The Bout Race - Saturday 22nd March 2014

Wild Honey - Norfolk Brawds

Saturday 22nd March was a different kind of day for me. Not because I was going to a bout, but because I was going to a bout and not NSOing. I try and NSO as many bouts as I can, purely because I love it, but they didn't need any for this one, so I decided I would go and cheer instead. It was a very odd experience wearing a team shirt and it took me a while to get my derby voice out as I was so used to supressing my excitement!
Me and my mum (Mama Honey) had got the train to Cambridge to go to The Bout Race, part of the North East division of the Heartlands Series, dressed in our finest leopard print to cheer on Cambridge Rollerbillies.

The first bout saw Wolverhampton Honour Rollers play Rebellion Roller Derby. I had never seen Wolverhampton play before and they were new to Heartlands, but I had seen Rebellion play numerous times and knew they would be fierce opponents. Unfortunately, I may have jinxed it, as in the first jam the Rebellion jammer was sent off, giving Wolverhampton a head start with a power jam, leading them to rack up 25 points. The next few jams saw Wolverhampton keep the lead as the box became full with Rebels while the Wolves played pretty cleanly. However, one slip up from the Wolves jammer gave Rebellion the power jam they needed allowing Inky Minx to create a lead change of 48-47. The rest of the first half consisted of a couple of power jams for both, however the blockers from each team were doing a stellar job and kept the scores consistently close, making the score at half-time, 90 - 80 to Wolverhampton.

Again, the first jam of the second half saw a power jam, this time to Rebellion, seeing the scores become tied at 90 - 90. A little later on, a double power jam, thanks to an ever frustrating illegal re-entry saw Wolves steam ahead leaving the score 115 - 95. An unusually long jam, during which we were screaming at the Wolves' jammer to call it off, allowed Rebellion to creep up and the score became 120 - 104. The walls started becoming stronger and tactics with secret hand signals were used creating such a close, on the edge of your seat game, which began to get a little messy near the end. We saw a Rebellion skater, Ayan Nee, fouling out, and the box soon became full of Wolves. The win seemed to be completely in the hands of the Wolves at 181 - 137, but a power jam to Rebellion saw Inky Minx cutting through walls like they were made of paper, and it almost seemed like she was going to take the lead! Unfortunately, she didn't quite make it and the final whistle saw the score, 196 - 184 to Wolverhampton.

An absolutely fantastic game, especially for the newbies Wolverhampton (who's fans insist on wolf cries, which I love!). If I was going to give awards, my Best Jammers would be Inky Minx from Rebellion and Caztastrophie from Wolverhampton. My Best Blockers would be Catface Killher from Rebellion and Opress-Her from Wolverhampton.

The next bout saw aged old rivals Oxford Roller Derby and Cambridge (Cambridge Rollerbillies) battle it out once again, but in something a little more exciting than a boat race! The first jam mirrored the first bout, giving Oxford a power jam from the get go, although Cambridge's walls were formidable and Oxford only managed to score 5 points. Cambridge's jammer Hermaphrodite ran circles around the pack and soon their score was picking up. Even though Oxford got yet another power jam, they just couldn't quite catch up, and the score was still in Cambridge's favour, 50 - 31. The one thing I noticed about Oxford was, although they were also new kids on the block and they were having a hard time getting through Cambridge's walls, their jammer's weren't half quick! You thought Cambridge had got through the pack scott-free but, before you knew it, there was Oxford, right on their tail! After a few more jams, Oxford seemed to sink into it and gave it their all, creating many a lead change, that if you were playing the Derby drinking game, you would have been in trouble. At half time, the score was 66 - 68 to Oxford.

My notes are a little lacking now as I was far too absorbed in the game and committed to showing Cambridge some love. The second half was a constant flurry of power jams and lead changes. The walls got stronger, the hits got harder, the jammers got quicker, but the penalties were more frequent. However, Cambridge were just the stronger players, and the game ended with the score 211 - 132 to Cambridge. My awards would to go Best Jammer, Hermaphrodite from Cambridge Rollerbillies and French Revolution from Oxford Roller Derby. Best Blocker would go to Bare Thrills from Cambridge and BA Douglas from Oxford.

The rest of the Heartlands Series is going to be amazing and there's bound to be a bout near you, so make sure you get down to one! The next is a South West bout on the 30th March hosting a double header with Basingstoke Bullets vs. Plymouth City Roller Girls and Dorset Roller Girls vs. Severn Roller Torrent.

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DOB: 5/18/1991
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Knockturn Ali

Sounds like such an exciting day, wish I was there!

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