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British Champs Round 5 - Report

HBB 82 - 252 SSRG

Saturday 20th saw the Bandtias travel down to Sheffield to play in the 5th round of the British Championship. We faced a full strength Sheffield team with a full roster in possibly the warmest sport hall in the country! And the heat definitely took its toll on the bout, towards the end of the game the falls were getting bigger and more frequent as both teams taxed each other to the max! The Bruising Banditas ended up mighty bruised ourselves, reduced to 9 players from our starting 12 through a combination of injury and penalties.

Sheffield started strong and for a couple of jams kept us pointless. But the Banditas found our stride and began to claw it back over the middle of the first period, with the help of a few power jams, before a spate of penalty trouble saw a succession of jams with only 2 blocker (and a couple of times only 1 blocker!) walls for HBB. We managed to settle ourselves down in time for the end of the first period and our 4 walls made a return.

Both teams returned to the track full of fire for the second half. Both teams took and gave some hard hits and with 20 mins left to go 2 successive jams were called off prematurely for skater injury. The first led to one of the Banditas taking no further part in the bout, while the second resulted from a heavy fall by a SSRG blocker. Having already had a player leave the game by medics' orders we went down to 10 skaters and then to 9 when one of our blockers fouled out. Eventually the bonkers heat and the monumental effort put in by all 12 of us led to full on fatigue and Sheffield got some big jams in at the end.

This might all sound a bit dire, far from it! The team once again displayed our Bandita spirit! Our fighting spirit never faded as we brought the aggression jam after jam and made Sheffield work for every point they earnt. Once again the score didn't reflect the bout or the huge amount of fun we had playing a wonderful bunch of ladies.

Overall it was a very positive experience. We were sorry to take the loss but the amount of sweat on our brows and imprints of permenant marker numbers all over us at the end showed we gave all we could and never stopped smiling throughout! We came away from the afternoon exhausted but proud of what we had done.

As always there are lessons to be taken away from the game and we'll set straight to work on them. By the time the 8th Aug rolls around we'll have improved yet again! The elements of our game we'd practiced as a result of the Furness game worked very well. It was pleasing to see in only 6 short weeks we'd made real progress in our gameplay. Another 6 weeks to the Granite City bout, imagine how good we'll be then! We can't wait to get back into training and work work work!

Bout Awards:

Best Blocker - Bob 'n' Weave

Best Jammer - Millie Hurtz

MVP - Sonic Ruth

Woooooo! Well done ladies!

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