Guest post by Florence Night-in-Jail
It was nerve-racking as it always is, the night before a game, players have their own rituals, plans, eating schedules but the thing that stand out most is the thought, where do I need to be, what blocks can I use that are effective? Who do I work well with? Can we win this?
The Cats took on the Cruicbelles in the not-so-distant past and lost by 80 points, would that affect the team? The Cats have worked hard over the past 18 months, they are stronger, more confident, calm, collected – they have used these tactics before and put over a 100 points between them and the opposition, their past defeats have lead to this moment, lead to them assembling as a team, a sisterhood, a bond has formed within them to encourage the competition and head out for the win.
The first Jam saw the Cats Joanna Bruisin’ score a 4 point lead to then call it off from this point on the first half was a complete blur of orange on blue, it saw the Crucibelles take an almost 50 point lead at half time, a few power jams for the ‘Belles saw points tick on the score board, whilst all the Cats jammers could do was sit in the sin bin planning for their 30 seconds time. There were some powerful blocks during the power jams, Flo took on Toulouse le Threat face to face, Dan throwing in some epic hits and Linda Lu Mardy being a one woman blocking machine! Sadly though it didn’t hold back the opposite Catashtrophe was a wrecking ball fighting through and scoring a “grand slam” of points. Madison Avin’ U was nippy round the track too racking up the points for the ‘Belles.
Half time came and Coaches Richie and Fu sat the team down, the talk was inevitable, the Cats were losing by around 50 points – but we’re Cats and Cats have 9 lives, we’ve been here before they said, we know our walls, we are calm, we are Tigers and Tigers ROAR!
The second half was a complete whirlwind, so much so even a photographer put down his camera to watch the nail biting fierce battle that was commencing on track, the points started the creep up for the cats, the walls were strong, the ‘Belles jammers were being held back, knocked down with expert force by Acid, toyed with by the ever present Fu and exhausted from the solid un-forgiving wall. The crowd was in a fever, tears, nerves, shouting screaming, 6 minutes to the end the Cats took the lead by one point! Sheffield brought their game, now 2 minutes left the score is 170-170, I remember skating on track and seeing the fantastic Viqueen and Toulouse le Threat gesturing wiggly fingers to their mouths and playfully saying it’s all to play for, with a wink, I gestured back the same with a smile on my face, it’s rare that when you’re out to hit and hold back the opposition you can have the camaraderie, the ‘Belles had spirit and were true competitors. Our newest Jammer Glory was sent to the Bin, Honey joins her: the scores are now 170-180 to the Belles. A time out is called the teams are switched to put fresher skaters on, Bruisin to Jam , the crowd are buzzing with excitement the benched teams almost can’t watch, I personally want to throw up! Then Brusin gets the power jam! She scores a delightful 8 points and calls the jam! 188-180 to the Cats!
What an absolute corker of a game, suspense, adoration of both teams, support and most importantly we can now wait to take on the ‘Belles again!