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 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 230 to 390 Caerphilly Catapults
What a difference 47 minutes can make! Not the most dramatic of games, and yet, here we have it, folks; a surprise shift in the standings of the top 3 league placers, an incredible leap ahead for the Catapults and a huge upset to both the Harpies and Pride. With star player, Persephone “Silver Wolf” Vitrac, out for the game, Reserve Chaser, Ligeia Withka, took her place on the pitch. The veteran gave it her best and was responsible for 8 of the Harpies 23 goals. Harpies Beaters, Lillibeth “Lil” Bennet and Shea “Tempest” Kendrick fought the opposition in customary merciless Harpies form, while the Caerphilly Chasers flew in tightly coordinated yet typically risky formations, reminding the crowd why the former Euro Cup-winning Catapults are not to be underestimated.
With the teams closely matched and the Catapults inching ahead by just 1 goal at the 45-minute mark, it was a matter of 2 minutes more before rookie Seeker, Toutorix Tracy, took the snitch and the game. Harpies Captain, Kelsey “Kelpie” Galloway, is said to be fuming at the loss, and we can’t imagine Vitrac is too pleased either. When we met with Lil Bennet after the game, she was disappointed, yet philosophical.
“It is what it is.”– Lillibeth Bennet
The Catapults, however, were partying hard after the win, celebrating their return to the league rankings’ coveted top 3.
Kenmare Kestrels 660 to 490 Banchory Bangers
It seems the Kestrels took notes after their close scrape loss to Pride in Week 15. Bringing in another win after defeating the Cannons last week, they faced a harder task when meeting close rivals, the Bangers, on the pitch today. Rising to the challenge, the Kestrels played a solid game and secured their spot, one rung above Banchory on the league ladder. Matching each other goal wise for most of the game, Kenmare eventually broke away from Banchory with a 20-point lead, thanks to back-to-back goal scoring by the Griffin twins. Spectators close enough to the Bangers Keeper, Merrick Fabienne, could hear cursing in French from the stands, though the good natured player calmed himself quickly and turned to give them a small wave. Crowd favourite, Hall Mynatt, completed the breakaway run, catching the snitch and securing a well-deserved victory for the Kestrels.
Wigtown Wanderers 520 to 610 Puddlemere United
Close but no cigar, as our friends across the pond would say. With the first half of the match spent in a back and forth of near goal-for-goal action, Wigtown managed to breakaway from United, besting their 46 goals with a 60 point lead. This was looking like Wigtown’s game, but as is the nature of Quidditch, it takes a Seeker, a snitch and a fortuitous second, and the table turns.Though Beater, Darragh “Danger Zone” Daly, put on a relentless attack with Cade Lindon working in tandem, it was all for naught when United Seeker, Callum McClarken, beat Evie Proudfoot in a race to the snitch.
As seems to be a commonplace occurrence, we met with Garry Ivers off the pitch and received a rather unbecoming statement for our troubles.
“The [expletive] out my face!”– Garry Ivers
Chudley Cannons 10 to 430 Tutshill Tornadoes
Tutshill ought to be congratulated for this massacre on the pitch. Proving they have fight left in them yet, the Tornadoes decimated the Cannons. But how in Merlin’s name Chudley went from a recent high-scoring win against the Bangers to this shambolic result, we have no idea. Talk about inconsistent gameplay. This catastrophic 1-goal game and massive loss to Chudley is made even worse by the fact that their opposition are current bottom placers in the league. Robert Parsnicky was a star on the pitch, but faced little opposition to his efforts from Cannons Keeper, Justyn Riley… or any member of the Chudley crew, for that matter. Tutshill scored a respectable 28 goals in total, but it was a slaughter when compared to Chudley’s one and only goal for the entire match. Quick-as-a-whip Seeker, Lacey Bolton, caught the snitch, ending the game and with it any hope the Cannons might have had for some modicum of redemption.
