Tag: Women’s A Team

SRD goes to Iceland!

Iceland – land of fire and ice, mountains and lakes, stuffed puffin and fermented shark – welcomes approximately 4 million tourists each year (it says on Wikipedia). Some of these no doubt come for the astounding scenery, the whale-watching or the always-enticing prospect of paying £8 for low % alcohol beer. Last week, however, an intrepid band of tourists from Suffolk came for a different reason. Couples on a romantic break, a family off for an Easter holiday jaunt, a “bunch of moms released for the weekend”: we arrived at Keflavik airport in our little groups with loins girded and ready to experience the land of fire, ice and roller derby…

Quite apart from our tourist excursions to see some of the most incredible geographic sights the Northern Hemisphere has to offer, we were all hugely excited (with a titchy amount of utterly normal pre-bout nerves and trepidation) on Saturday afternoon to get to Hertz Höllin in the small town of Seltjarnarnes, just outside Reykjavik, to take part in Iceland’s first ever roller derby tournament. Coming separately from our apartments, hotels and luxury youth hostels, Team SRD turned up at the sports hall just in time to watch the first game of the tournament: Iceland’s Ragnarök take on British challenge team, Team Unicorn Roller Derby (TURD). It was a well-matched game, with impressive skills shown on both sides resulting in a final score of 176-145. SRD now knew what we’d be up against and we found ourselves hoping that our opponents’ exertions would have tired them out to the point where it would make our game – with only 9 SRD players present – a bit less challenging!

No such luck, sadly. Ragnarök were massively strong competition from the first whistle. SRD jamming heroines Maltese Mayhem #0208 and Hell-Anor Rigby #20 were confronted with tough Icelandic walls and speedy blockers in the first few jams yet still broke through, earning leads and racking up points. Powerful and persistent offence was provided by the ever-offensive Asterisk #8 (she loves a bit of start-line offense). Effective waterfalling, strong hits and fast recycling from SRD blockers meant the Ragnarök jammers did not have an easy ride either. Our small, yet select, crew of blockers ranged from long-time SRD stalwarts, Captain Suffolk Punch #15 and fellow big-hitting blocking veteran Absinthe Minded #42, to rising star Karma Killer #247, making her A-team debut.

No matter the level of experience, though, we pulled together in awesomeness to contain some very nifty Icelandic jammers. Ultimately voted best blocker by the opposition, Bex Luther #91 was hard as nails on track, switching fearsomely between defense and offense, while Mom Squad (Kate Astrophic #81 and Hurricane Ali #13) did their thing with hard hits and booty blocking.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

Guess what, though? However strong and awesome a team may be, there’s only so much 9 players can do in the face of 14 badass Icelanders… we weren’t necessarily outplayed, but we were outnumbered and we got tired. But, you know, we had brilliant support from Bench Coach Floorless #404 and LUM Evil Quad-nevil #1973 and our (too injured to skate but not too injured to fetch water, thankfully) cheerleader Mortricia #516. We didn’t give up (although I considered it at one point; it was so hard!) and bravely fought to a totally – in the opinion of this not remotely impartial participant – respectable final score of 218-126, with Ragnarök thrilled by their second win of the day.

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

And then, after a short break for cake, we only went and did it again: SRD, with the addition of Ice Sickle #32 and Rad-ish #67 on loan from Ragnarök and SnakeBite #64 borrowed (stolen? We don’t care: we love her and we saw her first) from the opposition themselves played TURD. With numbers more evenly matched, and finding reserves of strength from somewhere, we took the win 221-206.

It was a fantastic day; always fun to play as a team together against excellent opponents and one of the highlights of a totally unforgettable trip.

Takk and Bless Bless.

(That’s “thanks: bye!”)

