The Queen’s University Quidditch Team was only formed sometime in September but has gone from strength to strength. The club was formed after Team coach Conor Ardill decided that it was about time there was UK Quidditch outside of Mainland UK. Ardill had played for some time with the Manchester Manticores and was taken with the sport. He encouraged his Quidditch enthusiast friend Aaron on board as treasurer and the journey began.
As The Arcade previously reported, the team are set to take their first step into tournaments with their trip to Cottonopolis this weekend. The team who, although they ultimately lost, showed strength of will in their first friendly against fellow emerging team the Dublin Draoíchta Dragons are sure to leave a mark on the upcoming event in Manchester.
Cottonopolis: the story so far
The tournament in question is in its third year and is annually held by Manchester University’s Quidditch club. The event centres around five northwest teams plus new guest addition Belfast. This will be the first time a team outside of England will participate but is the perfect opportunity for Belfast to show their emerging talents at a tournament designed for helping out emerging teams. The teams involved alongside the Manchester Manticores and Belfast are as follows: The Chester Centurions, The Liverpuddly Cannons, The Preston Poltegeists and the Sheffield Squids. The one day tournament will take place once again in Platt Fields Park in Manchester, which is a public playing ground which is considered to be the biggest in the area.
This year’s line-up
The hosts of Cottonopolis recently posted their groups draw online and this can be seen below. Belfast will be squaring off against the Chester Centurions and the Liverpuddly Cannons. Some have said the pairings for the event were pretty evenly matched. That said the Chester team are two time winners of the tournament and will be stiff competition for the Quidditch newbies. Belfast will be attending with a sturdy roster of 20 players consisting of 12 chasers/keepers and 8 beaters, some of which can also play other positions.
The Centurions are an extension of the University of Chester and have been training since September 2013. Their motto is “we fight” so they are tough but they are also described as very welcoming and as “a family” on the university’s website. Within one year of existence they had won best new society and have gone from strength to strength. They’ve competed in national events such as the British Quidditch Cup, making it into the top bracket, which returns for its fourth weekend in March. Their roster as listed on Quidditch UK is made up of about 18 players, headed by Lucy Turnell, and this includes the board, but as with most university teams, this can change over time.
Formed in 2014, at the University of Liverpool, The Liverpuddly Cannons have 21 listed members on Quidditch UK. They play in a lovely blue and meet every Saturday for practice. Channelling the inclusive spirit of Quidditch, headed by Alisha Raithatha, their aims include not only competitive goals but “To bring people who may not otherwise be likely to play a sport into the sporting community”. They have played in Cottonopolis before, in all two previous cups in fact, playing in the final last year. They also recently played in the Compass Cup. The Cannons are a middle of the road kind of team with a similar spirit to Belfast. They’ll be tough to beat. Their motto is ‘boom boom’, which oozes of beater and/or Chaser scoring mentality.
The Cannons will be sending a squad of about 15 to the tournament this year.
This year Belfast will play Liverpool in the morning at 9am and Chester at 11am. The knockout stages will occur after lunch. They’ll allow those who didn’t do so well in the morning stages another chance to make it into the final. There are no current plans to livestream the event, but the Qudditch Post will share the action as it happens.