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Portsmouth Take 4th at Whiteknights 6

On the 21st and 22nd of April, Portsmouth competed alongside 10 other teams at the sixth instalment of Reading Quidditch’s much anticipated annual tournament.

Whiteknights Campus in Reading played host to 11 teams spread across 3 groups on day 1 (originally 12 teams before a last minute withdrawal from Keele). Portsmouth found itself well placed in a competitive group also containing the Bristol Beas, Swansea Swans and Bournemouth Banshees. Teams were allowed to bring a maximum of 3 mercenary players to compliment their squads, accordingly these teams were smattered with players from Oxford, Southampton, London and elsewhere. Alongside the normal Portsmouth contingent were Oxford Chimeras’ Lestra Atlas, Mikey Ansell and Dan Winters. This tournament was also the debut performance for 16 year old Callum Brown. Callum playing for the first time alongside his brother, and captain on the day, Scott Brown.

Portsmouth’s first game was against the Bristol Bees, their side bolstered by members of the Bristol first team the Bristol Bears. A disappointing 90*-30 loss saw bees take their first win after 5 consecutive losses to Portsmouth in previous fixtures. In the team talks that followed the loss was blamed largely on lacking synergy between players and a post-BQC rustiness in general play.

Game number 2 with the Swansea Swans was a highly anticipated match. Following BQC and the season’s Southwest league games Swansea boasted 2 wins to Portsmouth’s 1 across the 3 matches. The final score was a tight and impressive 120*-70 to Portsmouth taking the tally to 2-2 between the 2 teams. Where Portsmouth had struggled to compete with Swansea’s very strong chaser line up before, Winters and Ansell made up the deficit nicely with their physical play style. This combined well with a dominant beating display from Lestra and the Portsmouth regulars to secure the victory.

Unfortunately, fortunes reversed for the final game of the day with Bournemouth. A heart-wrenching 120*-110 loss nearly ended Portsmouth’s upper bracket ambitions. Thankfully, the tournament structure allowed 2 third place teams to move up and Portsmouth made the cut on points difference. Based on early and midgame performance, Portsmouth should have found itself comfortably ahead in this game. However, mistakes and confusion at snitch on pitch gave Bournemouth the edge they needed for players like Southampton beater Kerry Aziz and London Unspeakables’ Gio Forino to pull them back into range. Once there, they eventually caught to win from behind.

Moving into day 2, Portsmouth were matched up with the Southampton seconds. Portsmouth began the game cautiously but soon upped the pace as it became clear they had found whatever had been missing on day 1. The final score was a resounding 150*-10 victory for Portsmouth, Southampton’s only goal coming off of the back of some fast reactions from chaser Kevin Luu to a Portsmouth dropped ball. Portsmouth were dominant in every aspect of this game with no weak links in sight among their line up. This compliment extends genuinely to first time player Callum Brown who not only came a hairs width away from scoring but also caught the snitch to end the game in spectacular fashion.

Portsmouth now moved into the quarter finals against the Exeter Eagles. This should have been their most difficult match up by far with Exeter and Falmouth tipped as the tournament’s dominant teams. A phenomenal performance saw Portsmouth ahead on quaffle by 60 points to Exeter’s 40 when Mikey Ansell caught the snitch. Unfortunately, the catch was disallowed due to a fowl elsewhere on the pitch. This led to a game that could easily have been Portsmouth’s going 70*-60 to Exeter after their following catch was called good. Portsmouth moved into the 3rd place play off with the Bristol Bees.

Portsmouth ended the tournament with a 90*-50 loss to the Bees in an incredibly tight game. Fatigue from the hot day and no game slot to rest in before the play off may have helped the Bees secure 3rd place.

Despite missing out on the podium, this tournament represented one of Portsmouth’s best and most promising performances to date with plenty of new talent coming through. The tournament was well run, enjoyable and there was a great atmosphere between teams. We can’t wait for the next tournament!

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Strikers Quidditch Attend Reading SWL Fixture

On Saturday 21st of October 2017, Strikers Quidditch took a small squad of 8 people to Reading to participate in friendly games with the Reading Knights, Bathilisks and Bristol Bees quidditch teams.

Portsmouth arrived on location at 9am, having mostly risen at 5am that morning, for a bleary eyed game with hosts the Reading Knights. Reading surprised Portsmouth by playing well above the standard expected after last BQC, winning the game by snitch catch 70* to Portsmouth’s 60. Tiredness seemed to affect the Strikers in this first game with a few defensive plays falling apart and some offensive plays being thrown away needlessly, a lack of non-male players also upset the teams performance as with snitch on pitch they entirely lost their ability to substitute. However, despite these factors emphasis should not be taken away from the vast improvements in the Reading squad which they will surely bring to bare come Southern cup this November.

Portsmouth’s next game was a classic showdown with the Bristol Bees. Portsmouth won this game in these team’s fourth meeting in less than 2 years 170* – 80. This was an exceptionally high scoring game possibly owing to the disparity between each teams more experienced players and new talent with the old guard able to exploit gaps created by the newer player’s inexperience. Hopefully this game will have provided invaluable experience for both teams to bring to bare in the coming season.

