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Firecrackers vs Cherry Bombers – A Rookie Roller Derby Opener

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So Saturday just gone I was headed off to Chelmsford to take part in my second ever public Roller Derby game.

Unlike my first I’d been a vision of unconcerned calm all week. Maybe it was the fact that I had a few more scrims under my belt, or maybe it was the fact that it wasn’t a home crowd so I wouldn’t know many people, but I barely thought about it much at all, and apart from the odd shiver of apprehension the night before when I was attempting to find all my kit, the biggest worry I had was that I would get stuck in traffic on the trip there and miss it altogether.

The bout was organised by Killa Hurtz Roller Girls, and while my first game included a whole 10 of my fellow Norfolk Brawds on the roster, this game featured just 3 of us. Gem Warfare (me!) Becka Blocker Gorey and Jenny Wreck. Both Jenny and Becka were on their 3rd game, where as I was on my second.

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All 3 of us were playing in black as team Firecracker, and from what I hear it was a pretty awesome game to watch. Although I tried not to look at the score board too often, as it makes me anxious, I hear the lead flipped back and forth between the 2 teams multiple times throughout the game, with 2 pretty evenly matched teams.

In the end the Firecrackers lost by 3 points, but 5 points were scored by the Cherry Bombers in the last jam, it was that close!

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So, how do I think I did? Well I waver wildly between thinking I did ok, and thinking I played appallingly, but I played my best, and that’s all I can do. I did manage to pick up a ridiculous 5 penalties, I am a bad Roller Derby girl. A track cut early on was for the slightest bump of wheels out of bounds across the rope, and I think was possibly a little harsh as I was far from the action and gained no advantage from it. I got a multi-player block that I don’t even remember, a low block, which was when I think I chased someone down to hit them and fell and hit their legs. My last 2 penalties I’m a little grumpy about if I’m honest. I was pivot and got passed the star. While jamming I got knocked off the track and called on a track cut. There’s video, and I still can’t see a track cut. Maybe a wheel went off a while before I got hit off, but I thought I was being pretty careful up to the hit, but all I can do is trust the refs, they’re much more aware of what’s going on than I am! When I went back on after that penalty I passed the star to the current pivot, but forgot I was wearing the pivot panty underneath. A ref asked me to remove the panty, which I did, but he did it whilst there was a no pack situation, which I didn’t hear, and I then got called on a failure to reform, leading to a very grumpy 5th penalty.

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Of course, having shared all the boring details of the penalties I THINK I got, the inside whiteboard actually shows a track cut, multi player block, low block, a clockwise block, and another track cut, so there’s a penalty I don’t remember getting, and my last one missing completely, so who knows!

Whether I played well or not, I absolutely loved it, and considering what a highly strung and anxious person I am when being tested and how worked up I get during minimum skills, I seem to be mostly eerily calm on the bench during games. My adrenalin gets a little high to start with, but then, well I just go on and do my thing as best as I can. It seems too good to be true, but long may it continue!

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So, nearly 18 months into my Roller Derby career, and 2 public games down. Next year I’m looking forward to being part of a Norfolk Brawds B Team and being able to play some competitive games representing the team. At the start of this year one of my goals for the year was to have passed my minimum skills, and to have taken part in my first bout, so to finish the year with 2 under my belt is pretty amazing. It’s been a year with a lot of challenges in it, and not everything has gone according to plan, but at least I feel I’ve achieved something and feel properly part of a sport I absolutely love.

The Firecrackers and the Cherry Bombers post bout.

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