Match of the Month

The Chudley Cannons vs. The Pride of Portree

By Anne


"Budge up, would ya?" You look up and find yourself gazing into a giant, shadowy bearded face. The man it is attached to is well over seven feet tall and when someone that size says 'budge up', well, you budge up! Though it does leave you uncomfortably close to a puddle of green sludge (that reminds you strongly of a potions experiment gone wrong) on the seat next to you. But giants and green sludge or not, you're too excited to worry about anything. You're at a professional league Quidditch match - The Chudley Cannons versus The Pride of Portree, to be exact. You'll be rooting for Portree, of course, the Cannons simply haven't got a chance. The boy on the other side of the giant doesn't seem to feel that way, though. He is wearing a vivid orange tee-shirt that clashes horribly with his fiery hair and says: "We Shall Conquer", but that has a big black X through it. Beneath it has been hand painted "Let's all just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best."

"So Harry," He was saying excitedly. "D'you reckon the Cannons have a chance?" Without giving the boy on his other side a chance to answer he rushed on. "I mean, I know Portree are pretty good, but that new Beater the Cannons have got - the Scottish bloke, Smitty- is supposed to be really good."

The other boy replies, "Well, Ron, I guess they might have a chance, after all, miracles do happen…"

He ducks as a chip goes flying through the air over his head.

"Ron!" admonishes a stern, female voice, from further down. Before you can lean over and see its owner however a shrill whistle blows and your attention is drawn back to the pitch where fifteen figures on broomsticks are shooting up quickly.

"They're off!" The commentator's voice booms over the noise of the crowd and you sit back to watch.

"Portree in possession, heading for the goal, and Blythe of Portree puts it past the Chudley Keeper, Davidson for the first goal of the game!" The red headed boy cursed loudly, "Portree back in do you possession, but a fancy bit of Bludger work from Chudley Beater Smitty makes Lorenson drop the Quaffle, which is then picked up by - Mamble of the Cannons. Whoops, that's a Bludger! And he drops the Quaffle which Blythe recovers and puts past Davidson once more, making the score twenty to zero!"

The Chudley fans in the crowd once again groan, but you give a cheer for Portree, earning you a dirty look from the red-headed boy.

"Butterbeer! Butterbeer!" A vendor calls as he comes down your aisle.

"Here!" You call, holding up one finger. You quickly put up the rest, though, to catch the bottle flying at your head

"Thanks!" You call, zooming a sickle back to him with your wand. You pop open the bottle and take a swig, glancing briefly at the label which displays Barny the Bat, mascot of the Ballycastle Bats When you finally turn back to the game the score board reads Portree: Fifty and Chudley: Zilch.

"Of course Meaghan McCormack is a very talented keeper, supremely gifted girl. Her mum, of course, who is Catriona McCormack was a member of the Portree team and a great asset - that's probably where she gets it-"

Suddenly though, Mamble, a Cannons' Chaser grabs the Quaffle on a fumble from Lorenson and shoots off towards Portree's goalposts.

"Well, I'll be-" What exactly the commentator will be you never find out because before he can say another word. Mamble has put the Quaffle past McCormack for Chudley's first goal!

You sit back in your seat in wonder - the day a Chudley Chaser beats Meaghan McCormack, you never thought you'd see it! The Chudley fans are going wild - apparently many of them never thought they'd see the day either. In fact, a chant is sweeping the crowd: "Fingers crossed! Fingers crossed!" In the next ten minutes Portree scores twice more, and the Cannon's Beater, Smitty, intercepts a third goal with a well placed Bludger.

"Morrigan of the Cannons in possession and heading for the goals, but wait - a Bludger is sent her way by Beater Trent, of yes, of her own side! She avoids it with lovely execution of the Sloth Grip Roll and continues towards the goal! It's well known that Trent's eyesight has been going for some time now. Seventy-six really is a bit old to be playing professional Quidditch, but the man just won't retire! Lucky for me, he's going deaf, too." There was loud laughter from both sides at this. "McCormack saves it and we continue play as the Portree Chasers set up in the Woollongong Shimmy. In an apparent desperate attempt to hold them off, Chudley Keeper Davidson is trying the rarely attempted (and almost never successful) Starfish and Stick maneuver! Of course, Blythe takes the Quaffle and flies clean over him, putting it through the hoop and making the score Portree - one hundred, Chudley - ten. Ah well, it was a good try."

The commentator and the crowd seemed to be softening up to the Cannons, rooting for them under their breath almost. You certainly were - they were obviously playing their hearts out up there.

Suddenly there were gasps and screams from the other side of the crowd. The Cannons' Seeker, Aaron York had gone into what seemed to be an out of control spiral into the stands on the other side. The Portree Seeker, Mitchell Bedford hovered back quite a few feet watching, not about to follow. He clearly thought that York had lost his mind and was on some sort of suicide dive, but then…

"UNBELIEVABLE!" The commentator roars. "He's got the Snitch!"

And sure enough, there was York, rising jubilantly above the stands and the panicked fans (one woman seemed to have fainted) with the little golden orb in his fist. And then all hell breaks loose.

All the Chudley players hurtle towards York and hit him with loud thuds. They cling to each other in midair screaming, cheering, yelling, and even crying. The Commentator kept shouting the results, ("Chudley - one-sixty, Portree, one hundred!") and babbling about how this was their first win in four seasons. The Chudley fans had gone berserk - the red haired boy leapt on top of the other boy and girl, in turn, and cuffed the giant on the shoulder. He was yelling himself hoarse. And before you know it you're cheering, too, because how could you not? They kept their fingers crossed and hoped for the best, and the best was what they had delivered.