On Saturday 6th February a select few of the Preston Roller Girls’ B team travelled up to Stirling for the Sur5al tournament hosted by Fierce Valley Roller Girls.
This tournament, boasting 12 teams from across the north of England and Scotland, was a fundraiser for Stirling and District Women’s Aid. As well as having representatives from the charity available to answer questions and collect donations, there were plenty of opportunities to spend cash on this worthy cause. Several members of our team did very well at the tombola, picking up Fierce Valley tshirts, toiletry sets, derby shorts and even a large bottle of Grand Marnier! There was face-painting to keep the kids entertained too (including myself, a slightly oversized child, and PRG bench coach for the day).
On to the derby!
I thoroughly enjoyed the mass kit check, as did the team, which is clearly evident in this gif:
Then it was straight into heat one, where PRG would be playing our first three jams.
Sur5al is a fast-paced version of roller derby, with only five skaters per team, playing a single jam against each other team. Each jam last a full 2 minutes, with no ability to call it off, but a bonus point is given for getting lead jammer. At the end of the jam, the team with the most points is awarded five tournament points. In the rare event of a draw at the end of the jam, each team gets two points. As there is no benefit of having lead beyond the bonus point, star passes are frequent and jams are generally high scoring.
Jamming for us in her debut for the B team was Zombie Stardust, currently visiting PRG from Humboldt roller derby in California. We were up against Mean City in our first jam, and although we didn’t get lead, Zombie scored plenty of points and we went on to win the jam. Unfortunately after this great start we struggled against some brilliant opposition teams and only managed to pick up a few more points in the rest of heat one and two.
Despite having a really hard time in the first two heats, the team were not disheartened and we started our third and final heat determined to take some more wins. Jamming duties were rotated between Zombie, Sal Capone and Psy-Jo. Between the three of them they racked up plenty of points and won three out of four jams in the heat. Credit to ace captain Gr’race Darling and Unhinged Ginge for their excellent blocking, especially at the end of a long couple of hours of derby.
The whole team would like to say thank you to Fierce Valley, particularly the incredible organising team who managed to pull together such a seamless tournament. And of course huge thanks to all of the officials, crew and volunteers who gave their time so that we could have so much fun. Here’s hoping that loads of cash was raised for Women’s Aid!
To see more pictures from the day’s fun you can view them here.