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!
Wimbourne Wasps 290 to 490 Holyhead Harpies
The Wasps’ winning streak ended as the Harpies returned to fine form. Shea “Tempest” Kendrick and Lil Bennet kept the Wasps manoeuvring defensively while Persephone “Silver Wolf” Vitrac scored the first 5 goals for the Holyhead side. Not to be outdone, Franchescka De Luca and Jolene Parris moved in, countering the Wasps’ first goals, matching them point for point. Conspicuously missing its Northern European Beater, the Wasps were a man down. And though they kept pace for much of the match, it is clear they were thrown off their game. Rumours about the player’s absence are, as yet, unsubstantiated. Ayo Onyilgowu, who was left to play the position for both men, was the Wasps’ MVP. His spirits and efforts never wavered. The same cannot be said for the focus of Alec Tollemache. The Wasps Seeker was beaten in a race to the snitch by Kelpie Galloway, who took the game for Holyhead. Despite putting up a decent fight against the formidable Harpies, the Wasps’ loss is disappointing for players and Wimbourne fans alike, especially given the team’s recent winning streak and upward trajectory.
“Hiddlesborough is well aware of the unsettling news from Scandinavia, but won’t confirm nor deny Laufreyn’s absence has anything to do with the sudden disappearance of Durmstrang’s Triwizard Tournament Second Champion. Everyone is keeping hush…”– Anonymous source
Ballycastle Bats 630 to 550 Montrose Magpies
The Bats scraped through with a win after a brutal game that was nerve-wrackingly close from start to nail-biting finish. Before the match started, the pitch was expeditiously cleared of an oversized love note. In what seems to be another dedication to Bats Beater, Caryxander Mordushku, the note merely featured the name ‘Cary’ and a stick figure holding what appeared to be a Beater’s bat, surrounded by hearts. Ballycastle Keeper, Haisley Rothenberg, had a hard task keeping Montrose away from the hoops, and 87 minutes in, the Magpies had a 7-goal lead.
The match was saved and won when Bats Seeker, Avery Whittle, fearlessly raced towards the snitch and what would have meant slamming headlong into Arethousa Ainsworth, had the Magpie not dodged at the very last moment. Unfortunately for Montrose, the old adage “You can’t save your arse and the game at the same time” proved true.
Appleby Arrows 270 to 560 Tutshill Tornadoes
Long gone seem the days from the Eurocup, when the Appleby Arrows earned their title among the best teams of the continent. After last week’s defeat against the Kestrels, today the Appleby wixen reached a new low level serving the Tutshill Tornadoes a very sweet victory. The tables definitely turned for the team from Tutshill as their brooms flew with precision around the pitch. Chasers Luna George and Robert Parsnicky focused their energy sending quaffles towards Arrows’ Hardy Barnes hoops, whilst Elliot Nelson delighted the fans with a display of pure strategy when stealing, passing and scoring. Tutshill’s MVP of the match with no doubts. With a pace seen like nowhere before in this season, the Tornadoes kept adding points, whilst dodging bludgers -something that Arrows’ Captain Turlough Parsons didn’t seem to take fondly as he seemed the only one trying to fight back- and moving forward in the match, until Seeker Lacey Bolton finally captured the Golden Snitch, leaving Everett Butcher with a bitter aftertaste.
“Don’t even ask me anything, my whole team is disgusting right now. I’m taking a vacation soon..”– Turlough Parsons, Appleby Arrows Beater and Captain
Pride of Portree 30 to 160 Puddlemere United
Pride of Portree has shown us once more that they are good. Good at making campaigns to recruit new players, of course, with a display of movements and colours that certainly do not make up for the lack of gameplay on the pitch. Have they forgotten that -Quidditch- practice makes perfect? Despite the very short game against United, Pride has proven to be not as quick to react as the mid-field team, leaving fans at the very least disappointed. The team from Skye owes rookie Chaser Elliott Reid the only three goals scored. With only nineteen minutes of game, Seeker Marfa Parma seemed lost when United’s Callum McClarken flew towards the Golden Snitch and captured it with ease, marking another victory for his team.
“I Bring back that Snitch, Boys, and we chuck that victory right here..!”-Callum McClarken, Puddlemere United Seeker
Falmouth Falcons 230 to 160 Kenmare Kestrels
If last week the Falcons didn’t seem to make a great effort in order to win… This week sees no difference at all. With a more than decent start of the game for the Kestrels, everything seemed to point towards a perfect victory. Or at least towards a victory. As the Griffin duo chased quaffle after quaffle, the team from Kenmare soon began to lead the scores, doubling what the Falcons had so far – 160 to 80. After forty-three minutes of game, the Snitch made an appearance, putting both Seekers on the move. Even when Golden Boy Hall Mynatt flew his broom on the right trajectory, fate -or skills- made sure for him to find his end against a bludger sent by Falcon’s Beater Adam Fletcher. With Mynatt on the ground, Dot Townsend finished what her opponent Seeker couldn’t: capture the prize and add yet another -lazy- victory for the team from Falmouth.
“Yay?”-Confused yet unamused Falcons’ Fan.
Chudley Cannons 390 to 360 Caerphilly Catapults
A good match for the Catapults, but even a more interesting one for the Cannons. As a mid-field team, the Catapults did what was expected from them: play with a strong strategy that would definitely have great results. Chasers Gabriella Dudley and Ruta Kovalyov performed strongly, as they put their team on the lead, aided by their co-chaser Kasandra Bélanger, who managed to steal a couple of quaffles right before the scoring zone, and send them towards the other side of the pitch, leaving their fans in awe. There was no doubt the 83% of the quaffle possession by the Catapults was more than justified, as the scores reached 360 to 240 for them. It was then when the Cannons reacted with their ‘Snitch Game’: Seeker Sayaka Satō began the hunt for the Golden prize as soon as it was spotted on the pitch. Her broom flew quickly, managing to escape from the bludgers sent to her by the Catapults, and even seeming to fool Toutorix Tracy in their race for the Snitch. The fans seemed to hold their breath -on both sides- as Satō extended her hand and caught it, ending the game with an unexpected win for her team.
“I-…”– Toutorix Tracy, Caerphilly Catapults Seeker, seconds before being hit by yet another Silencing Charm
Wigtown Wanderers 290 to 280 Banchory Bangers
This week we had two Scottish teams facing each other, and despite the game only lasting thirty-two minutes, the action was definitely worth it. Fast paced Bangers Chasers dominated the quaffle for most of the game, with the special mention of Doirend ‘No Pads’ Rayne going the extra mile, and intercepting a bludger with his chest in order to protect co-chaser Ulysses Ellington and the last point scored by their team. Fortunately for the lad, he didn’t fall from his broom, which didn’t sit well with Wigtown’s Beater Darragh ‘Danger Zone’ Daly. The Wanderers’ Captain chose then another target and this time his aggressive efforts were productive: with Bryson McConnell down, Seeker Evie Proudfoot managed to catch the snitch, allowing her team to still hold a position above the Tutshill Tornadoes… At the bottom of the league.
“Aye, they still got it..”– Barnible Waggleton, proud Wigtown Wanderers Manager
Holyhead Harpies 620 to 350 Ballycastle Bats
It looks like the Harpies have decided to not find themselves on the losing side of the pitch anymore. Or at least not during this week, as their tactics and plays were carefully performed in order to achieve a win that positions them closer but not quite yet on the top. As usual, Chasers Persephone ‘Silver Wolf’ Vitrac and Jolene Parris scored beautifully with assists of Francheska De Luca, whilst Beaters Shea ‘Tempest’ Kendrick and Lillibeth Bennet protected always on the right times. A particular -rather interesting- highlight of the game happened when Ballycastle’s Beater Caryxander Mordushku almost put down Vitrac out of her broom with a particular aggressive bludger, and Bennet took justice with her hands by returning it as aggressive towards his head, missing by an inch, and almost earning herself a Green Sparkles. The pink haired Beater blamed it on miscalculations, and as her record is clean, she walked out only with a warning. In between chaos and flying bludgers, Harpies’ Seeker and Captain Kelsey ‘Kelpie’ Galloway did what she does best: aim for the Snitch and capture it, ending a game that it was pretty much clear it was in her team’s pockets.
“She blamed miscalculations, but it is quite clear her head is somewhere else. Where? Well, wherever that Wasps absent player is, obviously. Regardless, a solid performance in the game, but she definitely needs to focus more..”-Anonymous source
Appleby Arrows 0 to 190 Wimbourne Wasps
This was not a quidditch match, but rather a 11-minute [expletive] show that ended in a swift victory for the handicapped Wimbourne side and a humiliating defeat for their biggest rivals, the once mighty Arrows. Appleby played uselessly against the Wasps, who were still a man down with Magnus Laufreyn once again mysteriously opting out of the game and leaving the work of two Beaters to Ayo Onyilgowu. Turlough Parsons was seen barking orders at his teammates and hurling insults at his least favourite Wasps players, but not doing much of anything gameplay wise. Meanwhile, Wasps Chasers Tryphena Beetlegleam and Layne Peacock scored two goals each, and the game was brought to an expeditious end when Alec Tollemache caught the snitch after only 11 minutes, bringing Wimbourne a much-needed win.
