Tag: British Champs

Captain’s Blog: Women’s Champs vs Lincolnshire Bombers, 18th Feb 2017

It was a slightly grey but promising morning that we set out to Newark for the first game on our Women’s Tier 4 East British Championships calendar.

This will be the third year we have competed in the tournament, coming third in our group in both 2015 and 2016. As the organising for this year began I knew we would again have a very different mix of teams to face in competition this season. I also knew that we would have a different mix of our own skaters competing this year, with a lot of new faces added to our charter, this first game was always going to be an interesting test.

We arrived at the showground, and as soon as the track was ready I set out to test the floor. I’m always quite focused on game day morning, and not happy until I’ve skated a few laps, to assess any potential wheel changes and reassure the rest of my teammates about the skating surface. All was good, so we prepared to warm up and face the opposition!

photo courtesy of Peter Worth

As soon as the game started, we knew that the Bombers were a totally different team to who we played (and won against 136-132) last year. The last time we played in June was one of the most nail-biting games I have ever skated in, and was won on the final scoring pass of the final jam. It was clear that Lincolnshire had not taken that very close loss lightly last year and had been working hard and certainly looked hungry for the win on their home turf. They seemed to have got bigger, stronger and more together and our offensive strategy definitely had its work cut out. The first half saw some strong consistent jamming from established A-teamers Devilbird and Miss Behave and some great potential on show from Hell-anor Rigby and Mortricia, but those Lincolnshire walls were tough! Some excellently timed offence from Holly GoFightly and Hellatrix Deranged created a few holes, but at halftime the score stood at 154-78.

photo courtesy of Holly Bolus

The break gave us an opportunity to re-group, adapt our strategy and learn from the first 30mins. We came out into the second half strong, with the addition of Maltese Mayhem, another of our A-Team veterans to the jammer rotation. Some great defensive blocking by Hurricane Ali and Pixie Guts helped slow down the opposition jammer. However the overall strength of both the Bombers’ walls and jammers could not be contained. Despite a final rush of points for Suffolk resulting from a few power jams, we could not close the points gaps and the Bombers took the win.

Results

TeamFinal ScoreOutcome
LBRG255Win
SRD175Loss

Overall I am immensely proud of our performance and the skaters and supporters who have helped us get to this point. There were a lot of nerves the morning of the game, but every skater brought their all to the track when the whistles blew. Roller Derby is an ever evolving game, and the flip of the scorelines from the same match up just a few months ago proves that. This is why I love the sport, the constant drive to tweak and adapt skills and strategy, brains and brawn that go hand in hand to make a successful team. We live for the challenge and the team and I are chomping at the bit for our next game – bring it on!

– Suffolk Punch – Women’s A Team Captain

photo courtesy of John Hesse

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*You can find more photos from the day here and here
*As always, a massive THANK YOU to everyone who came to Newark to support – in the form of reffing, NSOing, selling merch, updating social media, and the all important CHEER SQUAD!
*Our next Women’s Champs game is coming up on the 11th of March – we’ll be in Swindon facing up against Oxford Wheels of Gory!

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8

Captain’s Blog: Men’s Champs vs. Wirral Pack Animals, 4th Feb 2017

Captain’s log… February 2017 a new final frontier…

We are stranded somewhere in the derbyverse with little to no hope of rescue. I and a large number of the crew have decided to give up and eat what cheese remains in the ships supplies.

So here we are, a little over a week after our first competitive game of the season in a new higher tier. What a weekend… we skated hard and partied even harder. The support from the girls who came up to cheer us on was fantastic and I definitely spent this week feeling warm and fuzzy from the SRD love. So to all the people cheering at the bout and at home watching the feed from Asterisk’s phone, thank you!

Results

TeamFinal ScoreOutcome
SUFM188Loss
WPA210Win

For me there are mixed emotions after our first defeat in a competitive game. Wirral Pack Animals put us all through our paces (especially the jammers) and came out on top albeit by a fairly small points margin. I really don’t like to lose! The first few days after the bout I wasn’t happy with our performance, a lot of people were surprised we managed to go toe to toe with a veteran tier 2 side, but I know we could have played better, especially myself.

However after some days of deep thought, I actually feel very positive about the result, and more importantly the team going forward. We have seen where we were short and what is and isn’t working with our new setup and style of play. Everyone stepped up when the time came and we could have easily walked away from Blackpool with our first win, which says a lot!

Last year we used our 3-and-1 strategy to great effect, and perhaps sometimes it worked so well that it papered over the cracks in terms of ability and skill. This was the first bout I have skated in where the opponents were more or less using the exact same strategy. Teams at this level are wise to our tricks, so we have to learn newer, better tricks and different skills if we want to play on this stage! I’ve watched the game a lot and we have the skaters, and ability, one of the things that will define our season is effort put in before bout day.

photo courtesy of Gemma Thompson

This bout brought along with it another first for SRD. It was the first time we have had to bench skaters. Ultimately this came down to attendance, but with Peachy coming back into the fold for the next bout and other promising skaters coming through, unfortunately there is going to be more times where we have to tell multiple people that they didn’t make the bout day team! It’s not a fun thing for me and coach to do, but it’s a decision that has to be made… so, all the boys (and girls) need to show up to training and train as hard as possible!

It’s going to be a long and tough season with lots of derby to play. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we are still only into the second year of actually having a bouting men’s team. We have come along way in such a short period of time and I definitely feel we have more to prove! Now I’m looking forward to upping the intensity at training and trying out new things before our next bout which we will be hoping to win!

– Guy Pie #69

photo courtesy of Steve Layfield

 

 

notes from the President…
*You can find more photos from the day here, here and here
*Our next Men’s Champs game is against Mild Discomfort on the 1st of April – more details to follow soon!
*Our first Women’s Champs game is coming up on the 18th of February – we’ll be in Newark facing up against the Lincolnshire Bombers! There’s a roller disco afterwards, so bring your skates
*header image is courtesy of Peter Harris

See you soon, sports fans!
-Asterisk* #8