I’m not one for writing tally posts, for three very good reasons: 1) As I was playing, my focus was on my own team, so I’m biased and too ‘short-sighted’ to give notes about all the teams’ great playing. 2) This blog would go out of kilter if I concentrated on creating posts about Quidditch instead of writing, and, following that, 3) there are many great blogs out there that do summaries and reports from the UK Quidditch tournaments. Thus, from these, I derive my own kind of post about the overall success of Whiteknights 2014 in my role as Social Secretary and outreach persona for the Reading Rocs.
The overall standings. Thanks to all the teams who played!
Matty Panda provided an in-depth post following each match, so that is well worth checking out, the Falmouth Falcons commented on their first tournament, and our own Philip added his – in which I’m mentioned as “Alex Brant for showing that she can put in a tackle or 10.” Yay!
A video of the winning Snitch Catch by Ellie of Southampton so you get a feel of the pressure and excitement that builds with Quidditch:
A rundown of the teams by anonymous on Lucy and Amy’s Quidditch blog:
1. Southampton: Their style has not changed since BQC, a very strong bludger defense backed up by rapid chaser counters; however they have added chaser depth and a more physical aspect to their game. Lacking a plan b in the final. Player of the tournament: Dugald- back to his best. His defensive chasing kept Southampton in the final.
2. Chester: The improvement Chester has shown since the BQC is nothing short of phenomenal. Pushed Southampton all the way in the final and were exceptionally unlucky not to win it. If they keep improving at this rate, Chester will be darkhorses for the big tournaments next year. Player of the tournament: Dale- chases and beats to a fantastic standard. Taught Southampton’s beaters a lesson in keeping control during the final.
3. Reading: Another team who have improved a lot since the BQC. It’s a shame they didn’t get to play the Quercs in a playoff for 3rd spot as it would have been a great barometer for just how far they’ve come. Maturing tactically and could cause some surprises in the future. Player of the tournament: Lee Baughan – starting to use his power and size to his advantage, no longer shying away from tackles he might have previously. Contributed to Reading’s 100% snitch catch record.
3. The Quercs: Played for fun and graciously let Chester play in the final. They’re nearly all big names and played as well as you’d expect. Hopefully the Warwick captain can get a full team up and running soon. I won’t do a player of the tournament as they mostly played out of position but Kosta and Elisabeth are definitely players to watch. Kosta looked almost impossible to stop once he got going and has taken to quidditch very quickly for an inexperienced player and Elisabeth never backs out of a tackle regardless of the opponent’s size.
5. London Unspeakables: Improved since the BQC in pretty much every way, brought a deep squad to WhiteKnights and under the tutelage of their American import Matt Dwyer, are starting to develop tactically. Horribly unfortunate not to go further in a tournament where they pushed every game to the end in a very close fought group. Player of the tournament: Matt Dwyer- Watching Matt you can tell he’s an experienced player from his time in America. Very well rounded, his drives, passes and shots nearly always making sense and strong in the tackle. Could play for any team in the UK.
6. Falmouth: A very respectable showing for their very first tournament. Were not phased by the physicality of the sport like some new teams tend to be and there is definitely some raw talent in this squad. With the right refinement and a better tactical understanding they can grow to be a tough, tough team. Along with Chester and Loughborough, Falmouth are one of the most exciting up and coming teams in the UK. Player of the tournament: The Big Guy – I’m awfully sorry I didn’t catch his name, but I think everyone knows who I mean. Tall, fast and strong, he has the makings of a great keeper/chaser. However to improve he needs to play to his strengths, the best point defender on a team should not be playing as a troll or beater.
7. Edinburgh: Dreadfully unfortunate to be put in the Group of Death (The groups at WhiteKnights and Euroregionals are proof proper seeding is needed for tournaments), Edinburgh were great sports throughout the whole tournament and a remarkably friendly team. I hope they find the long journey down from Scotland worthwhile as I feel they have picked up some valuable experience this weekend. I didn’t watch enough of Edinburgh’s play to fairly pick out a player of the tournament but their attitude throughout the day was first class.
8. Norwich: Apart from a humbling in the groups versus Chester, Norwich did far better than their ranking suggests. Close games versus London and Edinburgh as well as an overtime loss to Reading and a SWIM victory versus Falmouth show on another day WhiteKnights could’ve gone completely differently for Norwich. With more experience they’ll be able to grind out results. Again, I didnt catch enough of Norwich’s play to fairly give them a player of the tournament, but an honourable mention has to go to the small female beater for her victory dance upon gaining bludger control.
First of all, I just want to say a massive thank you to Reading Rocs for organising WhiteKnights; the tournament was played in great spirits and I definitely talk for everyone when I say we had a fantastic time. Each player had a massive grin on their face when playing and the sportsmanship shown before, during and after each game once again proved what an amazing community QUK [Alex: the Quidditch UK association is the main body of order in the UK] is. WhiteKnights displayed all the great things about Quidditch, why we love it, and Reading have to be thanked for letting us play.
All in all, though, I’d like to add my own thoughts in one paragraph: the effort in was more than proportional to the success out. As a player, I enjoyed the tournament (and it was great to play on home fields); as a person helping with the running of the tournament Play was fair – I Bludger reffed and score kept for a couple of games – and there were very few injuries, something which shows that a tournament has been good!
Until next time, Alex 🙂