Last Saturday was a weekend of firsts as Fayzer Blade and Dark Side of the Boon went head to head Benching opposing teams at the Horrorbulls cherry popper opening bout. Here, Fayzer Blade gives us an account of her Benching experience. Photos courtesy of Dave Parry Imaging.
I jumped at the chance when the opportunity arose to bench a mixed team opener despite it being all the way in little Hereford.
PennyTrate, who was popping her bout cherry, was a little (very) excited. So excited I considered waterproofing the back seat of my car for the drive down there.
I was allocated the opposing team to bench (McFly) to my NRG team mates that were also taking part (Tannen) and I enjoyed the friendly rivalry which continued during the car ride down there.
I was very nervous and excited. I wanted to do well. A few NRG people had given me advice and I didn’t want to disappoint them.
On the day, I arrived and met up with my captain and line up. The dressing room talks were awesome. I enjoyed this greatly, discussing tactics, expectations, hand signals and the like, chanting the team name loudly so the opposition could hear next door.
After the first whistle Team McFly took an early lead and I was shaking with adrenaline. I also think I had a sore throat by the 4th jam!
Then Team McFly conceded 2 consecutive power jams. I was disappointed, although I didn’t let this show and reassured the jammer that it happens and was not a problem with a big hug.
Team Tannen caught up due to some awesome jamming, which included NRG players Hades Huntress, PennyTrate and Dellar Artois.
It was 60-58 at half time to Team Tannen and continued to be a very close game throughout. With 60ish (that’s Jerry Attric’s number isn’t it) seconds left, Team Tannen were leading by 4 points. I called a time out in order to secure that final jam.
The start whistle went and I almost boob-smashed myself in the eye jumping for joy when the Team McFly jammer came out first. This ecstasy was short lived as she was sent to the box for a penalty on NRG’s nippy little Dellar Artois.
NRG’s Hades Huntress jammed on to get three grand slam passes and an amazing 15 points and take Team Tannen to a win.
Sweaty hugs and hand slaps followed along with the unflattering photo taking.
On the return to the dressing room, spirits were high and evaluations took place. On discussing the awards NRG’s Hades Huntress and Dellar Artois were neck and neck in consideration for Best Jammer. Hades receiving positive comments on taking hits and high point scores, Dellar Artois on her nippy, sneaky passes and low derby stance. Dellar Artois was decided upon, echoed with ‘yeh the little one’ or ‘yes her’ when shown her headshot for confirmation in the programme.
I was so happy to see her shocked then beaming, smiley face when she received the award.
Tired, but reeling from the win, game evaluations were had in the car and in the pub afterwards, with the perspective of both teams, which was enlightening. Everyone was in high spirits and agreed they had learned a lot and had a great deal of fun.
I would say that this day gave me insight into the challenges of benching, as well as the rewards. It was nice to be in the thick of the team rather than on the outside looking enviously in, just hoping for a sweaty hug from a player. I have also learnt that I am very (perhaps too) competitive and don’t much like losing.
Would I do it again? Maybe….
Check out this awesome video of the day by fellow Tannen Team mate and Bath RDG member Hell Cat: