Our B and C team traveled over to Croydon for an action packed Double Header. See what Peppy Nephrine, one of the C Team co-captains, and Bone Collector, C team and B team Alt blocker have to say on their time on track against Croydon Roller Derby.
Fresh off a victory against the Rainy City Bet Lynch Mob C team, the C-lions were keen to use the game against Croydon Roller Derby Vice Squad B Team to triangulate our relative position, helped by the fact that the BLM and the Vice Squad had recently faced off against one another too. This was the second time for the C-lions to travel to the UK, and my first game as C-lion captain. Our defensive game had served us well at Rainy, and we started off with the mantra that had served us well then – “Same again? Same again!”
Croydon, however, played a killer offensive game and consistently scored lead jammer quickly off the line. We started switching it up from jam to jam to prevent being pinned in on the back line, or pushed out of play by persistent jammers at the front. We began giving our jammers help off the line and that, combined with our jammers’ persistence and fire, secured lead jammer for us a few times. By the end of the first half scores were neck and neck and we were confident we could build the momentum into the second half despite a substantial rack of penalties.
The second half was hard work as the leading team switched from jam to jam. Croydon continued with a physical game, heavy on goating and other forms of offense that would enrage skaters without the calm demeanour of the C-lions! For one reason or another the C-lions were far more penalty-heavy than I ever remember and Croydon drew out ahead, eventually winning 247 to our 201.
The C-lions fought hard and drew on a lot of strategic creativity, endurance, persistence and some stellar jamming. To me, the C-lions won the mental game. By the end of the last jam, we had lost a few skaters from our eleven-person squad. Everyone rose to the challenge, with our line-up manager Ketch doing an excellent job at keeping everything ticking over. My team-mates were ready to block three jams in a row if necessary, jam with a minimal break, and step into a jammer role when needed. Everyone worked as a single unit, so much so that I think we might be starting to communicate telepathically. Maybe that’s what we’ll have in store for the Firebirds in a few weeks!
Planes, Trains, and Roller Skates. It must be an away game…
The morning of Nov 5th, it’s roughly 6am and DRD C & DRD B are at the airport. Nervous, excited and half-awake, we slowly find each other. Ryanair: what a treat you were that morning. The main flight attendant, you would’ve thought it was a standup comedy event. To be fair his jokes were pretty bad, but I think he helped settle some of the nerves and added to the excitement. He even changed the light setting on our flight to the DRD colours just for us!
Off the plane and onto a train, we made our way to Haywards Heath. There, we separated for team brunches. I don’t know about B-Team, but the C-Team felt a little underdressed for the restaurant. Unbeknown to us when making reservations was how fancy this place was. Regardless though, food was delightful and service spectacular. Bellies full of good energizing grub and nerves high we made our way to suss out the hall and the competition. Let’s play some derby.
C-Lion’s ROAR!! Game 1 is on. DRD C take on CRD B Vice Squad. We went out there short players and we ended even shorter. We may have lost this game, but we made sure they had to work for that win, by staying positive throughout on the bench and on track, even with some questionable calls. We even managed a few lead changes throughout the first half, just to give them a scare. Half time ended with CRD in the lead at 121-119. Unfortunately they kept that lead to the bitter end of the second half with 247-201. Regardless of score though, I am so proud of my team and how we played. We definitely want to invite CRD B over for a rematch on the home turf.
B1!! Game 2, DRD B take on CRD A Riot Squad. While Dodge and I stayed on track, the rest of the C-team geared down and definitely out-cheered the CRD fans. First half was a bit rocky, finishing half time with CRD A in the lead with 116-57. Half time we chatted, we calmed down, something clicked and we came back with a vengeance. Our walls were together, our jammers on fire, and we caught up. DRD B owned that second half adding 104 points to our score. CRD A managed to hold the lead till the end, but it was a close call with 168-161. Again, I believe DRD B are ready for a rematch on the home front.