Falmouth Falcons 630 to 120 Montrose Magpies
The Falmouth Falcons are not mucking about. Sitting on top of the leaderboard, they are determined to prove themselves deserving of the position and knock out any would-be challengers who snap at their heels. Making a spectacular return to the Falcons, Adam Fletcher played a beautifully brutal game, working alongside fellow Beater, Albert Lamb. Fletcher seemed out to target Montrose’s Lestat Vrykulesti, the bad blood between the two (both of whom have played for the Magpies and the Agincourt Axes) was evident on the pitch. Though the highest scorer for the Montrose side, Vrykulesti was lucky to leave the pitch with his broom and bones intact. With the Falcons’ Beaters in full attack mode and star Keeper, Mack Clifford, keenly guarding the hoops, Montrose remained lagging while Falmouth kept racking up the points. Jovial Seeker, Dot Townsend, may have a reputation for being amiable by Falcons standards, but she flies with ruthless determination. This game was one of her finest yet, and catching the snitch for Falmouth, as she did at the 84-minute mark, was the crowning glory of an already stellar game. The Magpies are the latest in a string of pitch victims, felled to impeccable strategy, relentless cooperative Falcons gameplay and the honed skills of Falmouth’s finest.
Pride of Portree 380 to 640 Wimbourne Wasps
The Wasps continue on their comeback streak trajectory, defeating 4th placers, Pride of Portree, decisively with an impressive final score of 640 to 380. Wasps Chaser, Robyn McKowen, was a firecracker on the pitch, weaving wildly and giving the crowd a near heart attack when she almost flung herself off her broom and into the stands. Somehow, despite her risky flying – or rather, because of it – she scored an impressive 25 goals. Recent transfer, Tryphena Beetlegleam, proved her worth yet again, notching up another 150 points for the Wasps. Hayoon “Doll” Seol had her work cut out for her with the Wimbourne side playing a tight defensive and offensive game from start to finish. The Keeper’s famous focus was apparently shaken by Lindiwe Ungaro’s green sparks penalty for blamphing 32 minutes into the game. Prides Beater, Kyo Fujiwara, fought on alone during Ungaro’s 10-minute grounding and his efforts were valiant, but not enough. Rookie Chaser, Elliott Reid and Akilina Picasso scored 30 of the Prides’ goals working in tandem, at one point pulling off an impressive Porskoff Ploy. A tense and dramatic race for the snitch saw the seemingly unsinkable Marfa Parma finally sunk by Alec Tollemache, who emerged from the midair scuffle victorious, with snitch in hand the game taken for the Wasps. Though there were some harsh words exchanged between Ungaro and Tollemache, Wasps Beaters Ayo Onyilgowu and Magnus Laufreyn were seen shaking hands and drinking a shot of akvavit with Kyo Fujiwara post-match. The Wasps remain at 7th place on the league ladder, just one rung below their famous rivals, the Arrows.
Appleby Arrows 30 to 230 Ballycastle Bats
Even fans of the Ballycastle Bats were surprised to see their team utterly destroy the Euro Cup champions in this short, fifty-three minute match. Maybe the Appleby Arrows have grown too cocky, maybe the Unibrow’s luck has worn out, or maybe it was the one man bulldozer- Caryxander Mordushku, who took out half their team. That is, of course, an exaggeration. Mordushku did in fact take down Jenson Barnett with a bludger to his face, downing him for the majority of the match, as well as splinter Daphne Quinn’s broom from under her, sending her crashing down only to be saved at the last moment. The true scandal came, however, when Mordushku got into a shouting match with the game’s referee, earning him a red spark to take him out of the rest of the game. Despite Ballycastle being down a player, they were able to continue on to victory with the Arrows being down twice as many players. Fans on the Arrow side have proclaimed Mordushku is out of control, stating he’s losing it as his team fails to reclaim the number 1 spot they held in the Beater’s rookie year. Mordushku will likely suffer a heavy fine and will face trial before the Department of Magical Games and Sports before he is able to return to play.
