With the 2017-18 QuidditchUK season coming to a close, all in all it’s been a good year for the Falmouth Falcons, Cornwall’s finest quidditch team. Early success in October at the Highlander Cup in Edinburgh set the tone for what was to come, with the Falcons eventually finishing 5th, notching confident victories over the Bangor Broken Broomsticks and Saint Andrews Snidgets 130*-60 and 180-50* before bowing out in a narrow loss 120*-80 to Tornadoes Quidditch Club in the quarterfinals. Following this was an away fixture in Portsmouth against the Portsmouth Horntail Strikers that ended with a victory apiece 60-110* and 80*-30.
The Southern Cup, the second most important event of the quidditch calendar, was a rare spell of doubt in an otherwise-strong season. A group stage upset loss to the Bristol Bees consigned the Falcons to the lower bracket. However, they recovered to win all their games on the second day of the tournament and claim the lower bracket title, demonstrating that their performance on day one was the exception and not the rule.
So ensued the lull of the midseason, where the Falcons knuckled down to train for the biggest tournament of the year, the British Quidditch Cup. In the month before the competition the Falcons travelled again for a warm-up match, this time in Swansea, with a very depleted squad of only eight players, and came away with a clean sweep of two victories 80*-20 and 90*-10. This portended an expectation-defying performance at the British Quidditch Cup in which the Falcons defeated the Keele Squirrels, touted to qualify for the knockout stage over Falmouth, and held Warwick Quidditch Club from inflicting a blowout, with the game between the two sides ending 120-50* to Warwick. On the second day of the tournament the Falcons fell in the last sixteen to eventual bronze-medalists Werewolves of London, and finished the weekend ranked 12th in the UK.
The British Quidditch was not, however, the end of the season for the Falcons, who were then invited to attend Whiteknights VI, a twelve-team group/knockout tournament in Reading. With a small squad supplemented by guest players from other teams, the Falcons went undefeated on the first day of the tournament and topped their group to become the top seed for the elimination bracket on day two. The draw saw them face both the Swansea Swans and Bristol Bees in rematches that went in Falmouth’s favour, before facing the Exeter Eagles in the final. The two teams exchanged goals one-for-one until late in the game when the Falcons pulled ahead and caught the snitch in quick succession to claim the second trophy in the club’s history.
While Whiteknights acted as a rather poetic bookend for the Falcons season, for many of the team’s players the real competition is only just beginning. Over the summer months there will be seven Falcons representing three teams in the Quidditch Premier League: the Scottish Thistles, Welsh Dragons and Southwest Broadside. The League consists of six fixtures, three Southern and three Northern, followed by the championships at the Arms Park in Cardiff at the end of August, where Falcons are likely to come head to head on pitch in search of glory. In addition to this, the club’s star player, Reuben Thompson, will be representing the United Kingdom at the Quidditch World Cup in Florence, as part of a very strong lineup that has an excellent chance of medalling or even, dare it be said, bringing home the title.
There is of course a common theme to the team’s successes: they tend to take place quite far from Cornwall, and in this sense it is the sponsorship of CompareHolidayMoney.com that has underpinned their success, allowing them to travel further and more often and creating more opportunities for the club to represent Cornwall on the larger UK stage. Looking beyond the Premier League to next season, the Falmouth Falcons hope to continue both their partnership with CompareHolidayMoney.com and their string of successes, bringing ever more titles home to Cornwall.