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 530 to 170 Falmouth Falcons
The Harpies came at the Falcons in full unapologetic force and emerged triumphant yet again. Though Falmouth fought hard to stay in the game, they were no match for the relentless and highly coordinated Holyhead attack. With both Portree and Falmouth snapping at their heels for the top spot on the league ladder, this was a match the women of Holyhead could not afford to lose. And they clearly knew it and kept it top of mind throughout the 82-minute game. Harpies Beaters, Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick and Lillibeth ‘Lil’ Bennet, made every bludger count with precision and ferocity. It is a good thing for Falmouth’s Lucius Paddon that he is uncommonly fast and agile on a broom! Meanwhile, Jolene Parris and Persephone Vitrac kept Falcons Keeper, Mack Clifford, very busy indeed. It is fair to say Clifford was irritated by the strategy fumbles of fellow team members, including Jasper Baxter who, though ordinarily formidable on the pitch, was clearly off his game. And unfortunately for the Falcons’ wiley Dot Townsend, her irritation as the game progressed (and the distance between the two team’s scores grew), caused her to lose her concentration at a crucial moment. This allowed opportunistic Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway to swoop down and steal the snitch, sealing the fate of both sides and showing us why the Harpies deserve the top spot.
Chudley Cannons 510 to 520 Pride of Portree
This match was both something of a triumph and a disaster for infamous league underdogs, the Chudley Cannons. But ultimately, a loss is a loss. And to Pride of Portree go the spoils!
Cannons’ Clarity Terrell was an absolute star for her team, coordinating fellow Chasers Consus Król and Casimir Utkin in skilful gameplay and heavy scoring that outshone the efforts of their opponents for much of the game. Rookie, Elliott Reid, impressed all and flew solidly for Pride, upstaging even the talented, creative and more experienced Chaser, Akilina Picasso. Keeper, Hayoon “Doll” Seol, had her work cut out for her defending Portree’s hoops against the unusually tight Cannons offensive, but reliably stealthy Marfa Parma ultimately swooped in and caught the snitch for Pride, upsetting what might have been a glorious comeback moment for Chudley. The painfully small 10-point final score gap is a reminder to the Chudley Cannons of their potential and their failings. But we can only hope that the well-played, high scoring game will boost the confidence of the Chudley team and maybe, just maybe, this is a sign of bigger, better things to come. We asked Cannons Manager, Ben Foddle, for comment off the pitch, and he responded graciously.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our lot. We almost had that one! Almost. Go Chudley Canons! Woop!”– Ben Foddle
Appleby Arrows 380 to 240 Wigtown Wanderers
A short but very evenly matched game saw the Arrows and Wanderers neck and neck, almost matching goal for goal until the very end when Everett Butcher caught the snitch and stole victory for Appleby. Turlough Parsons kept Wigtown moving, but Daphne Quinn’s game was off and her aim failed her on more than one occasion. Arrows Chasers Justine McNee, Scotty Moore, and Jenson Barnett worked more independently than need be, though all played a solid personal game. This is something team Manager, Charlotte Cuttlehook, is sure to pull them up on. Truth be told, this match could have gone either way and there is speculation that the Arrows might be a tad less cocky flying onto the pitch for their next game as a result. Unlike the Harpies, who clearly do not rest when they are at the top, some say the Arrows were lulled into a false sense of supremacy based on their win at the EQC. They have what it takes, no doubt, but they can give us even more; we’ve seen it before. Wigtown on the other hand are flailing in the bottom three, not a place they want to be or should be, frankly. Despite the best efforts of Beater Darragh “Danger Zone” Daly, Chaser Garry Ivers and Keeper Mick Mooney, the Wanderers have certainly seen better days. Let’s hope Manager, Barnible Waggleton, rallies his troops (or gives them a proverbial swift kick up the backside) soon!
Banchory Bangers 180 to 310 Ballycastle Bats
The Bats and Bangers fought fiercely for the entire 91-minute game until Bats Seeker, Avery Whittle, caught the snitch. Bats Beaters, Caryxander Mordushku and Ada Ivers, were on the attack throughout the match, not to be outdone by rival duo Anah Trengove and Jotham Patton of the Bangers. This meant for blood and bruises on both sides, and the crowd was not complaining. This game, though lower on goals scored than some we’ve seen of late, was an exciting back and forth of fast-paced offensive and defensive play, with both teams giving it their all. Closely matched right up until the last, the Bangers were a surprise to all. If they can push just a little harder, we will not be surprised if they move up the ladder, upsetting the middle ground placers soon. The Bats, likewise, deserve credit for some great wins this season – this one being no exception – and though sitting in sixth place, they have every chance to prove their chart-topping worth again and truly impress their fanbase once more.
