Saturday morning saw us up bright and early, heading on a cozy coach to our first game in the UK’s first ever British Championships roller derby tournament. Our A team, the Sisters of Mersey, were set to debut in our first ever sanctioned UKRDA bout against Halifax Bruising Banditas. One of the reasons the day was so exciting is that we were experiencing a lot of new things – the UKRDA membership, the first time we’ve participated in this type of tournament style season, new uniforms from Taut Clothing – we were a bit overwhelmed and excited!
British Champs had us ranked a bit lower than our opponents and we were not favoured to win. There’s nothing we like more than being the underdogs, though, so we trained very hard during our off-season and our A team had been living, breathing and eating their strategy for the last few months. We were determined to take it one jam at a time, and to focus on each play.
On the first whistle, we could tell how tough this fight was going to be. Halifax came out and took a strong lead in the first few jams of the match. It wasn’t long before we started to whittle away at the scoreline, though. One jam at a time, just like we planned and prepared for. By half time, Sisters of Mersey held the lead at 146 to the Banditas’ 86. We had to work hard to concentrate on keeping that momentum, rather than the fact that one of our favourite people and an instrumental part of the team, Basha Bloodaxe, had been injured.
The second half of the bout was about protecting and extending the lead. Despite the Banditas’ tenacity and VERY strong hits and walls, the Sisters were able to extend the lead and the final score of the bout was 259 SoM – 131 HBB. This was not only a big win for us, but also a significant jump in the Flat Track rankings from 82nd to 60th place!
Halifax were amazing hosts and it was an absolute joy to play against them! Thank you for being so gracious and making the day extraordinary.
It was a very emotional day for us and we had to celebrate the incredible high of the win, while acknowledging the lows; injury for Basha and also sad goodbyes to two of our stalwart A-team skaters: Yolanda B. Cruel and Robinson. We can’t measure the amount of awesome these two have contributed to our team in their time here, and we cannot measure our sadness to lose them, either. On to new things, but always Birds at heart!
We love you, ladies!
Wish we could tell you more about the second game, featuring the Furness Firecrackers and Sheffield Steel Roller Girls. We definitely watched it and did all of the cheers, but we MAY have started the after party a little bit early. 😉