Today it feels as though the roller derby season is starting in earnest; I send this post from the train on my way over to Hull via Leeds. HARD B are playing York Mixsters in a closed game.
Last Saturday I was in Halifax with the Bruising Banditas covering their game against Liverpool Roller Birds and Sheffield Steel Rollergirls against Furness Firecrackers. These games were among the first to be played as part of the newly formed British Championship. This is the largest interleague tournament in Europe consisting of both women’s and men’s teams. I’m quite pleased to be involved as a photographer and pleased that the organisers don’t seem to have imposed any restrictions on us.
Bruising Banditas vs Liverpool Roller Birds
I’ve seen the Banditas play many times, they are a strong team, but I knew nothing of Liverpool. The first few jams saw the Banditas take the lead and it seemed like a familiar pattern. Then in the seventh jam the Birds came back and drew level, scoring over twenty points in a single jam. From then on the game changed and Liverpool showed themselves to be the stronger team. They took the lead and once that lead was comfortable they were able to push it. The Liverpool walls were effective, wearing out the Banditas jammers. By the second half Faye Tality, traditionally a blocker, was being played as a jammer. The game was played in good spirits and I don’t think penalties were an issue. Liverpool Roller Birds won 259 to 131.
Sheffield Steel vs Furness Firecrackers
This game was only ever going to end in a win for the Firecrackers. They took the lead from the start and extended it throughout the game. I found the game quite difficult to photograph. The packs seemed to stay quite close to one another and so the referees were in front of me. I managed though and continue to spend my free evenings working through the resulting photos. I didn’t realise, though I spoke about it with two people on the day, that this was Sheffield’s A team. I think I’ve only seen the Crucibelles play in the past. I did recognise She-RARR (obviously) and Toulouse Le Threat though. Again, played in really good spirits. Toulouse’s “we are not worthy” worship of Weeble was funny, though I felt that she was a little embarrassed by it. Just one foul out that I’m aware of, one of the Firecrackers. Final score 270 to 54 to Furness.
There were nine of us on track (plus coach and referee). We were pleased to be joined by Miffy Mayhem from the Banditas (they don’t train on the day following games). Miffy was keen to get back on track, annoyed by the loss on Saturday. I spoke to her after the gameon Saturday. They’d been practising three walls but she felt that their flat walls were then not as effective as they needed to be. Richie also joined us again – that’s three weeks in a row.
The drills were good, though I felt it look me a little longer than it should have to get my derby head on and block effectively. We try to scrim every week, an important part of the session, though obviously with small numbers on each side. This is fine though, it was another good session with all working well throughout.
Monday was the monthly “wheels on feet” event at The Works in Leeds. Good to see some familiar faces. I can’t stay I pushed myself, I hardly fell, didn’t drop in and didn’t grind anything. Soon I hope. I did chat to a few people and hopefully made steps towards setting up a game with one of the local teams fairly soon. A big thank you to Ashleigh for continuing to arrange this event. It’s well attended and improves skate skills – I always encourage Skateful Dead to come along.