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Lauren Hartleys was the girl everyone was talking about after this match; she scored seven goals in the last half an hour of the game, wowing everyone watching with her incredible speed, dodging and finesse on the pitch. She was substituted on in the 134th minute to replace Iowa Chaser Austin Cole, who suffered a nasty collision with a bludger, which led to him falling off his broom. The rest of the Iowa team seemed shaken at the injury of one of their best players, however Hartleys put that behind her and did what she went out there to do - score some goals. And score some goals she certainly did. Speaking to us after the game, she told us;
"I had an awesome game out there tonight. As a new player, I don't get to play very often, but I've been working my absolute hardest in training and was determined to prove myself out there tonight. I'm very proud of my performance and I hope it will earn me some more game time in the future. And I give all my love to Austin and wish him a very safe recovery."
North Carolina certainly put up a fight, however, and they were winning by 4 goals before Hartley came onto the pitch. Chaser trio Kat Hawkes, Lewis Kidd and Conner Evans played an excellent game - they all knew where they needed to be and executed their set-plays flawlessly, leading to some absolutley spectacular goals that Iowa Keeper Ethan Fleming had no change at keeping out. And the crowd certainly had fun cheering at Evans's new celebration which involved a lot of upside down flying and mid-air loop the loops! The North Carolina Beaters also played a stunning game, hitting those bludgers everywhere and making it a nightmare for the Iowa Chasers to see where they were going.
The Iowa side also had some great play for players other than Hartleys - Cole scored some excellent goals before falling off his broom, as did the other two Iowa chasers Blake Cameron and Mollie Watson. The Beaters were a bit on and off, making some excellent hits every so often, but also missing some great opportunities that left the crowd groaning. Keeper Destiny Moren also played outstandingly, making some impressive saves that many people thought were un-saveable.
We didn't see much of either teams' Seekers, though through the omnioculars they seemed to be having a little battle between themselves up in the clouds, only really shooting down into the main game space for Iowa Seeker Harrison Whinney to catch the snitch, winning the game 240-60 for Iowa.
We spoke to North Carolina Captain Kat Hawkes to get her opinion of the game;
"We really tried hard out there - I could see it in everyone's faces that we really wanted to win. And we would have, had it not been for the unbelievable talent and skill of young Lauren Hartleys from the Iowa side - she played an absolute cracker of a game, and she deserved to come away with a win. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her in the future, so we'll be keeping our eyes out - a great game for her; well done Lauren!"