Runaway Bay sees runaway Australian College champions
Over the last three days, in a far quieter venue than Rock Hill, South Carolina, Australia has hosted its National College championships at Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre. Just two weeks before the final examinations period, dedicated student-athletes from the east coast of Australia all took time out to battle for gold. Three teams managed to balance study-work-Quidditch life to attend: University Sunshine Coast (USC) Dementors [first tournament], University Western Sydney (UWS) Thestrals, and Australian National Nargles (ANU). The championship was run in conjunction with Australian University Sports UniBATTLE event for new and alternate sports.
The tournament centered around match-play and was decided in a play-off match between the top two teams. At the end of Day 1, after two rounds of matches against both opponents, UWS remained undefeated and the clear favorites to take out the tournament. ANU lost every match but remained in Snitch range for large portions of play. USC continued to improve as they became more familiar with tournament rules.
On the second day UWS continued with their undefeated streak of eight matches but took a heavy toll on injuries. With the threat of being eliminated from the play-offs on Day 2, ANU managed to win with a Snitch grab in the first and a draw in the second match against USC.
Rain began to fall early on the final day, but you can’t cancel Quidditch. The match between USC and ANU decided who would play against UWS for gold. Both teams played with defense in mind, content to fight for victory with a Snitch grab, and it was the newcomers – USC – who managed to take the win 80-90* and book their place in a final, and sixth, rematch with UWS.
Australia’s greatest Snitch, Damien Osborne, pushed the final group match to an impressive 35 minutes. With a background in mixed martial arts and also a member of the Australian National team, he was unfortunately caught early in the live-streamed Gold Medal match. USC played solely to remain in Snitch range after the impressive Quaffle play by UWS saw them run ten matches undefeated but also take to the final match with only eight players available. The distinct lack of point Bludger play cost UCS many opportunities to score, though. UWS was out of Snitch range before the Seekers were involved. When the Snitch was released the Chasers, Beaters, and Keeper for USC pushed higher to try to pull back into Snitch range, leaving themselves open to the counter-attacks, which eventually sealed the match as UWS led 60-0 before a suicide Snitch-grab to end the match 60-30*.
You can watch the full Gold Medal match below:
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