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British Champs Round 7 - Report

Photo by David McAleavy

HBB 72 - GCRG 226

Round 7 was the last round of the British Championships 2015 for the Halifax Bruising Banditas. It has been a crazy ol' year for the Banditas and while we haven't been terribly successful in taking home the wins we have a lot to be proud of. The competition of the British Champs has been an amazing thing to experience. We have played teams we've never even met before and learned so much to take us into 2016. Not only was it our last game of the champs it was the bout début of our very own Stormy Sykes! For these reasons (and many others) we wanted to make sure the bout was a special one.

The game against Granite City Roller Girls was nothing if not fun! They are a great group of ladies who are tough, quick and sharp on track. To begin with they dominated our jammers and their ability to quickly deal out some offence gave them a significant lead early on in the game. While the Banditas were a little slower off the mark we did exactly what we set out to do. We kept it clean for the most part and didn't lose our cool when things didn't go our way. Stormy took to the track like she had always been there, dealing out some monstrous hits and unafraid to get stuck in! During our first time out in the first period our bench coach for the day, SDRD's very own Shrooms, gave us the tools and strategy to help slow Granite's acquisition of points going into the half-time break.

We fared much better in the second half and the score differential reflected this. While we never quite got the upper hand, we felt more confident in ourselves, trusted our training and collected three times as many points in the second half as we did in the first. Granite started to suffer a little from penalties with a couple of their team sitting on 6 penalties but they did well to not let us take advantage of that. While the lead-jammer ratio was heavily in Granite's favour we did well to dampen the effect of this. Our jammers were often chasing down the Granite jammers and forcing them to call it off early. The pack speed got really quick towards the end but we did well to stay together in our walls and present a hard target for the approaching jammers. Our training was definitely shining through towards the end and even though it was a relatively big loss for us we could see the improvement in the team and the potential that 2016 holds.

There are some exciting things coming up for the Banditas so while our British Championships season is over there is still plently going on in Halifax. Keep your eyes peeled and keep checking your inboxes for all the news as it comes.

We hope to be a part of the Champs next year, this time competing in Tier 4 against teams a little closer to home. We will be using the time between now and then to rest from a hectic Champs schedule then double-down on our training and let 2016 'AVE IT!

Plus, we also have a new batch of soon-to-be-Banditas to train up! If you fancy giving roller derby a go check out our 'Join Us' page for more details of our latest 'Be A Bandita' programme!

And don't forget to sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of the page to be the first to know when our 2016 fixtures are and all the news from the HBB camp.

Bout Awards:

Best Blocker – Kim o'Kill

Best Jammer – Sonic Ruth

MVP – Fury

Massive congratulations ladies and to all the Banditas for a cracking year of derby!

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