Wimbourne Wasps 440 to 490 Caerphilly Catapults
Wasps fans left the stands sorely disappointed, while their rival’s supporters were both elated and surprised. This game belonged to the Wasps, up until the very last seconds, with even the usually adequate Sechnall Ó hÓgáin more than pulling his weight for the Wimbourne team. Caerphilly Beaters Radek Mercer and Jayme Pearce were decent on the pitch, but a little lacklustre in comparison to rival Beaters Ayo Onyilgowu and Magnus Laufreyn, who are becoming well-known for putting on quite a show for the crowd. Catapults Keeper, Mieke Königsmann, struggled against the Wasps offensive, but maintained her energy. The gap would have been wider had it not been for her valiant efforts. In the final moments of the game, Wasps Seeker, Alec Tollemache, raced Toutorix Tracy for the snitch, and to everyone’s surprise – including Tracy’s – the rookie Catapult emerged from the low-lying, patchy cloud cover with the golden prize in hand. It is no doubt little consolation to the competitive and driven Wimbourne side that they nearly had this one in the bag. But if they can take positives from the match, they are certainly playing a more consistent and focused game now. The Catapults, meanwhile, are firmly rooted in their hard-won fifth position, just one spot below season starter favourites, the Arrows.
Montrose Magpies 440 to 110 Kenmare Kestrels
We all know the Kestrels are about having a good time on the pitch. But really, how fun is losing to the Montrose Magpies? Kenmare’s Billy and Chloe Griffin, put on a good show for the crowd and the duo were responsible for the goals the Kestrels actually managed to sneak by Magpies Keeper, Myles Burnham. But fancy flying, crowd pleasing pitch antics and a measly 11 goals do not trump fierce determination, fearlessness in the face of flying bludgers and spurts of hot tempered yet focused game play. Hence results were what they were, with fiesty Adam Fletcher on the verge of breaking legs and knocking out teeth with some of his more strategic hits and Arethousa Ainsworth, Magpies seeker, fearlessly dive-bombing the snitch from above to seal the deal for Montrose. Colin McClarken received a clip to his broom and a dislocated shoulder when he couldn’t right his course, and the normally upbeat and positive Kestrels can only count their blessings that their game was not more disastrous than it was.
Tutshill Tornadoes 410 to 520 Puddlemere United
United needed this win if they are to have any hopes of moving upward in the league from the lower middling regions. And they did not disappoint themselves or their fans. Indeed, a good show was put on for the crowd by both sides. Tornadoes Keeper, Lexie Cullen, and United’s — were both under fire. Robert Parsnicky, the famously energetic Tutshill Chaser, did not let his side down, scoring an impressive 32 of Tutshill’s 41 goals. Fellow Chaser, Elliot Nelson, was unfortunately knocked out by a rogue bludger (hit by United’s Grier Madden earlier in the game) a mere five minutes before Callum McClarken caught the snitch, thus dashing Tutshill’s hopes to move a notch up the leaderboard, away from the very painful last spot on the rung.
Despite taking a loss, this game was a good effort on the part of the hit-and-miss Tornadoes. They brought their A-game to the pitch this match, but it was not enough to knock out ninth placers, Puddlemere.
Chudley Cannons 170 to 320 Holyhead Harpies
Asserting dominance. That’s what the Harpies are here to show us. After getting back to the top of the board, they’ve really decided to keep the crown, but will that last until the end of the season? Only time will tell. A game that started with a small advantage for the Cannons, as they scored the six first goals of the game, thanks to a quick play in between chasers Consus Król and Clarity Terrell. The Harpies counterattack came shortly after, with chasers Persephone ‘Silver Wolf’ Vitrac and Franchescka De Luca scoring the next ten goals as Jolene Parris stole quaffles from the Cannons and passed them onto her teammates, leaving the scores 100 to 60 for their team. The team from Chudley didn’t waste time, as they recovered easily and soon the scores were 140 to 150 for them. Another great play between the Harpies chasers’ left the score 170 to 160 for the team of Holyhead. Chudley’s very own Casimir Utkin scored the last goal for them, and a very well directed bludger by Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick prevented him from scoring a second goal. 170 to 170, was now time to either mark more chasers or to catch the snitch. Fortunately for the Harpies, their seeker Kelsey ‘Kelpie’ Galloway was faster to chase the prize, and a very well aimed bludger from Lillibeth ‘Lil’ Bennet towards the Cannon’s seeker Sayaka Satō, gave finally the victory the emerald and yellow team was looking for.
Wigtown Wanderers 440 to 540 Falmouth Falcons
Recovering from last week’s match was not an easy task for the Falcons. As a matter of fact, Wigtown -with their very aggressive plays- seemed to have this game under their brooms. With an 85% possession of the quaffle, chaser Garry Ivers put the Wanderers up in the scores 440 to 390 for his team. Of course, as we all know, fifty points in Quidditch means nothing if the snitch hasn’t been caught yet. Apparently the Falcons took this to heart, because when the golden flying prize appeared, beaters Albert Lamb and Jasper Baxter displayed a fantastic ‘bludger-tactic’, as the first one put down Wigtown’s Cade Lindon, followed by the second one who aimed at Wanderer’s seeker Evie Proudfoot, and thus giving the advantage to their own teammate Dot Townsend who finally caught the snitch, leaving them on almost a comfortable second place on this season’s board.
