University of Sydney Unspeakables claim 2018 Midwinter Cup
By Cameron Caccamo, QA Media Director
The University of Sydney Unspeakables have won their second tournament in as many weeks yesterday, claiming victory in Newcastle’s Midwinter Cup following their win last week at Melbourne Mudbash. In the final, they were able to overcome local rivals and defending Midwinter champions, Sydney City Serpents, in a 100*-80 thriller.
In a see-sawing game which saw neither side go ahead by more than two goals, Alex Cunningham again starred for USyd, catching snitch Jono O’Brien to give the Unspeakables their second piece of silverware for the year. Max Brenner and Brandon Frison did most of the damage on the scoreboard, with a desperate Serpents defence unable stop their drives.
The beating game was superb from both teams, with the Unspeakables able to maintain bludger control for most of the match. Harry Jones was pivotal in his return to the red and gold; helping lead the Unspeakables with bludger in hand and claiming the Tournament’s Most Valued Player award in the process.
While neither team was at full strength, the Serpents were bolstered by several players from other teams. Star Dropbear beater Nathan Morton joined the Victorian Leadbeater beater Nicola Gertler and ANU chaser Portia Ashton in temporarily donning the silver and purple, and helped plug the gaps left from several key Serpents missing.
For USyd, the return of Matthew Mew-Sum for a single tournament was quite the boon, playing well despite more than six months away from Quidditch.
In two years of playing the Midwinter Cup, the Serpents had not lost a game; in fact, they had won every other game out of snitch range. They were able to beat the Unspeakables in round robin play 110*-20 in one of the first games of the tournament this year. However, USyd were able to find another gear just in time for the final.
Both teams came into the final off big wins in their respective semi-finals. USyd bested host club Newcastle Fireballs 140*-30, while the Serpents saw off the UNSW Snapes on a Plane 120*-30. With no third-place play off, Newcastle and UNSW shared third place for the tournament.
This win continues a remarkable run for the Unspeakables. They are currently sit undefeated on their state league (NQL) ladder, and won the Melbourne Mudbash tournament last week against a mercenary team mostly made from Serpent players.
USyd will be looking to continue this form as NQL play resumes with friendly games this weekend, before ranked games resume later in August. They will face the Serpents again most likely in September in what is sure to be another fiery clash.
Photo credit: Taylor Angelo, University of Sydney Quidditch Club.