With victory for the Chudley Cannons -70 to 410 for them-, this has been a match almost comparable to the last encounter between Pride of Portree and Ballycastlle Bats. If we weren’t witnessing things as they went, we could have almost sworn some curses were casted there, otherwise… How could we even justify this terrible performance by the mighty Magpies, a team known for their outstanding plays in the League? And against the Chudley Cannons among everyone else! Let’s break the facts as they happened: Quaffle possession was 85% for the Cannons, 15% for the Magpies. Bludgers targeted by Kathi Cassidy and Noëlle Ó Ceallaigh accurately reached Montrose Magpies players 65% more than what Adam Fletcher and Kane Curtis achieved on the opposite team. In the snitch department there is no argument here: Cannons’ Sayaka Satō performed two attempts to grab the golden prize and took it for her team on the third and final one. There definitely was an effort made by Arethousa Ainsworth, but unluckily she was hit on the right moment by a bludger from Cassidy. Without much further analysis, we can confidently say that it was certainly a miracle the team from Montrose scored anything. Let’s hope their fans won’t be disappointed another week in a row.
Tutshills Tornadoes 70 to 390 Wigtown Wanderers
Folks, I’m not one for conspiracy theories but when half of a week’s matches end with such lopsided low scores even I start casting doubt! Could we have a ring of cheats happening here? Paying off refs? Managers paying teams to purposefully lose in these uncertain times? Who wouldn’t do something only slightly corrupt for a little extra coin now? Certainly not me but I’m more than happy to stoke those fires and bring injustice to light. Okay, back to what we’re here for. This match was anything but spectacular as Wigtown made mincemeat of the Tornadoes, and I’m talking MINCED. Wigtown was out with a vengeance after two tough losses and pulled no punches as their Beaters, Daly and Lindon, repeatedly knocked the Tornadoes off course and out of the sky. The two earned more than a handful of sparkings but it didn’t slow the Wanderers down as their chasers put in goal after goal racking up 240 points against the Tornadoes 70. However, hope was still in the air for the Tornadoes as they were only three goals and a snitch catch away from victory and their fans drowned out any and all of Wigtown’s with their enthusiasm and wishes for a win. But all hope was lost as the two seeker’s dove for the snitch. For only a few seconds later Tutshill Seeker, Lacey Bolton, was knocked off her broom by the two bludgers sent by Daly and Lindon. Some might call the move to knock two bludgers, one from each side, overly aggressive but I call that quidditch! With the snitch safely in Proudfoot’s hand, Wigtown broke their losing streak at 390 points.
Puddlemere United 350 to 300 Banchory Bangers
Puddlemere was more united than ever as they took on the Banchory Bangers this week in their fight back up the leaderboard. It was a close match and well-matched when the two teams took to the sky and put up one hell of a fight. The Bangers took the starting quaffle but they weren’t in for an easy match as Puddlemere’s Phyllida Barber stole it right from Ulysses Ellington’s clutches. Tensions only rose as she took a knock to the head by Anah Trengove which changed quaffle possession once again before even a single goal was scored. The back and forth of the quaffle allegedly even gave one fan whiplash though they reportedly stayed through the match despite considerable pain. If that’s not a testament to how exciting this match was, I don’t know what is! Eventually, Banchory started to eke out more goals which left Puddlemere fans nervous and rightfully so as they were leaving a win purely up to their seeker. The Bangers managed ten more goals than Puddlemere, vying for that 150 point lead but Puddlemere simply wasn’t going down without a fight. United’s seeker, Callum McClarken, was on the prowl for the snitch, knowing that the game was resting squarely on his shoulders but fortunately for him, he had his beaters at his side as he caught sight of that golden devil. He was off in a flash and his beaters, Avery and Madden, were on his tail fighting off the volley of bludgers hurtling his way. They kept his path clear making his subsequent catch look like child’s play. With that, Puddlemere took the lead and the win at 350 to 300.
Kenmare Kestrels 80 to 690 Caerphilly Catapults
Is anyone else out there starting to believe this week had stacked games? Of course the Kestrels aren’t ranked exactly the same as the Catapults but after last week I’m sure all of us expected a little something more out of them. I, for one, think that an investigation needs to be put out to see if anyone is messing with these matches. But anyways, the face off between Kenmare and Caerphilly left fans on one side downbeat as they watched the green and yellow get thrown around the pitch like ragdolls. The Kestrels couldn’t even seem to keep their hands on the quaffle before the three chasers of the Catapults would snatch it away. It almost felt like the Kestrels wanted to lose. As Caerphilly kept racking up goals, Kenmare’s beaters couldn’t get a single hit in as Mercer and Pearce skillfully guarded their chasers with utmost precision. From there the match kept going downhill with Kenmare only putting in 8 goals as compared to the opposing 54. After that, the certain snitch catch secured the Catapults easy win and left the Kestrels hanging their heads in shame.