The final game of the day was Portsmouth versus Bathilisks. This game saw a depleted Bath side playing without their experienced backbone players Thomas Newton and Anthony Tatman who instead head reffed and snitched respectively. Without this leadership on pitch a Bath squad that had looked like a strong physical side earlier in the day immediately went 50 – 0 down against a Portsmouth side that had definitely woken up. Unable to bring their physicality to bare, Bath eventually lost 180* – 10 in a game with more cards given to Bath than any other team Portsmouth has ever seen. If Bath can keep their heads they look like a strong squad going forward but it would be hard to call based on the inconsistent performances seen over the weekend.
Officially this occasion was the Bristol versus Bath South West League fixture which Bath won in comfortable games for them. A special mention should go out to Tristan Harris for his efforts as head referee for the official matches played on this day.

Quidditch Premier League – The Round Up

Over the summer three of the Portsmouth team shed their usual purple and black colours to play in the blue and grey of the Southeast knights regional team for the inaugural Quidditch Premier League.

The Quidditch Premier League saw regional managers select 8 squads of 30 players at 16 tryouts across the country. Once the teams had been selected the League began in earnest with the four southern and northern teams battling it out in three seeding fixtures and then a final championship. The Southeast Knights were undefeated in seeding, winning all nine of their matches with the London Monarchs, Southwest Broadside and Eastern Mermaids. The Monarchs provided stiff opposition with some of the matches being exceptionally close in the early stages however the Knights always went on to win the games out of snitch range.

The championship games were hosted at the fantastic 17,000 seat stadium of Craven Park in Hull. At the championship Northern teams faced Southern teams for the first time and everyone was looking forward to the highly likely final match between the Southeast and their undefeated rivals in the North, the West Midlands Revolution. As Predicted both the Southeast and West Midlands Marched to the final undefeated across 3 games. The Southeast won all of these comfortably defeating the Yorkshire Roses 200*-30, the Eastern Mermaids 180-60* and the East Midlands Archers 210*-30. Meanwhile Revolution faced a difficult match in semi finals playing against the strong favourites for an upset game, the London Monarchs. Monarchs put up a good fight but in the end Revolution took the game with the final score line at 140*-30 to the Revolution.

As the sun set and the flood lights came on at Craven Park the stage was set for the final showdown. Southeast versus West Midlands for the QPL trophy. The Southeast took an early lead only to be overtaken by the West Midlands who capitalised on their momentum to open their lead up to 30 points. Southeast held on though, keeping the game within swim up to and beyond seekers being released. In the end though, after an incredibly tense game, Revolution’s formidable seeking line up came through as Morton caught making the final score 140*-70 to the West Midlands.

Despite falling short at the last hurdle all of the players from Portsmouth had a great time throughout the Quidditch Premier League. Keep checking our blog to see their thoughts and reactions to the QPL soon!

Revolution win

Strikers Quidditch Opens Training to Community

With quidditch in the UK adapting to take on more community players, Strikers Quidditch in Portsmouth are opening up to non-students this season.

Portsmouth’s team, the Horntail Strikers, placed 19th at this year’s British Quidditch Cup after coming 3rd in the Consolation Bracket at the tournament in Rugeley. The team will now be made up of both community and student members, with training sessions available to the community from September 2017.

Delivered by Portsmouth Quidditch Coach and Sport and Exercise Science Graduate Jack Latoy, Strikers’ community sessions will be held on Sundays, 2-5pm at Milton Park.

Portsmouth Quidditch originated with the University of Portsmouth Quidditch Club, who will be continuing to offer training to students throughout the academic year. Club members will now have the opportunity to take part in training sessions with community team members.

Despite the fast paced nature of quidditch, the sport offers on-pitch roles to people with varying levels of fitness. With a variety of positions and tactics, the game has something to offer even the newest players. Members have the opportunity to take part competitively at various tournaments across the year, or use their training as an opportunity to keep fit and socialise.

“Quidditch is made unique through its gender rules and inclusiveness,” explains Jack. “What makes it great to play however is the pace and style of gameplay. Quidditch is one of the fastest sports you can play but does not require a ridiculous level of fitness. Quidditch is a contact sport yet playable with either very high or very low levels of contact. The variety of positions playing on the same pitch in quidditch makes it unpredictable, highly tactical and means there is a role for everyone.”

Interested? Why not check out How to Play.

Strikers beginners’ sessions will take place at Milton Park on Sundays 24th September and 1st October, 2-5pm. All equipment is provided. Attendees are advised to wear clothing suitable for outdoor sport, and bring jumpers/warm clothing for after the session. Clothes are liable to get muddy.

You can contact us at Strikers Quidditch via our facebook or twitter, or email us at portsmouthquidditch@gmail.com

Alternatively, to get in touch with the University of Portsmouth Quidditch Club, see their facebook, twitter, instagram or website, or contact them at quidditch@upsu.net

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Sessions times are subject to change in winter months.

Header photo credit: Rowena Haigh