Banchory Bangers 300 to 280 Pride of Portree
This game was on the short and sharp side with Portree scoring a solid two goals to each one scored by Banchory. Doirend Rayne received a green sparks penalty for tackling Portree Chaser, Valentine Weekes, leaving Ulysses Ellington and Josias Saylor to chase while he was grounded for ten minutes. But the Banchory offensive was weakened, as was morale. Meanwhile, Elliott Reid was scoring consistently and impressively, giving Portree 18 of its 28 goals. Reid continues to prove his potential, and this was a Portree game until Marfa Parma was outpaced by Bryson McConnell in the race for the snitch. The Bangers truly owe this game to McConnell.
Caerphilly Catapults 380 to 50 Appleby Arrows
One would think that the Arrows had their worst game of the season when they faced the Harpies after the summer and couldn’t defend their honour against them… Obviously, that thought was wrong. Fifty-three painful minutes was what the game lasted entirely. The Highlights? Very well played game by the Catapult’s chasers, Gabriella Dudley, Ruta Kovalyov and Kasandra Bélanger, putting their team on a really good score of 230 to 50 for their team. We do have to wonder what was happening with the team from Appleby. Were Justine McNee and Scotty Moore too distracted with each other? McNee scored only three goals, whilst loverboy Jenson Barnett had the honour to score the two -and last- goals for their team. Perhaps the power of the Unibrow is losing its properties? Captain and beater Turlough Parsons was not fully in his mind for the game as a golden opportunity was missed to put down Caerphilly’s seeker Toutorix Tracy, who ultimately caught the snitch and ended the Arrows’ misery.
Kenmare Kestrels 80 to 180 Ballycastle Bats
This match was a bit of a yawn, let’s be honest, with a paltry 8 goals scored by the Kestrels and 3 by the Bats. At least no one in the crowd went deaf from raucous cheering. Kestrels Chaser, Colin McClarken, was consistent but unremarkable on the pitch, notching up 4 goals before the Griffin twins finally woke up and realised they were mid-gameplay, scoring 2 goals a piece. The Bats are in no position to look down upon their opposition’s efforts, with their own being lacklustre at best. Tobin Townsend scored 1 goal for the Ballycastle side and Avonlea Fox managed 2, while Bats Beater, Caryxander Mordushku, provided respite from the drudgery on occasion with his aggressive pitch antics. As unpopular as Seeker Avery Whittle may be (allegedly), Ballycastle owes him for this game, which lasted a slow and painful 72 minutes.
Puddlemere United 120 to 640 Wimbourne Wasps
Incredible. If the Wasps surprised us two weeks ago with their best game so far, we can say with absolute confidence that this week they left us astonished. It is true that Puddlemere isn’t at its best moment, but the Wasps weren’t so far from that at the beginning of the season as well. As much as the game ran smoothly for the Wasps, the whole sixty-six and a half minutes that it lasted were definitely some sort of unwanted punishment for United. Fans were desperate whilst singing ‘Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys’, in order to get some sort of response from their favourite team, but Puddlemere beaters Nickolas Avery and Grier Madden didn’t seem to understand the directions. In their defense, they did beat back some bludgers, but unfortunately -for them- the Wasps beaters Magnus Laufreyn and Ayo Onyilgowu were -without any sort of doubt- better. With scores 120 to 490, it was Laufreyn’s honour to aim a bludger towards Puddlemere’s seeker Callum McClarken, just enough to distract him from the golden snitch that ultimately got caught in a really fast and deep dive by his opposite seeker, Alec Tollemache. Who said these Wasps don’t sting anymore?
Tutshill Tornadoes 40 to 530 Montrose Magpies
Yet again, the ironically named Tornadoes couldn’t blow an autumn leaf away, let alone their competition. This is getting awkward for everyone, including the match crowd who was drenched in second-hand embarrassment from start to finish. We won’t be surprised if energetic Chaser Robert Parsnicky – the scorer of Tutshill’s only goals this game – starts looking at other teams soon. Montrose Beaters, Adam Fletcher and Kane Curtis, waged war on the pitch and kept the opposition under fire. Chasers Silver Summerfield, Cass Audley and Lestat Vrykulesti made short work of Tutshill’s defences and all flew impressively. There was never a doubt this was a Magpies game. And with their lead and gameplay being impressive as it was, even the best efforts of Tornadoes Seeker, Lacey Bolton, would not have saved the losing side nor made the score gap less disappointing to Tutshill supporters.