-Hurricane Ali #13

Photo courtesy of Richard Lafortune

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*You can see more photos from our game against Team Iceland here and here
*You can watch our game against Iceland in full, complete with Icelandic commentary, here!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

MVP Write-Up: SRD vs Norfolk Brawds, 24th March 2017

The Women’s A team had the pleasure of hosting the Norfolk Brawds in a closed door bout last Friday night. The last time we played against the Brawd’s A team was in Tier 4 British Champs (2015). They went on to win the tier for our region, and we went home with a laundry list of things to work on. So, what better way to give ourselves a proper challenge than to retest our strategy and skill against the next tier’s competition?

Since that last meeting, our Women’s A team has had many changes. With the addition of our Women’s B team, there have been many A/B team crossovers, many of whom I’ve only had the chance to skate with in practice or on challenge teams. For the first time in longer than I can remember, I had the chance to don my SRD scrim top as a SKATER and not a LUM! I was more than excited to take the track with the likes of Kate Astrophic, Huricane Ali, Asterisk and Hellatrix Deranged. In addition to skating with the up and comers, our roster also welcomed back Great Scott and Indi-Hannah Jones who have made the jump over to the SRD Men’s Champs team this year. On this night, our Bench would be manned by non-other than Peachy – a long time blocker, sometimes reluctant jammer of the men’s team. We looked forward to his leadership and direction as he has a solid understanding of the way the game is played and a gentle calm nature that is perfect for our lovely ladies.

Starting the night with the star on the first jam was the small-but-mighty Devilbird. Solidly the top jammer of the women’s team this year, she’s been putting in work both on and off the track in terms of fitness, and it shows, big time. She’s also encouraging the rest of the ladies to step up their fitness game through friendly competition with league-mates. Another strong skater with jamming skills, Indi-Hannah Jones, did her fair share of jamming. The time she has put in with the men’s team has paid off in her increase of strength on the track. Also… those hips! They’ve got moves. Trying her hand as a game time jammer, Hellatrix Deranged put up a good fight against our opponents. Though going up against strong walls and big hitters, she never gave up. I myself did a bit of jamming as well.

On the blocker front, our walls had their work cut out for them. When on defence, they were attempting to block the opposing jammers every move and when on offence, breaking through those walls proved to be challenging. The three walls were mostly lead by Suffolk Punch and Great Scott who had a supporting cast in Rough Love, Viva Las Vegan and Absinthe Minded.

All in all, this game highlighted to us that when on offence, we need to stick with the “remove, restrict or distract” technique that coach has been drilling into our heads. It will give our jammers the extra bit of space they need to make sweet moves happen through the pack. With some minor tweaking, our defensive walls will be unbreakable. While the game didn’t end in our favor, we had a lot of moments where everything clicked and we executed the strategy we’ve been working on over the last six or so months to a T. Being that the roster we played with was a mix of all levels, we showed great improvement overall and with continued practice, we’ll be the strongest SRD Women’s team that we can be.

It was a blast to be able to play with the ladies of SRD again and I look forward to ending my time in the UK on track with them.

– Malicious Wishes #11

 

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*Thank you to all the wondeful people at Norfolk Roller Derby who’ve come down to Suffolk to play us – we played the Black Shucks only a few weeks ago, and now we just need the East Anglo Smacksons and the Mustard City Rollers to make the trip, and we’ll have a full set 😉
*Fancy coming down for a friendly game? SRD are available for games on Thursday evenings in Bury St Edmunds, or Friday evenings in Ipswich. Get in touch via our Facebook page for more info!
*Our next public game is TOMORROW when our men’s team face Bristol Vice Quad in British Champs Men’s Tier 2 in London. Hope to see some of you there!

Later, sports fans 🙂
-Asterisk* #8

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

Coach’s Corner: 21st Jan 2017 double header

Proud is not a strong enough word to describe how I feel about Suffolk Roller Derby following last weekend’s set of bouts. From the organizing of the bout, the production team working behind the scenes and the skaters on the track, it was an all-out effort from the members of SRD and I’m honored to call myself your coach and teammate!

