Muggles and Basilisks to battle for Victorian crown
The Victorian Quidditch Association’s season championships, The Victoria Cup, will reach a climactic end this coming Sunday as the Blackburn Basilisks Quidditch Club takes on the Monash Muggles, to crown a new champion. After commencing the season in October of 2013, a gruelling 12 rounds, semi, and preliminary finals have left us with a final two teams to play off for the bragging rights that come from being the inaugural Victoria Cup champion.
The Victoria Cup has seen the Monash Muggles, under the leadership of Captain Georgia Tredrea and coach Nicola Gertler, transform from the team that just enjoyed having fun and drinking like the undergrad university students they are to a team that has developed into a compact well-oiled unit of quidditchy goodness.
Created and captained by Scott Cody, The Blackburn Basilisks defined themselves as serious contenders for the Cup even before the season started with impressive lead-up performances against all teams, only falling short to the Melbourne Manticores in a number of close encounters.
Previous matches between the Muggles and Basilisks have seen mixed results result, however recent encounters have been of the highest quidditch standard. While the Basilisks prevailed easily over the Muggles in both the VQA Winter League and Mudbash 2013, their first clash in the Victoria Cup saw the Muggles pull off a 90*- 40 win, while they advanced to the Grand Final with an 180*-70 triumph in the Preliminary Final just weeks ago.
Both teams provide a diverse range of skill and tactical moves, but rely on largely different styles of play. Where the Basilisks’ skill relies on the physicality and height of their chasers, the Muggles place great pride in the role of their beaters. Led by Dean Rodhouse, arguably one of the best beaters in Victoria, the Muggles’ beaters are disciplined and accurate in their defensive formation. This is not to discount the Basilisks beaters though. Their form has improved in recent times, as shown by their displays in wins over the Melbourne Manticores in Round 12 (130-70*) then again in the semi-final (130* – 80). The Basilisk beaters were instrumental in those wins, ensuring a solid defense to go with their always impressive attack. However the semi-final was both beneficial and detrimental to the Basilisks’ squad. While their triumph earned them a well-deserved spot in the Grand Final, the squad suffered some heavy blows in the form of injury to beater Adrian Marshall as well as minor hits to other players.
The most obvious difference between the Muggles and Basilisks on game day is the size of their squads. Will the tightknit Muggles usual roster of 10 to 13 players be able to match the depth of the Basilisks’ 21 or will that staying power and the seemingly endless line of subs be able to tire out the Monash kids.
This could so very easily be a snitch catch decided nail bitter of a match. Snitch Sam Washington is no newbie to the art of dodging seekers and avoiding capture. The catch will rely on the skill, speed and smarts of the seekers, with Muggles Georgia Wallis and Nathan Morton and Basilisks Luke Teys and James Osmond all potential seeking heroes, so this is truly going to be one to watch.
Will the Muggles’ Shake n’ Bake be able to out-score, out-beat and out-chase their more aggressive opponents, or will the Blackburn Basilisks be able to power their way to victory?
The match will take place at 11am on Sunday June 1, at Fawkner Park in South Yarra.