So there we have it. It’s all over for us for another year playing in the fantastic British Roller Derby Championships 2016. What an amazing year and a fantastic and well organised weekend to end our champs journey. A weekend full of amazing Roller derby, oh my god what’s the floor going to be like? Just a little bit of rain 😉 Ice cream and early starts.
To say I was amazed and a little dumbstruck going into to the weekend would be a slight understatement. We got into the play offs this weekend after winning all 5 games in our tier, a tier we only marginally got into at the end of last year. Now we had the mighty task of taking on the strong ladies from Wirral. With Wirral ranked quite a bit higher than us we knew it was going to be a hard and physical game, but as our amazing Co Captain Leitzy Lawless said this was the “icing on the cake” and whatever happened we would, in true Belles form, go out and have fun, give it our best shot and fight to the very end.
And you know what that’s actually what we did. 😉
Well you have probably heard by now that we didn’t win – boo hiss – but you know what that’s ok. It was a good lose if that makes any sense at all. After playing a few years in the land of roller derby you have good losses and bad ones and this was definitely a good one.
Ok back to the day, our game kicked off pretty early, 9.30 to be precise or what I like to call “the middle of the night”. We hit the track a little nervous and really just trying to scope out the mighty Wirral ladies. From the first jam they were not only strong but also very tactical and skilled. We tried our hardest in the first half but we were overcome with the offence – like all the offence… like all of the time. The way they switched from defence to offence was amazingly quick. How do you even do that? Anyways, the whistle went on the first half and the score was 39-129 to Wirral. I really didn’t like those numbers, I’ll be honest.
After a very encouraging and strong pep talk from our co captains (always able to say the right thing at the right time) and after viscously biting the heads off of about 20 jelly babies (sorry, no idea whose they were ladies) we all went back on track and geared up for the second half.
From the start of the second half we went out more aggressively and with more focus. For me the combination of the pep talk, being with my Belles, our lovely Belles supporters and the jelly babies started to kick in. I saw some amazing hits from so many of the Belles and some great team work. The jammers were amazing pushing and juking and never giving up, it was hard out there. The next line up was spurred on with each jam, with less penalties this half we were on fire and we started to really get into the game. If we weren’t going to win this we were at least going to go out fighting and that became our goal – we were going to at least break 100 points. Quicker reforming and lots more communication gave us a final score of 105-199 to Wirral, not too shabby huh.
So it was sad we weren’t going to play the next day but you know what “that’s ok” as my lovely Vera Offtrack would say. We had Ice cream instead and a few of us had a well needed sports massage. I think we all agree though, the mighty Wirral deserved the win, they were amazing and lovely and that’s exactly how I want to play roller derby when I grow up. We learnt a few sneaky things from them which we will take forward in the future. It was a great honour to play them and to even make the finals.
To everyone involved in the champs, thank you for all your hard work, it was an amazing weekend and year and thanks for having us. From a skater who was in the right place at the right time when it all started in 2012, under the previous incarnation of The End of the World Series with only six teams, I have to pinch myself as only 4 short years later the now called British Championships has over 84 teams involved. The event’s taking over the world and I’m so excited to see how big it gets next year.
As always, it’s been a pleasure to skate with my lovely Belles. Here’s to 2017, ladies. Bring Jelly Babies!
Love your biggest fan, Day-Trip-Her 31 xx