The Men’s team started their 2017 campaign with a tough game against the Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder’s Thugly Ducklings. This was a marked step up in competition for SRD as they prepare for national competition in British Champs. The blockers were able to slow down some of the best jammers in the country, and the jammers were able to breakout and score on a very tough cube wall defense. Super proud of our new addition, Jay Low, who has fit right in with the men’s team, and showed he was a true dual threat, taking on blocking and jamming duties! Also proud to know that no matter the competition, Great Scott and Indi-Hannah Jones will step up and make an impact. They are not honorary Men’s skaters – they are an integral part of the Men’s team!

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Terry

The game was close for the most part, but the Thugly Ducklings were able to pull away towards the end. But a couple of awesome moments that stand out. Floorless taking a leap of faith and apex jumping about 20 feet, it shocked the team, the crowd, and I think himself! We got to see a human being be flipped head over heels, courtesy of myself, and Guy Pie had an amazing game, flying all over the place and taking jammers out!

The women’s A team took to the track against a very competitive Roller Derby Leicester. But representing SRD this day was a very different team from the one that finished last season. The majority of the team had been pulled from the Blue Bees (Suffolk women’s B team) and were getting their first taste of Champs level competition, but by watching them play, you wouldn’t have guessed it. Lead by their captain, Suffolk Punch, and the always hard hitting Lady Lucifer, the Women’s team came out on fire against RDL, getting an early lead and stretching it out. Making her jamming and SRD debut was Mortricia, normally a double threat skater, she took on full time jamming duties and made an awesome impression on both her team and the competition! But leading the charge for the jammers was the strong and fast Devilbird. No matter what RDL threw at her, Devilbird was able to get lead and score points most every jam!

Having the lead for the majority of the game, the women’s A team suffered a couple of key losses during the bout. Kate Astrophic and Lady Lucifer both had injuries that required them to sit out and that opened the door for RDL to take the lead later on. But the team soldiered on, and everyone wearing blue stepped up and closed the gap to setup the most exciting 10 minutes witnessed in Inspire. Struggling with a lack of timeouts and skaters, the team had to make up over 25 points in 2 jams. Cue “Bring it home” Brenda, otherwise known as Maltese Mayhem. With a blocking squad of Pixie Guts, Rough Love, Asterisk, being led by Suffolk Punch, they were able to stonewall the opposing jammer and allow Maltese Mayhem to score 19 unanswered points. Now down by 6, the next jam found Devilbird lined up against RDL’s best jammer. Suffolk Punch was now flanked by Holly GoFightly, Hurricane Ali, and Viva Lass Vegan, and they needed to get Devilbird out, but limit the opposing jammers scoring opportunities. Both jammers were able to get out quickly, but earning lead was our Devilbird! The opposing jammer after one pass got stuck behind our amazing blockers, forcing a star pass to their pivot, limiting their ability to score points. Meanwhile Devilbird was able to make multiple passes racking up the points, but unknown at the time was whether the differential between the two jammers was enough to give SRD the win. She was forced to call off the jam, and following the final whistle, an official review, and the signing of the score sheet, we got our answer. SRD had scored 16 points to RDL’s 8, giving them a 2 point lead and the win!!!

All this excitement wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for the members of SRD stepping up in other areas besides the track. We had skaters selling baked goods, repairing the track, NSO’ing, Reffing, announcing, minding the door, so on and so forth! Leagues are not run on hopes and dreams, but by the members of their leagues stepping up where needed and selflessly volunteering their time to make roller derby happen!

If this first weekend was any indication of things to come, 2017 is going to be a bright year for SRD!

Who are we!?

-Tubesock Shakur #32

Photo courtesy of John Hesse

 

 

 

notes from the President…
*There was a write up of the day in the Ipswich Star
*SRD vs Thugly Ducklings game footage (apologies for a few missing jams towards the end – technical difficulties!)
*SRD vs RDL game footage
*RDL are running an officials bootcamp soon! Tell them we sent you 😉
*Our next home event is “Show Me What You Block”! Watch this space for skater tickets

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