When the lovely CCR girls invited us to guest at their first closed bout, Breaking the Squeal, we were a bit nervous – we wanted to do it, but we didn’t want to suck.. it was a scary poke in the comfort zone. Then we thought, hey, it’ll be like a big scrimmage with real teams, all kinds of stopwatches, and proper reffing with real penalties, it’s okay, we can do that. Comfort zone my ass, nobody will be watching. So we said yes. Then we realised CCR aren’t the kind of league to do things by halves. It wasn’t going to be just ’bout conditions’ in the sporting sense, it was going to be bout conditions in the cupcakes, programme, music, commentating – and audience – sense. Okay, a lovely non-judgmental families and friends kind of audience, but still – a least 500 of them. In those cool bleachers, all stacked up… eating cupcakes, taking photos, and watching. It was going to be an all-out production; we were impressed. And terrified. The Rollerbillies waved us off and offered us sound advice (“Jam like a motherf*ucker” – thanks Captain Carnage), and we were on our way.
It turned out to be the best possible way to bout for the first time – CCR were awesome hosts, and we got to benefit from the serious hard work they put into the event without worrying about anything other than skating, so we were pretty much spoiled rotten. And we didn’t even suck horribly, which made it even better. The audience were great, and they were loving it – CCR are bringing derby to the masses, and gaining a whole lot of fans. We bet you 50p their first open-doors bout will sell out before you can say cupcake.
So it was Team Pink vs Team Blue, with Hermaphroditie guesting for Pink and Mollie Cosh (referring to herself in the third person just this once) on Team Blue.
Blue started strong, getting lead in almost every jam of the first period. They walled the front of the pack, and held the inside line for their jammers. Pink were forced to react but fought hard to make their impact on the play. Although it’s all a bit of a blur, by the third period the pack was getting feral, and Pink were really making the hits count – resulting in some crowd-pleasing ouchie wreckage. I got a crisis of loyalty when Blues came off the track saying ‘Hermaphroditie hits hard‘ – but she definitely wasn’t the only one. Team Blue racked up some penalties (guilty) and had to line up short and under pressure a few times, but weren’t deterred. Despite fighting up to dominate the front, and the impressive escalation of violence, Pink narrowed the points gap but couldn’t close it. We finished on 126-86. Go Team Blue!
And go team CCR! Everyone involved kicked ass, running the show like a beautiful, well-oiled machine. The only interruption was the change of afterparty venue due to a murder near the pub. Seriously. Some things you just can’t plan for. We had an ace time at the relocated party, ate chips, and sold lots of our excellent new handmade badges – so now we have funds to try and outbid Twisted Mister for old pads on ebay. Superby.
Huge thanks to CCR for popping our bout cherries in such a well organised fashion – it wasn’t exactly painless, but it was a pleasure to skate with you. Thanks to Angela Momentum for getting us to Birmingham in one piece – we were stressing about being late so we made her drive crazy fast even though she was trying to eat pastries. And finally thanks to our favourite derby photographer, David James Coxsell, for the use of all these ace pictures. Apart from the one of the badges; that’s just shameless merch promotion on our part. Want some?