British Champs 2016 Round 2 - Report
Photo courtesy of Andy Shuttleworth
Durham Roller Derby 33 - 376 Halifax Bruising Banditas
Halifax take convincing win over Durham in second round of British Championships.
Halifax Bruising Banditas continue their 2016 British Championship campaign with a commanding 33-376 win over injury-laden Durham Roller Derby.
A second win out of two games for the Halifax Bruising Banditas puts them 2nd in the Tier 4 North table behind Granite City Roller Derby on points difference. Both Halifax and Granite City sit on 2 wins and will meet at the end of the regular season.
Halifax came into the game riding high after their first round win in February. With only 3 weeks turn around between games the Banditas had little time to implement any improvements that came out of the Blackpool game. After such a close opener the Banditas wanted to focus on keeping calm during the bout, something that was sorely tested in the tense season opener.
This was Durham's first time playing in the British Championships. After their unfortunate forfeiting of the first round they wanted to show the roller derby world what they could do. Unfortunately for Durham, their injury woes had slimmed the team down to 8 players to face Halifax's 11.
Halifax started well with a cleanly earned 4-0 lead after the first jam but it was in the second jam where they took command of the game and didn't let go. Sonic Ruth took to the jam line for Halifax and managed to rack up 32 points while the Halifax blockers contained the Durham jammer with some deft and relentless defence.
The first half continued with Halifax firmly in control. Durham began to succumb to penalty trouble as the half wore on while Halifax kept relatively clean. With more blockers on track Halifax kept a strong defence as their jammers racked up some high-scoring jams. Despite Halifax's domination Durham didn't give up without a fight. Their blockers caused Halifax problems as they came in to score, often knocking the jammers off track long enough to cut short their scoring passes.
By half time the score stood at 15-175 in favour of Halifax.
Obviously buoyed by the half time score, the challenge for Halifax was to keep focused during the second half and keep the pressure on.
Halifax came out at the second half with the same fire and determination they started the game with. They quickly took control of the second half and continued to rack up points. Some deft offence from the whistle meant Halifax's jammers quickly took lead jammer status and therefore the advantage in the jam. Durham quickly changed their tactics to put an end to thins but Halifax responded with their own clever tactics. Taking the pivot line, Halifax spread the Durham walls out, creating holes for the Halifax jammers to get through.
Durham were quick to switch between defence and offence but Halifax were just as quick to evade the incoming hits and recapture the Durham jammer. The relentless Halifax defence meant their jammer could complete multiple scoring passes while Durham fought to free their own.
With the half wearing on Durham started to show signs of fatigue. A spate of penalties towards the last 10 minutes of the second half meant that Durham's walls were left at less than full strength. Durham's jammers didn't stop fighting through the entire game, often managing to draw the Halifax wall out to the full extent of the track. While Halifax did well to reabsorb the Durham jammer, their fight often left the Halifax walls fully preoccupied on defence and unable to assist their own jammer.
With 5 minutes left on the clock Halifax managed to draw penalties on the Durham jammer 3 times in a row leaving the way clear for Halifax to end the game with a brace of high scoring jams; ending up earning +50 points in the last two jams.
The final score was Durham Roller Derby 33 – 376 Halifax Bruising Banditas. This second victory out of two games put Halifax firmly in the top two of the Tier 4 North table with a widening gap between them and the third place team. With this score Halifax have reduced Granite's score-differential lead in the table from 294 to only 49.
The next fixture for the Halifax Bruising Banditas is a home game at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax on the 8th May against Harrogate's Spa Town Roller Girls. On the 25th March the team is holding an Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt at Manor Heath Park, Halifax from 10am-2pm. All are welcome to take part in the activities & hunt for prizes!
Halifax Bout Awards
Best Blocker – Kim o'Kill
Best Jammer – Millie Hurtz
MVP – Miffy Mayhem
Crowd Pleaser – Sonic Ruth
Bandita Spirit Award – Rainbow Dash
Durham Bout Awards
Best Blocker – Hunter
Best Jammer – Johnson
MVP – Donkin
Crowd Pleaser – Pope
Halifax Bruising Banditas
6712 Sonic Ruth – Captain
7533 Kim o'Kill – Vice Captain
13 Miffy Mayhem
1701 Millie Hurtz
414 Kay Os
45 Rainbow Dash
59 Laffin' Assassin
71 Bob 'n' Weave
912 Furious Foo
LUM Ali P – Line Up Manager
BM Scooby Zoom – Bench Manager
Durham Roller Derby
28 Donkin – Captain
22 Rollin' Rascal
LUM Robinson – Line Up Manager
BM Freddie Foulds – Bench Manager