May 19, 2023
EQC 2023 D1 & D2 Re-CapInternational
University teams take on Europe!
After a long, arduous journey to Golbey France, Warwick Quadball Club and Manchester Minotaurs arrived on Friday 28th April ready to compete in Division Two of the European Quadball Championships. Each armed with a handful of croissants and buckets full of team spirit, they were excited for a weekend of international Quadball, and they were in for it. Manchester had a squad of 11, being led by Captain Anton Simpson, while Warwick, being captained by Charlotte Ellingham, had 12 players.
Day one consisted of four games for each team. Sharing a changing room, both teams shared their excitement and nerves together, talking about how far each squad had come just to be there. Despite some early bad results, if there is one thing we know about our university players, it’s that they never give up. So filled with determination (and many baguettes) WQC took a fantastic victory of 150*-110 against Bombardia Brixia - A team predicted to win their group, and who even finished the tournament in 5th place!
Meanwhile, in MM’s final game of the day, they battled in a nail-biting fight against Turicum Thunderbirds, narrowly missing out on the win with Turicum catching the flag runner, finishing 130*-100. WQC ended the day with a loss to Lille Black Snitches, 130*-80.
Credit: Matus Zosak
Day Two bought with it the sunshine, and another day of quadball for our UK contingent. Warwick started the day with a win against Turicum Thunderbirds, 150-60*, avenging their northern friends. Manchester unfortunately faced another two forfeited games against Phoenixes Pilsen (where at one stage they were leading by 90-60, despite only having 8 players able to play) and Skyweavers Lodz, having sustained too many player injuries the day prior to continue after player ejections. WQC went on to take another win, beating Berner Boggarts 130-100*, but with it came a few too many beats and bruises, leading to a loss in what they say was their toughest match against Skyweavers, finishing 170-110* (with a stunning flag catch from Matt Pyall). MM went on to play against Berner Boggarts, losing 70-200*, before finishing the day playing Basel Basilisks. Meanwhile, Phoenixes Pilsen forfeited during WQC’s final match, leading to a final score of 120-10.
Speaking to both teams afterwards, the pride for their clubs and players was palpable. Although they had both taken their fair share of losses over the weekend and were exhausted, they were also riding the high of representing the UK and the University League at the biggest tournament available to them. Both teams had taken full advantage of the kit swapping, walking away with jerseys from all over Europe (including a few that belonged to Sevilla, eventual winners of EQC Div 2).
Captain of MM, Antonia Simpson remarked that ‘Manchester loved every moment of it, it was an incredible experience for a uni team and an invaluable learning opportunity to play against high level Europeans teams. A huge thank you to the community for helping us get there’.
When asked about their time at EQC, Warwick players agreed this was a highlight of the season for them, saying they ‘played to prove WQC deserved to be there.’
Both teams also wanted to thank all the support they had from volunteers, tournament attendees, and friends back home. They were overwhelmed by the encouragement and kindness they received, and wanted to express their gratitude to everyone who made this experience possible, as well as everyone who donated to their go-fund-me pages. They made the University League proud and showed that the future of Community Quadball has some immense talent coming soon…
Credit: Lore's Quidditch Photos
Community teams strive for glory!
Next up, it’s time for the UK community teams to showcase their skills on the European stage. With 8 teams attending including defending champions Werewolves of London Firsts, hopes were high that a UK team could medal once more. As teams arrived in Heidelberg there was an unspoken sense of cautious optimism and not just for the weather to defy predictions and stay dry.
In the first slot of the day, Southsea Quadball narrowly lost to Augsburg Owls 150*-110 with West Country Rebels also losing to Olympiens Paris 210*-0. The UK’s Olympians took on Spanish side Madrid Lynx losing 150*-40.
The second slot of the day saw reigning British champions, London QC take on Braunschweiger Broomicorns, a dark horse of German Quadball showcasing a highly athletic hoop defence. Despite struggling, Jonathan Purvis caught the flag runner to ensure a victory for LQC with a score of 100*-80. Also in the second slot Werewolves of London Seconds lost to last year’s runners up DNA QC 170*-30 and Velociraptors lost in SWIM to host team Heidelberger Hellhounds 220*-170.
Reigning champions Werewolves of London Firsts had to wait until the third slot of the day before their first game against Munchner Wolpertinger winning 120*-60. After a hard fought game and catching the flag runner, Phoenix QC lost 90^-140 in Overtime to Rheinos Bonn. Olympians also narrowly lost out to Danube Direwolves 130-150*.
In their second ever game on the international stage, West Country Rebels were able to get their first hoop despite losing to Catalonian side Bocs Folls 220*-20 while Southsea also lost to Paris Frog 60-170*. With two loses, it all but sealed both sides to be playing in the lower bracket. LQC’s dismantling of Liege Leviathans 160*-0 all but secured their ride to the upper bracket.
Slot 5 saw WoL 2 and Phoenix both lose to Malaka Vikings and Ghent Gargoyles respectively with scores of 20-150* and 150-60^. Velociraptors managed to eke out a victory against last year’s D2 champions Dementores Coruna with a catch on the flag runner after a tied game. Final score being 140*-110.
Credit: Lore's Quidditch Photos
With a trip to the lower bracket all but guaranteed, Southsea and Olympians played their final games of the day. Olympians losing only by flag runner catch to Ruhr Phoenix 40-100* and Southsea catching for overtime then hitting set score against one of the tournament’s favourites Sagene IF of Norway winning 120-140^. WoL1 took on Siena Ghibellines beating the Italian side 190*-70 securing their upper bracket spot.
