It is September 27th 2014, Croydon Roller Derby’s Vice Squad (B Team) has travelled down to Portsmouth to take on the Roller Wenches’ B Team on their home turf.
This is first game Vice has played since their win of epic proportions at Eastbourne Extreme in July 2014 and the pressure is on to continue the seemingly unstoppable victory streak.
However let us not forget that the team have endured many changes over the Summer. Long term injuries, skaters relocating, skaters moving to Riot Squad, new transfers and rookies joining the ranks have almost re-defined this powerhouse B team.
But what about Portsmouth Roller Wenches B team?
A relatively new team with only 2 previous bouts under their belts and some fresh faces on track for the first time today. Both previous games have resulted in wins, and of course they also train alongside PRW A team who have proved worthy opponents on several occasions against CRD’s Riot Squad.
We really aren’t sure what the scoreboard will say when the final whistle is blown.
Witness the Fitness blares as Vice steps onto the track for their skate out, bench manager Herbilicous has his fancy jacket and shiny shoes on and fellow CRD supporters are sitting comfortably trackside.
The first whistle blows.
Cardinal Sim is the first jammer on track for Vice Squad versus Malibash for PRW B who takes lead. PRW B goes on to take lead in the second jam with Helen but the defensive walls on both sides are holding strong.
PRW B have made a strong start, the scores being 12-34 in favour of our South Coast challengers. BUT Vice make a hard hitting comeback with Blazing Nympherno gracefully forcing PRW B to call it off and Dot Cottonmouth racks up the points in the first in a few power jams to Vice. The score is now 48 – 30 to Vice.
PRW B bring it back to Vice Malibash taking the lead over Sugar Hits and Raven clearing the apex for 4 beautiful points. Score is 58 – 54 to Vice and the air is beginning to feel ever so slightly tenser in the sweaty sports hall.
Next thing we know it’s a lead change, 63-58 to PRW B. Both teams continue to battle it out for the remainder of the second half and after two brilliant power jams by Sugar Hits and Dot Cottonmouth, Vice finishes just ahead at 84-83.
Back on track for the second half, Cardinal Sim is sent to the penalty box as Helen takes a power jam for PRW B. LEAD CHANGES start happening, 94 – 96 to PRW B, 109 – 96 to Vice Squad maintained for a short while with a power jam from V and a magnificent Brenda from Painelope. A power jam to Berry for PRW B after an official review and Hayley taking lead jammer in her first jam for PRW B brings the scores up to 135 – 113 to Vice Squad.
With ONLY 8 MINUTES to go there are more points and another lead change, 144-148 to PRW B.
Thankfully following a power jam start for Sugar Hits, Vice Squad almost catches up, the scores being 160 – 164.
Vice’s Herbilicious calls a team timeout with only 17 seconds on the period clock, the crowd cannot cope. Nail-bitingly close is an understatement, Riot Squad’s Fackelman has literally bitten the nails off one of her hands.
The last few minutes of the bout become extremely complicated. There are official reviews, jammer penalties, score revisions and a high level of emotions both on and off track.
Until almost the very last minute it is not quite clear whether PRW B or Vice Squad have taken the win but the final score is eventually and finally finalised at 164-165 to Vice Squad!
The after party was pretty tame but there was birthday cake and beer which is always a good mix. The Vice Squad awards were as follows:
Best Blocker: Lady Painelope
Best Jammer: Chunder Woman
MVP: Cardinal Sim
Dot Cottonmouth and Herbilicious also win beauty awards as you can see in the photo below:
CRD would like to take this opportunity to thank PRW for hosting because whatever the final score was clearly both teams fought incredibly hard.
The 1 point score differential has done awesome things for PRW B’s Flat Track Stats rankings, taking them to a more appropriate place for the level of their gameplay from 218th to 177th.
On the other hand this has also been an excellent learning experience for Vice Squad.
Effectively being a new team, taking on the daunting task of much success and very high standards of training is not an easy feat. This game has proved Vice may have to work even harder for every single point but any and all future wins will be epic and well deserved
Bout photo credits: Phil Tickner