“We just let you losers have your moment.”– Turlough Parsons
“Prick didn’t even get me that good, but the mediwitch wouldn’t let me off the bench. We’re having drinks later.”-Jenson Barnett
Kenmare Kestrels 300 to 650 Holyhead Harpies
After a week that the Harpies preferred to leave in the past and only talk about it in nightmares, the team from Holyhead seemed to focus back on what it really mattered: victory. With the return of Persephone Vitrac to the pitch, the team seemed in really good shape to their fans’ delight. The Kestrels, on the other hand, didn’t seem to know exactly what was going on for the first fifteen minutes of the match. Keeper Reese Barret seemed to be more distracted with what the crowd was saying than the quaffles being aimed at his hoops. If it wasn’t clear before, now we can confirm how well earned is his nickname ‘The Bartender’, even if these particular weird flexes might be more convenient outside of the pitch. Weird flex or not, the Harpies’ chasers took advantage of this situation to put up the scores 250 to 40 for their team, with a special mention of a goal scored by Vitrac, but aided by Parris and De Luca, who had just stolen the quaffle from Billy Griffin. The team from Kenmare thought they had been asleep long enough, and chasers Colin McClarken and Chloe Griffin performed a speedy recovery with passes from her twin, which put the scores 300 to 250 for the opposite team. Despite this Herculean effort, -twenty goals in eleven minutes-, the Harpies showed they were not ready to lose another match, and whilst beaters Lillibeth Bennet and Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick managed to put down the Griffin twins and Golden Boy Mynatt, their own seeker Kelsey ‘Kelpie’ Galloway flew for the snitch, and caught it giving her team a glorious victory. We love to see them back, but would the Falcons think the same? Probably not.
Puddlemere United 610 to 470 Caerphilly Catapults
Merlin’s beard! What-a-match. When no one gave a knut about Puddlemere, the team surprised us not once, but twice in two weeks. Is this some kind of sorcery? If so, could it be that some illusion spell hit the boards and concealed the current scores, tricking us all? Well, we can tell you with certainty… That’s not the case. Even the most skeptical fan could see those quaffles being as fast as Zouwus in pursuit of their prey. Despite Caerphilly Catapulting themselves to the top three last week, their strategy wasn’t as good as Puddlemere’s, with Chaser Ruta Kovalyov quite out of her comfort zone trying to strike instead of assist, but clearly ending up in circles with her broom around the scoring zone. Nevertheless, she got seven magnificent and successful shots to the hoops, which added to the other forty performed by her teammates. Unfortunately, this was not enough, as United literally performed its ‘Chuck That Quaffle Here’ repeatedly until Caerphilly’s Keeper Mieke Königsmann was seen almost asking for a time out. She didn’t. The closure for this match came with Puddlemere’s Seeker Callum McClarken catching the snitch ninety-three minutes after the game started. Beat Back Those Bludgers, Boys!
Tutshill Tornadoes 80 to 200 Banchory Bangers
Blink and you’ll miss it. That fast was this match between the Tornadoes and the Bangers. Not even fifteen minutes on the match and things were looking as if it could end for either team. As a matter of fact, things did look brighter for the Tornadoes -for once in this season- as they had the advantage over the Bangers, thanks to the joint effort in between their chasers Robert Parsnicky and Luna George. Scoring four goals each, they were aided by the impressive defensive move from Elliot Nelson, who managed to defend their quaffles up to midfield and pass them across to his teammates on several occasions. Even with their fans roaring and cheering for them, Beaters Kip Heath and Jasper Baxter couldn’t stop the Bangers’ seeker Bryson McConnell, who seemed to be in a rush to end the game by catching the snitch sixteen and a half minutes after the match started. Perhaps this time he’ll get that first kiss he seems to deserve. Or not.
Montrose Magpies 340 to 50 Wigtown Wanderers
Boring. Extremely boring. Even the Wanderers’ fans were yawning as the Magpies dragged their team onto their fourteenth defeat. As seen on the pitch, it wasn’t really about the defeat, but the lack of fight from the usually feisty Wigtown’s team. The game was done in exactly twenty-nine minutes, and even though Montrose’s Seeker Arethousa Ainsworth amused -yet again- with her snitch-catching technique, we cannot add much more of interest from this match.
Was it perhaps because the Wanderers were facing their former captain and did not know how to react in her presence? Perhaps someone should remind them that their new Captain is Darragh Daly. It might help to take them out of the ‘Danger Zone’.