“Unibrow’s reign of arrogance is over.”– An amused Wimbourne Wasps fan
Montrose Magpies 340 to 420 Pride of Portree
It seems that last week’s defeat was something that made Pride open their eyes and rethink their strategy on the pitch. No more dances, but Quidditch in its pure essence. With a great offensive tactic from the Magpies, the team from Portree had to play the game on the Snitch catch, and they succeeded perfectly when Seeker Marfa Parma gave her best in the pursuit of the Golden glint that would give her team a so very needed victory to keep their spot as third on the League. In general, a decent match from both teams in the Quaffle department, despite the Magpies -and specially Silver Summerfield- boasting a higher ratio of possession, something that Pride’s Keeper Hayoon ‘Doll’ Seol had to suffer on more than one occasion. Can the Scottish team reach the end of the season still as third? Or will they ascend and take over the top? Only a few weeks more, and the answer will be certainly revealed.
“Sometimes you quaffle, and you lose… And sometimes you don’t quaffle, and still lose…”-Silver Summerfield, Montrose Magpies Chaser
Tutshill Tornadoes 290 to 440 Falmouth Falcons
Easy victory for the Falcons against the Tornadoes. The team from Cornwall still seems to do the minimum effort when scoring quaffles and rely on their Snitch Catch abilities: Dot Townsend. The game was fast paced, and it seemed that the Tornadoes were having a small advantage at the very start of the match. Indeed, the same Tornadoes at the bottom of the league. With yet another clever display of gameplay by Chaser Elliot Nelson, the team from Tutshill lead the scores 100 to 80 during the first half an hour of the game. It was then when the Falcons went full on turbo on their brooms and Chasers Carran Georgeson and Lucius Paddon made their team go on the lead. After fifty-three minutes of game, the scores were equal on both boards, and it was the glint of a Golden Snitch that made the balance turn towards the Falcons. Once again, Seeker Dot Townsend surprised with her skills and caught the prize that would end the match, aided by Beater Adam Fletcher and a very well aimed bludger that put Lacey Bolton out of a game that was already won.
“Honestly..? Unfair… We could have taken them.. It was only that last bludger..!”-Lacey Bolton, Tutshill Tornadoes Seeker and Captain
“Seekers are usually quick ‘n’ nimble. Ain’ my fault this one wasn’.”– Adam Fletcher, Falmouth Falcons Beater
Puddlemere United 60 to 340 Chudley Cannons
Disappointing game for Puddlemere United. The mid-field team attempted to try their best, but failed to deliver, as their players seemed to be all over the pitch. With only six goals scored against -thanks to Ariadne Massey mainly-, Cannons’ Keeper Justyn Riley must have been grateful to not end up buried under white roses. With her chasers doing their job pushing towards a victory, Seeker Sayaka Satō focused on channelling the legend that has brought her up to there: bringing a team back from the ashes. A subtle but confident move of her broom made Satō take the right direction towards the Golden Snitch, capturing the third consecutive victory for her team.
“I know what you’re thinking… It’s true…”– Sayaka Satō, Chudley Cannons Seeker
Kenmare Kestrels 510 to 100 Wigtown Wanderers
Dull performance by the Wigtown Wanderers, as opposed to previous games. It seemed the team was already set on defeat, as most of their players barely made an effort to mount their brooms, despite Captain Daly’s aggressive motivational speech. With only ten goals striked, the Wanderers also failed in defensive tactics, as the Kestrels kept scoring points against them. The agony for the team from Wigtown only ended after seventy-one minutes of game, when Kestrels’ Golden Boy Hall Mynatt caught the Snitch.
“Ah canny believe this! My wee lad can keep better, and he’s just three years old..!”-Definitely angry Wigtown Wanderers Anonymous Fan
Caerphilly Catapults 200 to 550 Banchory Bangers
The Catapults seem to not be on their best moment. With last week’s defeat and today’s questionable actions on the pitch, the team from Caerphilly is seeing the results of really bad decisions. On the other hand, the Bangers redeemed themselves after their game against the Wanderers, and as Chaser Doirend Rayne showed off the scars from last week’s match -whilst stealing quaffles and avoiding bludgers-, his co-chasers Josias Saylor and Ulysses Ellington made sure to give their team a fair advantage. To end the game with a magic touch, Bangers’ Seeker Bryson McConell touched the Golden Snitch with his lips as he was pursuing it tirelessly. It was a surprise -for the seeker- but he didn’t let his guard down, and managed to secure it right after, as their fans roared hysterically along the pitch.
“I mean.. Couldn’t deny the lad of his first kiss..”– Radek Mercer, Caerphilly Catapults Beater