Velociraptors QC Retain Title as Northern Cup Champions

QuidditchUK’s official 5th edition of the Northern Cup was held at the Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park on the 23rd & 24th November.

With taking place only two weeks after Southern’s London team ‘domination’, the Northern regional event included 20 teams to the party in 5 groups of 4 teams each. Groups A-E featured a mixed range of abilities across the plethora, with no notable ‘Group of Death’.

Natural weather conditions caused despair for the event, which was already on the ropes before the weekend had even begun with flooding in Sheffield during the weeks leading up to the tournament. Unfortunately, all grass pitches were deemed unsafe and were out of action all weekend. Thankfully, everyone who had marvelled at the idea of playing on 3G pitches had their prayers answered as they became the only space that fell under correct health and safety regulations by approval of the Tournament Committee, who did a fantastic job managing the event and keeping it afloat all weekend.

After a rough start, Northern 2019 managed to deliver an exciting regional event with intense matches all round. The final game of the weekend included freshers to UK Quidditch, the core Manchester community team, Olympians Quidditch Club. The Olympians played against hat-trick gold medal winners, Velociraptors Quidditch Club as they claimed victory over their second team, the Megalodons in the Semi-Finals. After a good crack at the BQC 2019 bronze medalists, the Olympians were nine goals down from the Raptor’s ferocious lead by 120 total points, before catching the snitch to end the game at 120° – 60*. Afterwards, the dinosaurs of the north obtained their fourth consecutive win since the club’s genesis in 2016, which is a feat no other team has ever been able to crack in any regional or national tournament in the United Kingdom.

Velociraptors lifting the trophy. Photography by Kurt Fairhurst

Congratulations to the Velociraptors for ultimately winning the tournament as all their players played valiantly all weekend. A well deserved effort goes to our finalists, the Olympians, who took home a cool silver for their first official QUK tournament. Joining them on the podium was Edinburgh’s Holyrood Hippogriffs Firsts who reclaimed the Northern bronze medal two years in a row. Congratulations to both clubs for their successes at the weekend.

For winning Northern Cup this year, the Velociraptors have been given a pass in competing at the European Qualifier Tournament as regional winners are awarded a top seed spot at Division 1 of the European Quidditch Cup hosted in Belgium in May 2020. Other teams to qualify for EQT aside from the podium finishers include VQC’s second team, Megalodons (4th); Leceister Thestrals (5th); Liverpuddly Cannons (6th) and the Chester Centurions (7th).

QuidditchUK would like to ultimately thank its large influx of volunteers for this year’s Northern Cup, from non-qualified tournament roles alike to tournament committee posts running gameplay, media, event and management duties. Special thanks go to Fran Morris, the Tournament Director, who ran a smooth running tournament despite all the odds against them. Fran and their team’s success gave our athletes more games for their money despite poor weather conditions throughout the weekend.

Congratulations go to the Velociraptors for retaining their title of Northern champions for four seasons in a row. We’d like to extend our praise to all our players and teams who competed this year making this Northern Cup one to remember (hopefully not for the weather!). More importantly, a massive consideration goes out to all volunteers who ran a fantastic tournament giving their time, resources and talent across the event.

You can find the full final rankings for the weekend here

Please leave feedback for Northern Cup 2019 so that we can make next year’s even better!

Photo Credit – Kurt Fairhurst