On 5th December, Bath Roller Derby Girls hosted their final event of the year – a pantomime themed extravaganza. Bath Spartans versus Nottingham Roller Derby and Bath Roman Rollers taking on Oxford Roller Derby Bs.
Fortified by our customary, epic pre-bout breakfast at the Cosy Club, we headed over to Bath Leisure Centre to begin set up – at the helm, as always the ultra-efficient Hell Cat.
I was to take on several roles at the bout; captaining the Roman Rollers for the first time, as well as announcing the opening bout and coordinating the cake stall. BRDG have a proud history of raising money for charity through our cake stalls and this year’s charity, as voted for by the team, is Bath Sands – the still birth and neo-natal death charity.
All was going to Hell Cat's master plan; seats set up, track laid, stalls decorated and laden with tasty goodies when a message come through that there had been a fire on the M4 and both guest teams were stuck in huge tailbacks!
The clock on the leisure centre wall crept towards the scheduled start time, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bath were welcomed, the seats filled up, cakes were purchased... but still no sign of the opposing teams.
Finally with moments to go, frazzled-looking skaters started to appear – Nottingham kitting up and getting on track to warm up almost as soon as they were through the door. I grabbed my microphone, turned up the skate out tunes and introduced the teams!
The opening bout saw both teams skating tactically, with strong walling from both teams and jammers frequently taking their first four points and calling off the jam before the other could score. Half time scores were super close and it was all to play for.
Nottingham's Coco, who had pivoted during the first half, now stepped up to jam, her powerful skating style able to break through the Bath walls. Bath responded with well-drilled bracing and skilful jamming, but the clock was counting down with seconds left to play when Bath's brilliant bench team used a cleverly-retained time out to secure one final jam. Steg O Soar took her place on the jam line and eyed up the opposing blockers...
Even the Mayor was on his feet cheering as Steg got out first and began scoring on the opposing blockers… The deficit slowly shrank until the Spartans took the narrowest of leads and put hands to hips! Final score: Spartans 125, Nottingham 123.
Some Twitter love from the Mayor Of Bath!
After a short break it was time for Bath Roman Rollers to take to the track, and for me to lead my team out for the first time.
Plenty of fun was had, sweets thrown into the crowd, blockers danced on the jam line and we all enjoyed a Christmas singsong with the multi-talented S’mac Down Angel on the announcer's mic.
The Romans in action against Oxford B's
Oxford B's took an early lead and although the Romans fought valiantly with some super nippy jamming from Red Dwarf and strong blocking from Peeka Hurt You, Oxford held onto their lead throughout the bout and were the stronger team on the day. Romans have suggested a rematch and are already practicing their moves for a jam line dance off.
All the historic goings on of Bath Roller Derby!