Griffins Slyther-in For the Win
Quidditch Leicester Lovegoods v Leeds Griffins
Six weeks after forming, the Leeds Griffins Quidditch Team literally snatched victory from Leicester in their debut match on Saturday November 17, winning all three of the games in a ‘best of three’ situation. The Leicester Lovegoods who formed earlier this year are one of the best teams in the UK, so the win was definitely not anticipated. Both teams played extremely well, however not without each team committing their fair share of fouls.
The first game set off to what could have been a disastrous start, with Leicester retrieving the quaffle first; however Leeds chaser Will Heath and keeper Japloe Sneh went in physical on the counter attack, stealing possession and leaving them a little shocked. James Mee then managed to run up the wing and secure the first 10 points of the game. Leicester weren’t expecting it, and Leeds managed to score again just minutes later. Beater Lauren Lefevre was instrumental to the Griffins defence and her bludgers also found their targets.
When the Snitch finally returned to the pitch Leeds were 40-50 down, in what was an extremely close game, however with an amazing snatch from first seeker Sam Greenwood Leeds managed to gain victory in the first game. Leeds dominated Leicester for much of the second game. Leicester’s tactic of drawing play down their end of the pitch to defend and score on the counter attack was not working this time round as Leeds dropped back a beater to stunt their counter attack. Rhiannon Pickard, beater, held the line with her bludger and broke up frequent counter attacks carrying out the tactics change well. It was only when the snitch came on the pitch when Leeds were 30 points up, that Leeds redirected their resources to catching the snitch and therefore leaked some careless easy hoops.
After what was a very tense battle to gain the snitch and an amazing performance from beater Will Heath creating a free path, Leeds seeker James Mee got the snitch resulting in a 90-60 victory to Leeds. After the second game, everyone knew Leeds had won overall, this resulted in Leicester upping their game, wanting to secure at least one victory. Leeds had a run out and let beaters chase and chasers beat, to mix it up and make sure everyone got as much experience as possible. In the process Leicester ruthlessly went for the attack while Leeds tried to mimic one of Leicester’s earlier tactics however as a result Leicester went 30 points up but Leeds seeker Will Heath caught the snitch causing a 30-30 tie and the game went to extra time.
During extra time Leeds tightened things up and after an amazing shot from Guillermo Somuano Ballesteros and Sam Greenwood catching the snitch in the last seconds, Leeds secured their third victory of the day with a 40-30 win in overtime. Ben Morton, the Snitch Runner for the match and chairman of the UK Quidditch organisation ‘QUK’ had this to say about the match, “The Leeds Griffins have completely blown my mind and brought a whole new inspiration to teams around the UK. I still cannot comprehend how a team that has only been practicing for a few months can get to such an impressive level that they are able to defeat one of the oldest UK teams three times in a row!”.
A massive congratulations to the whole team Holly Collins, Emily Cowling, Cora Daffern, Sam Greenwood, Will Heath, Troy Hill, Lauren Lefevre, Travis Manuel, James Mee, Enrique Munoz Albaladejo, Alice Palmer, Miguel Perez Senent, Rhiannon Pickard, Japloe Sneh, Guillermo Somuano Ballesteros and Rebecca Talbot. Troy Hill, Leeds chaser and beater shared his thoughts on the match “It was exhilarating to finally play with team mates who we spent the past month practicing and training with. We became a family.” Leeds also had two of their support team Claire Cholewa and team coach Alice Mulvenna make their bludger referee debuts. They both acted commendably having to make some tough decisions as impartial officials.
Team coach Gemma Woodward and supporter Lily Heathcock also deserve a special mention for all they did on the day. Mulvenna said “We could not have done it without the hard work that everyone on the team put in. Gemma and I are proud to get to work with such talented people and are honoured to even be associated with this win.”