This weekend we hosted our very own Cherry Popper! Here's how we got on.
Nerves were riding high on Sunday, with a fine showing of 11 Minxters skaters appearing on track, alongside players from Birmingham Blitz Dames, Deathrow Hull, Hot Wheels, Hull's Angels (H.A.R.D.), Spa Town and Sheffield Steel Rollers, together forming a fine crowd of rookies ready to roll. Divided into classic Black and White, this no-frills scrim focussed on fun for all newcomers, including the two Bench Managers – Minxters' very own Redfern, for Team White, and Hylander, leading the battle cry for the Blacks – both familiar with the track but fresh faces to the bench. As the first half began, a crowd of friends and family watched on in eager anticipation.
Black made a strong start, with some heavy penalties from the White side aiding their opposition with a couple of early power jams. As the bout progressed and confidence grew amongst the skaters, the game became cleaner and calmer, with White walls proving a tough obstacle. Still, the Black jammers prevailed, and at the end of the first half, Black emerged lead, with a favourable score of 123 to the White's 60.
After a half-time pep talk from Bench Managers Redfern and Hylander (both doing a cracking job in their new roles), along with a selection of sweets and healthy treats from the oh-so-loving Minxters Captain, Gem O' Cide, the second half saw the Whites return with new energy and focus. With stronger walls and impressive jamming skills to boot, the White team pulled back the score, tightening the gap with some tactical moves and an impressive apex jump from Big Guns Bentham. Tired from a heroic first half effort, the Black team came off a little flustered, collecting a few penalties along the way. A spectacular last minute foul-out from Mother Clucker was greeted with odd pride by the Black team, who still managed to pull off a final win, with a closing score of 160 for the Whites to 252 to the Blacks.
We caught up with our fabulous Captains at the end of the bout to hear their thoughts on the day's events.
Lethal Fawce #56 (Team Black)
Q: Congratulations on your win! Did you have a strategy?
A: Enjoy it as much as possible!
Q: Fantastic! How do you feel about the outcome?
A: To say that I'm thrilled might be a bit rubbing it in a bit, but … I think all the girls skated really well today, and the points don't matter at the end of it, because everyone played such a good game. There was a lot of communication, and we're talking about skaters that have never been together as well. The fact that they can get it together on track just shows off the hard work they've been putting in. I think that's the most important outcome of today.
Q: Good stuff. Last question: do you have a favourite moment from today?
A: It's a little bit of a guilty pleasure, but when Mother Clucker fouled out! She went out with a bang.
Fox #4 (Team White)
Q: Captain! We have to ask: did you have a strategy going in?
A: [Grinning] To have fun!
Q: Fabulous! It certainly looked like you achieved that. How do you feel about the outcome?
A: I think it was good – we had a lot of skaters that were completely fresh, completely new – but they've learned so much, and every single one of them has said they've felt so much better [about derby] after today, which is why we're here.
Q: Awesome! And, finally – what was your favourite moment?
A: [Thinking] My favourite moment? Ooh … er … [Thinks] The second half in general. We pulled it together, it was really great.
White Best Blocker – Woolley Mammoth #98
White Best Jammer – Rachiepie #8
White MVP (Most Valuable Player) – Frank Intense #16
Black Best Blocker – Dommimo #87
Black Best Jammer – Hallowheels #31
Black MVP (Most Valuable Player) – Blocke R Ella #2
Thanks to our NSOs, skaters, refs, Bench Managers and lovely spectators for coming out to support us! Photos coming soon.
(Full disclosure: this article was written by Sephy Hallow, aka Hallowheels. Every effort has been made to provide an unbiased, accurate representation of events, based on spectator notes and Captain interviews post-game).