Hoping for that second win to take them into the top 16, Velociraptors went up against former champions Titans Paris. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be with the French champions winning 160*-40. Taking on another former champion, West Country Rebels faced off against Antwerp QC spoiling their cleansheet with a single goal despite losing 10-220*. LQC wanting to secure top of their division took on NTNUI Rumpeldunk winning 230*-70.
In the final game of the group stages, Phoenix completed a trilogy of flag runner catches this time beating Toulouse Minotaures 130*-100 while WoL2 lost 40-170* against previous D2 winners Berlin Bluecaps. WoL1 secured top of their group with a comfortable win against 150*-40.
As the group games concluded, things didn’t look great for the UK teams with only 2 of the 8 making the upper bracket. The other 6 still had 1 more game to go on the first day with their bracket game. Unfortunately WoL2 lost to Olympiens Paris 110*-20, Southsea lost to Berlin Bluecaps 110*-80 and despite catching the flag runner and scoring their most hoops, West Country Rebels lost to Krakow Dragons. For the fifth time this season alone, Velociraptors faced off against Olympians in another closely fought game with Olympians coming out victorious with a score 100*-80. Phoenix managed to catch their forth flag runner of the day against Liege Leviathans to win 110*-100.
As the sun set on the first day of Division 1, attention quickly turnt to the upper bracket with LQC kicking things off with an 8am game against host team Heidelberg Hellhounds. Despite several cards, including a double yellow for Ben Malpass, LQC emerged victorious 150*-50 advancing to the top 8 of the tournament. Slot 2 saw WoL1 comfortably dismantle Bocs Folls with a score of 200*-40.
Meanwhile in the lower bracket; Phoenix continued their flag catching form winning 80*-60. Despite not catching the flag runner, Olympians managed to grind out an OT victory against Berlin Bluecaps. WoL2 narrowly missed out against Augsburg Owls 150*-200. Velociraptors took on another british team, this time beating Southsea QC in OT 130-110*. West Country Rebels lost to Liege Leviathans 230-60^.
Olympians took on fellow UK team Phoenix in the lower bracket semi final winning 100*- 40 while Southsea beat West Country Rebels 280* to 30. WoL2 emerged victorious against NTNUI Rumpeldunk 150*-100. The final game of the day in the lower bracket saw Olympians narrowly lose to Dementores Coruna 170-120^ in the LB Final. Despite the disappointing result, Dylan Jones encapsulated the Olympians attitude asking "did we win" while being treated for a broken collarbone. They'll no doubt be back and raring to take on their next challenge.
Toulouse Minotaures take revenge on Phoenix winning 160*-50 for 19th place. Phoenix commented that it was a ‘wonderful end to an inaugural season, with the club aiming for 3-max during the season and throughout EQC like most of our opponents. Happy with a top 20 finish. Looking forward to building on the momentum for next season!’
Velociraptors lost out to Augsburg Owls 90*-20 in the 25/26th place game. Head coach Fraser Posford had this to say ‘The team also gained further match experience playing most of the tournament with 3 Max lineups which will be valuable for the upcoming QUK season under the new gender rule. A final ranking of 26th isn't one that the club hoped or anticipated going into the tournament after such a successful BQC run but the experience gained will be useful for the development of the club moving forward.’
Southsea playing their 3rd UK team of the day, WoL2 with the south coast side winning 130*-20 in the 29/30th place game. After attending their second EQC , Southsea said that 'We had a great time competing at EQC Div 1, we were hopeful for the level we could achieve. Regardless we had some amazing games and can't wait for the next season and next year'
West Country Rebels ended their tournament with a loss to NTNUI Rumpeldunk 180-50^. Despite not winning a game, WCR didn’t let it dampen their mood at their debut international tournament saying that they ‘applied their bold strategy of almost never training together and recruiting literally anyone who didn't say no. This brave tactic rewarded them with a 32nd place finish and a reputation for being almost as happy when losing games as they are when singing about tractors. Not only this but all of our chasers scored, and we had three different seekers catch’
Credit: Honeybadger Quiditich Photos
In the upper bracket quarterfinals it was heartbreak for LQC losing out to Ruhr Phoenix 120^-170 meanwhile it was jubilation for WoL1 beating Rheinos Bonn 150*-120 advancing to the semi finals. LQC then played Ghent Gargoyles beating the Belgique team 100*-70 facing off against old rivals Rheinos Bonn for 5th. Having already secured their best EQC finish ever, LQC were determined to end on a high. Despite Bonn catching the flag runner, LQC won in OT 190-160*.
WoL1 faced Braunschweiger Broomicorns in their semi final match. Potentially having studied their games at German Cup as well as the Germans’ game against LQC the previous day, WoL1 were victorious with a score of 110*-50 with seeker Jordan needing only 1 attempt and less than 60 seconds to catch the flag runner. Advancing to the final and the two-peat in their sights, WoL1 faced off former champions Antwerp QC. It wasn’t meant to be for the London side losing 30-130* capping off a domineering performance for the Belgian powerhouse having won every game out of range. WoL1’s silver medal now completes their collection of every BQC and EQC medal colour.
WoL1 captain Luke Twist concluded that "We're proud of our second consecutive run to the final, and although we couldn't bring home gold this time, we played some great quadball, had a blast and left everything on the field. Congratulations to Antwerp on a richly deserved second title!"
No doubt that the UK teams will use this tournament to help motivate them into the next season but for now, attention at the international level has to turn to World Cup this summer in Richmond, USA on July 15th and 16th. The European teams will undeniably be hungry for victory against previous victors the US. The real question is, can England match their EG winning performance to take home the gold in 2 months? Only time will tell…come on England!
Credit: Honeybadger Quiditich Photos