Wimbourne Wasps 310 to 380 Chudley Cannons
In the surprise match of the day, we saw the Wimbourne Wasps’ comeback streak broken by the unassuming and recently disastrous Chudley Cannons. Some possibly heated words (unconfirmed as they were in a Nordic tongue) were exchanged between Wasps, Beater Magnus Laufreyn and Keeper, Kjersti Nathalie, after Chudley managed to score 3 consecutive goals during a 1-minute window. Ayo Onyilgowu was quick to intervene, bringing his fellow Beater back on task. But this distraction will no doubt fuel talk of a possible Nathalie – Laufreyn lovers tryst/falling out. Exactly 1 hour into gameplay, the Wasps led, 31 goals to 23. However, Japanese National Quidditch transfer, Sayaka Satō, lived up to her reputation as being arguably “the best Seeker in the world”, catching the snitch and stealing victory from under the Wasps’ noses. Malicious, unsubstantiated rumours that the Cannons had somehow procured enough Felix Felicis for the entire team were quickly quashed in the face of hard evidence that Chudley is suffering from the Grecession as gravely, if not worse, than some others in the league.
When asked what he put the ludicrous rumours down to, Cannons Manager Ben Foddle responded with a chuckle:
“Sour grapes, lack of faith, and an overactive imagination! We beat the Wasps fair and square!”– Ben Foddle
When asked about a possible romance with the Wasp’s Keeper, the Beater from the far north declined to comment, rather aggressively.
“Ask me again and I break your face, din jävel.”– Magnus Laufreyn
Ballycastle Bats 240 to 700 Falmouth Falcons
The Falcons must be proud of themselves. Or at least feeling quite lucky that they did not have to face Caryxander Mordushku’s viciousness, after the Ballycastle’s Beater was issued a red sparking due to his actions in last week’s game against the Arrows. As he waits for his trial and near future, the remaining Bats’ Beater Ada Ivers had a bit of trouble synchronising with Mordushku’s replacement, which was clearly felt on the pitch, as Falcons’ Beaters Albert Lamb and Adam Fletcher dominated the scene. Or bludgers, in this case. Ballycastle’s Keeper Haisley Rothenberg did also feel this lack of synchronisation in between her beaters, as the goals scored against her team were almost as double as the ones striked against, causing an uproar in both sides of the stands of the pitch. With fans being equally furious and happy with the development of the game, the Falcons took in the noise as a good thing and powered through with bludgers and quaffles directed to the right and not so right spots. Falmouth’s Chaser Jerry Halloran earned himself a green sparking for pursuing quite violently a quaffle from the opposite team, something that was heavily criticised later on by his teammate Lucius Paddon -probably only for getting caught. Green sparking or not, the Falcons certainly knew what they were doing, and to end with a perfect score, Seeker Dot Townsend caught the golden snitch ninety minutes into the game, achieving a victory that was more than clear from the very beginning.
Appleby Arrows 660 to 670 Pride of Portree
It was too good to be true. The Arrows were determined to leave the past behind -or perhaps just last week behind-, when they got -literally- destroyed by the Ballycastle Bats. The team from Appleby had started a great game, with Chasers Justine McNee and Scotty Moore taking the lead on points scored. Loverboy Jenson Barnett got also his moment of glory by scoring the five goals that would give the Arrows a decent advantage of a hundred points over Pride, whilst also assuring his fans that his face was still agreeable -allegedly- as ever. The blue and silver crowd was ecstatic, and all seemed to point towards their victory. With ninety-two minutes in the game, Pride’s Rookie Chaser Elliott Reid striked what would be their last goal, leaving the scores at 520 to 660 for the opposite team. It was in that moment when the golden snitch appeared once more, and in an amazing display of coordination, Beaters Kyo Fujiwara and Lindiwe Ungaro managed to put down Arrow’s seeker Everett Butcher and Captain-Beater Turlough Parsons, definitely bamboozling the power of the UniArrow. It was only a brief moment, but it was really just what Portree’s Marfa Parma needed to fly straight for the snitch and win a game that seemed almost lost. There’s always next time, Arrows!