Banchory Bangers 380 to 560 Montrose Magpies
If there is a team more than capable to come back from the depths of Quidditch Hell, those are the Montrose Magpies, without any doubts at all. Fans were more than pleased to see that very much expected change from the last week to the present one. Whatever words had been said on the Magpies’ lockers after the last game and before this one, it definitely worked. The game started with a really fast pace, the team from Montrose playing aggressively against their rivals. Chasers captured the quaffle almost instantly and wouldn’t let it go, score after score, until the points were up to 60 to 0 for the Magpies. The Bangers did a good job recovering, and soon enough the tables turned, score being 200 to 190 for them, thanks to a incredible pass from Ulysses Ellington to Banchory’s very own heartthrob Josias Saylor, causing an uprising roar amongst the female fans from both teams. Things seemed to be reaching a middle point, when Magpies’ chasers came back to action, as aggressively as before, leaving the score up to 410 to 380 for their team. The tension could be felt among the fans, at that point it really could go one way or another. Fortunately for the Montrose Magpies, their very own Arethousa Ainsworth caught the snitch, with the help from Adam Fletcher and a very well directed bludger towards the Bangers’ seeker. Better luck next time, Banchory Bangers!
Caerphilly Catapults 650 to 510 Tutshill Tornadoes
What-a-game-for-the-Caerphilly-Catapults! Out of the middlefield teams, the Catapults have been doing a really decent job throughout the season, only comparable to the Ballycastle Bats, perhaps, since the Appleby Arrows seem to be eager to step onto the Top Three as soon as possible. Tight scores ever since the beginning as the trio of chasers from the Tornadoes responded as much as the Catapults ones, leading into a quick score of 200 all. Fans weren’t surprised when Green Sparkles were called upon Tornadoes’ chaser Robert Parsnicky, as he seemed to leave bounds for a couple of seconds, only adding to the rumours of his decline in ‘impressive gameplay’ lately. Despite these ten minutes off game, the team from Tutshill kept putting on a fight, managing to even take the lead on points, as Luna George striked their last goal, leaving the score 510 to 500 for them. Thanks to an impressive play by Caerphilly beater duo, Tutshill’s seeker went down, as soon as the snitch was spotted thanks to rookie Jayme Pearce. Not happy only with that, Radek Mercer sent a last bludger to the opposite team beater Annie Downer, who was trying to take out Caerphilly’ seeker Tourorix Tracy on his way to victory. Unfortunately for Downer, Tracy caught the snitch after three hours and a half of intense game, and the rest was history.
Kenmare Kestrels 520 to 20 Puddlemere United
After last week’s hype, Puddlemere Fans were ready to witness the impossible, and they almost got it, although not in the way they were expecting it to happen. With opinions like ‘Doesn’t feel bad, feels TERRIBLE’, or ‘I brought my children to witness something worse than the Fall of that Ramen Empire… No. Roman? The muggles with the Caesars Salads! Those!’, the navy and gold crowd left the Stadium with a bittersweet -or maybe just bitter- taste in their feelings. Even for us, it felt certainly uneasy to watch United get absolutely des-tro-yed by the Kenmare Kestrels. At least those goals striked for Puddlemere by Phyllida Barber and Ariadne Massey will be remembered somehow. Jack Jones, on the other hand, seemed to be definitely out of reach from the quaffle most of the time. Now, if the chasers were having a bad day, Marsha Lyon was having the worst: thirty-seven goals against her wasn’t really a joke. The agony of attending this mess of a game, was finally done as Kestrels’ seeker Hall Mynatt caught the snitch after fifty very LONG minutes for everyone else.
