Last weekend it was the annual ERRD tourney (or Eastern Region Roller Derby tournament for the non-derby folk) which was hosted up on the Central Coast for the first time. I love watching this tournament, it's two full on days of continual bouts, yeah your brain turns to mush from watching so much derby at once but I'm willing to pay that price because the payoff is so worth it. This year I went as a spectator instead of a bout writer so it was all about getting my cheer on for my leaague and step league.
Funnily enough the Newy guys ended up sitting next to us HARDies on track two. Not just that but the HARD and NRDL merch tables were positioned next to each other. I'll take that as a sign that we're meant to bout each other ;) It worked out well for me because Newy's second bout was directly after ours so I just had to take one step across to join in with their cheer squad!
The Dames opening bout was against Canberra's A team. Most of my league are Short stop and Bambi fangirls especially after the bootcamp they had with us earlier this year. No surprise which team I was going for but it's impossible not to sit back and marvel at the magic CRDL perform on the track. Short stop defies physics and manages to get belted with blocks and still get through gaps in the pack that should be humanly impossible. We all KNOW how awesome her jamming is but her blocking is equally as impressive. Betty recorded when Jilla backwards blocked Bambi off the track and onto her arse and quickly told me about it haha.
Our bout against SRDL C was amazing and heartbreaking all rolled into one. We were playing so fucking awesome, playing to our strengths, staying out of the penalty box. It was still neck and neck but we were more than holding our own. A group of us were cheering our league on as if that could somehow give them an extra 5% on the track. With minutes left, there was belief and then it came down to those few minutes where the power jams gave all the momentum to SRDL and they nabbed it off us right at the death.That happens in derby but it felt oh so shite at the time, I couldn't have been more proud of my guys and the effort they put in.
The Dames next bout saw them take on SRDL's B team and the result was never in bout for the Dames. Most of my guys were watching the bout as our bout was straight after the Dames bout. A lot of my guys have never seen the Dames bout, it was funny how many of them came up to me and said that they finally realised why I was such a Jilla fangirl as she put in another awesome display. Temper said she became a Jilla fangirl haha. It was a great performance all round for the Dames which meant they lived to fight another day in the tournament and would face the Assassins the next day. It was so much easier cheering on the likes of Danger and Kell because they were the Dames uniform and not their home team colours ;)
Our bout against WSR ended up being a bruising encounter. What worked for us in the first half, the strong walls in the pack went to pieces as WSR outmuscled our walls to allow their jammer through while jamming up our jammers. Our guys fought hard but struggled against more physical opponents. Two loses meant we finished third in our group so we had to play a consolation final i the last bout of the night against Port Macquarie who finished third in their group.
Our guys were knackered after a long day and you couldn't blame them but they picked themselves up and got back onto the track for their final bout of the tournament. As tired as I was and still having to drive back to Sydney that night I wasn't going to skip the final bout. Our little HARD cheer squad cheered our hearts out, Bede had his sign hoping for diving intervention but it wasn't needed as our guys controlled the bout from beginning to end with a strong, confident performance. Three PMRDL players got ejected from the bout but our guys didn't take their foot off the pedal. Sir Gestive joined us to watch the bout. Man it's been a long time since I've snorted so much with laughter, he's the male version of Patsy from Ab Fab :) Our tournament was over but I couldn't have been more prouder of my guys. They're definately bonding a lot better on the track, the only way is up if they keep at it.
On Sunday I didn't rock until just before the Dames bout against the Assassins after catching up on some much needed sleep. I was hoping that the Dames would win even though it would have meant I'd miss the final because I had to go back to Sydney to go to a gig later that night. the Dames started the better of both halves but when the Assassins turned the screw the Dames couldn't keep up. There was a few times where the Assassins blockers stopped the Dames jammer from making their initial pass. Regardless of the score, I cheered them on right until the end even though I was surrounded by SRDL supporters.
Canberra B were bouting at the same time against Canberra A and ended up losing their bout which meant that both the Dames and CRDL B had to back up and play again in that shitty heat. Forget the skate outs, fish nets and all that superficial stuff this here was what derby was all about. Despite being a Dames fan I had to applaud CRDL for backing up the way they did, that couldn't have been easy.
The Dames opened up a lead and never looked back. Jilla got ejected for picking up 7 majors, naughty Jilla ;) I was wearing my Smashleys shirt and cheering on the Dames so I suppose it's an easy mistake for the Canberra photographer to make to assume I was a member of NRDL. I had to explain to him I was actually a HARDie who had a not so secret love affair with NRDL hehe. As soon as their bout finished I had head off to the gig back in Sydney but it was well worth the travel. On a side note whoever came up with the Making it rain... saying is a genius, catch as fuck that is.
Most of my team mates have never heard me being that vocal or seen me that animated before but for most of my life sport has been the one area of life where I let my guard down and don't give a shit if people think I'm being a dickhead. You know what I fangirled like crazy when Jilla and Cherry were bouting , how could you not they put in AMAZING performances over the weekend. My team mates took the piss out of me, the bastards :P but it was all in good fun. Another year of ERRD over and it was great to watch but hopefully next year I'll be lining up on the track for my league instead of sitting on the sidelines watching. That's the plan anyway!