Photos courtesy of MDP Images
It was the second game of the Heartland Series for the Nottingham Roller Girls and they were taking nothing for granted. Despite being on a roll with a streak of wins, one of which was a hard fought victory against Oxford in their first Heartland outing, NRG were not about to lose focus and give nothing less than 100% when taking on Rebellion Roller Derby.
And it’s just as well that was the case, because Rebellion were tough! Right from the start they displayed strong walls and gave the NRG jammers a hard time. Their jammers were quick off the mark too, taking lead jammer in all of the first four jams and using the advantage tactically to keep their opponents at bay.
Despite the shaky start, four jams was all that it took for NRG to figure out the opposition’s game and begin to fight back. Louisey Rider was the first to take lead jammer for Nottingham, followed closely by Hell ‘n’ Back who brought the scores almost level with not one, but two natural grand slams, making light work of the Rebellion walls while the blockers in green refused to let Frampton of Rebellion pass.
The remainder of the first half saw NRG take the lead and slowly but surely pull away. It was a fierce battle between the two teams and the action was intense. Both teams were working together very effectively. Hard hits from Rebellion’s Dew Dropher and Liz Thrilla punished any false moves made by NRG, while The Ruth Hurts and The Atkins Riot were doing a great job of holding back Rebellion’s jammers before hitting them off track at the last second and recycling them back for another attempt.
At half time the score lay at NRG 114 – 74 Rebellion. With both teams looking strong, and with only 40 points in it, the game was far from over…
As soon as the whistle went to start the second half, both teams clearly wanted to win. They both knew the end was a mere 30 minutes away, and a win was within reach of either team at this point. NRG put a big focus on the defensive game. The green walls were, at many points, impossible to beat! This was displayed at its best early on in the half, when Rebellion gained a power jam but were unable to take any point advantage from it.
Rebellion on the other hand were pushing hard with offensive play, attacking the green wall to allow their jammers through to score points. Hard and heavy hits were keeping the point gap down and putting a lot of pressure on NRG.
With both teams going full throttle, it was no surprise when fatigue began to show. The play became a little scrappy and the players were clearly becoming tired. This was not helped with the heat in the venue and more so when each team lost a player – Rebellion through a foul-out, and NRG when their captain, The Atkins Riot, took a hard knock and badly hurt a knee. Though, like a true team captain, Riot refused to leave to get checked out at the hospital until after the game had finished! Hero.
Right until the end both teams continued to give their all. The final jam was a power jam in favour of NRG, they had already won, but there was no way that Rebellion were going to go easy on them. Jammer Damndrea had to dig deep and give it everything she had to break through the 200 point barrier.
Definitely a great game to watch, even the official time-outs weren’t so bad to spectate due to the lovely music that was dedicated to them! Another victory in the bag for Nottingham Roller Girls in the Heartland Series.
Final Score: NRG 202-135 Rebellion