Back on Track

Yesterday we (The Skateful Dead) hosted another of our co-ed, mixed scrims. The big difference (for me) was that this was my return to the track!

First off I want to thank everyone for turning up and making this possible. Skaters travelled from near and far to take part. We had four down from Scotland, via Newcastle and four over from Hull. Closer to home players from Oldham and Leeds. (I hope I’ve missed anyone!) Refs and NSOs too, thank you for giving your time.

I was terribly nervous about playing again. Despite an early night on Friday, sleep seemed to evade me. Talking to a few of the Hull’s Angels it seemed that I was not alone, they were nervous too. However, once I got on track I was fine. I think that being in familiar surroundings helped, it was just like a practice session! The first half passed very quickly, the second half I noticed with 12 minutes to go, then it was gone.

I was also very pleased with the spirit with which everyone played. I was on the white team. Eleven of us, with Iron Giant elected as the captain. When it came to bench management we just took it in turns, with no regard to the score. Perfect :-)

I got to jam three times. The first time I got stuck behind the wall – the wall being El Nasser. She is an amazing blocker! I didn’t even get into the wall. Good job El!

The second time the lesson that I learnt was how important the team can be. They clearing a path for me and I just ran for it and scored 10 points before calling the jam. (I was pleasantly surprised to find that I’d realised that the black jammer was coming round and that calling the jam was probably the right thing to do.)

The third time I got lucky as two of the black blockers got called on penalties, leaving just two on track. This made getting round easier and I got another 10.

The other worry that I had was that I wouldn’t be able to take hits. I did take hits and, as far as I can tell at the time of writing (25 minutes passed midnight) I don’t think that I’m injured :-) From memory, Kurt Copain got a good hit on me, Optimus Grime got two, which would have been three if El hadn’t knocked me out of the way first.

I hope that some of the blocking skills of Rigs and RIPunzel(?) have rubbed off on me. Really good situational awareness, reformation of the wall and recycling.

Penalties? I got called on a destruction of pack. Happy with that. I’m keen to avoid any of the “likely to cause injury” penalties, such as high block, back block etc. One penalty in a an hour is fine.

Skaters, for the record and in no particular order (corrections please):

White: Iron Giant, Pixel Vixen, Riggs, R.I.Punzel, Heineken, Blazing Inferno, Ned, Rollerphobia, Phil S Stein, Chris de Blur, sk8geek

Black: Block Teaser, Knuckleduster Nat, El Nasser, Tripping the Velvet, Killer Blow Armstrong, Bruise Dog, Whyte & MacDie, Kurt Copain, Optimus Grime, Buckingham Malice

I want to finish with a thank you to Iron Giant, Pixel Vixen, Knuckleduster Nat and Block Teaser for coming over from Hull. As readers may know, I have foisted myself upon Hulls Angels as a photographer. I have seen them play many times. Yesterday I got to skate with four of them. So much fun! Thank you Dames :-)

Right, still buzzing, so sleep seems improbable, but I suppose I should try :-)