Pride of Portree 470 to 400 Holyhead Harpies
Harpies, Harpies, Harpies… So close. SO. Close. After the exciting game against the Appleby Arrows last week, we expected the Holyhead Harpies to assert dominance towards Pride of Portree, and it really seemed to be the case during the first ninety minutes of the match. Chasers Persephone Vitrac, Franchescka De Luca and Jolene Parris impressed in V formation as they flew striking goal after goal until the score was 300 to 250 for the Harpies. Fans were feeling the rush, everyone waiting for the big win that would take the Harpies up to the top, but Pride wasn’t about to leave without a fight. Especially after their last game, they needed a change in their luck. Keeper Hayoon Seol managed to avoid a few goals, whilst rookie chaser Elliott Reid did an amazing job in keeping Biddy Ó Ceithearnaigh’ hoops under constant fire, topping the scores up to 300 to 320 for Pride of Portree. The team from Holyhead wasn’t ready to leave the game like that, and whilst beaters Lillibeth Bennet and Shea Tempest joined forces to put down the chasers from Pride, Vitrac and Parris made a good case for a victory with passes from De Luca, leaving the boards 400 to 320 for their team. Perhaps the difference in the score made the Harpies too confident, or perhaps the news of the Wimbourne Wasps having their big win reached the pitch, distracting a certain beater –Daily Prophet Disclaimer: this is pure speculation at this point, and we are certain that the news cannot travel that fast unless we bring it to you. Whatever the case, Pride’s seeker Marfa Parma managed to escape from the bludgers aimed at her, whilst Harpies’ Kelsey Galloway wasn’t protected enough or able to dodge one sent by beater Kyo Fujiwara, thus losing the snitch -and unfortunately the game- to the team from Portree. Insightful words were explained to us post-match:
“Sometimes ye can try and beat a head, whilst other times yer bludgers will only go as far as tae touch a bit of the broom, and when that happens.. They do be escaping.. It is what it is… Next game we’ll catch them.”-Lillibeth Bennet
Falmouth Falcons 300 to 610 Appleby Arrows
The Arrows proved themselves worthy of this decisive win and their place on the league board, just a fraction away from the top three. Despite having to contend with some truly awful and unsportsmanlike behavior on the part of their rival team, the pride of Cumbria managed to keep a lid on their own infamous aggression. Hardy Barnes, the Arrows Keeper, was a skilful asset to his team and surprisingly calm and focused in the face of flying insults from the opposition. After Green Sparks were issued against him, Falcons Chaser, Jerry Halloran, lost his cool. This in turn almost ignited a brawl, when fellow Chaser, Carran Georgeson, jumped in to argue against the grounding, shouting profanities and threats of violence. Falcons Manager, Barry “Bazza” Fletcher, is known to not shy away from action of this sort, but was smart enough to see Falmouth’s chances flying out of the proverbial window if his team devolved into a riot of free-for-all mud slinging and punch throwing. Rallying the Falcons for a final push, Captain Mack Clifford hoped for the best, but it was not enough to counter the masterful gameplay of the Arrows, who have been in fairly fine form since the EQC, and occasionally – as with this match – a distinct cut above the rest. Arrows Chasers Jenson Barnett, Scotty Moore and Justine McNee flew tirelessly, while Turlough Parsons and Daphne Quinn were relentless, raining a seemingly steady volley of bludgers at the opposition. The Falcons, for all their bravado and aggression, crumbled in the face of the Arrows attack. Falmouth’s loss is an upset to the current leaderboard champions, but not a blow strong enough to knock them from the top spot.
“To be fair, when we all finally can work together we can accomplish great things. It’s the unibrow that inspires us all to greatness!“– Justine McNee
Chudley Cannons 140 to 600 Ballycastle Bats
This wasn’t a match, it was a slaughter. The Bats swarmed the Cannons, with Beaters Caryxander Mordushku and Ada Ivers on a serious take-down mission. The Cannons goals were hard won and far too few. Bats Keeper, Haisley Rothenberg, would have had time to paint her nails, had she been so inclined. We would say we felt for Chudley Chasers Clarity Terrell, Casimir Utkin and Consus Król, who dodged, ducked and weaved around the pitch under relentless bludger fire from the Bats… But dammit, Chudley. You’re here to play Quidditch, not have a leisurely jog in the park! As the Bats clocked up the goals, the Cannons’ play became weaker and more defensive. And when Ballycastle’s Avery Whittle caught the snitch, the relief in the stands – from both sides – was palpable.
“I mean it’s Chudley, we’d have a harder game against Muggles…”– Caryxander Mordushku
Wigtown Wanderers 200 to 510 Wimbourne Wasps
Just when some suspected the Wasps had lost their sting, Wimbourne brought the pain. And Wigtown wore the shame. This match was brutal, bloody and, quite frankly, what Wasps fans have been waiting for. Finally we got to see rookie Wasps Beater, Magnus Laufreyn, live up to his “Kraken” nickname, showing the crowd the true damage a savage Bludger Backbeat can do. On that note, all at The Daily Prophet wish Wigtown’s Babs Paternoster a speedy recovery. Evie Proudfoot took a nasty knock which sent her broom into a disorienting tailspin 32 minutes into the game and she was unable to recover her usual sharp form for the remaining play. Darragh “Danger Zone” Daly was pressed to carry the rest of the Wanderers on his broad shoulders, and despite a hard push against the opposition, he lacked the back-up he required by fellow Beater Cade Lindon. Ayo Onyilgowu and Magnus Laufreyn, on the other hand, were operating in synch as a formidable duo, the distracting carnage caused by the two Wasps Beaters allowing Alec Tollemache to catch the snitch and steal a decisive victory for Wimbourne’s best. Reports of post-match Wasps partying – and subsequent brawling – are as yet unconfirmed by The Daily Prophet, but seem highly plausible. We asked Gary Ivers for a comment after the match, and he was his customarily chipper self.
“[expletive] off!”– Gary Ivers
Magnus Laufreyn was unusually talkative and gave us three words this week, shouted as he jumped on Onyilgowu’s back for a rough and sweaty tackle-hug.
“JA! FY FAN!”*– Magnus Laufreyn *roughly translates as “woohoo”