Rockers Derby Sevens: Online Magazine and YouTube Video

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Our regular magazine Turn Left only appears at traditional Brighton Rockers home games, but we put together a special eight-page mini-mag for Sunday’s epic Derby Sevens event hosted by the Rockers. Click on the image above for the online version of it, or pick up a physical copy on the flyer/games shelves in Brighton’s Evening Star and Bierhaus pubs. Special thanks to all our lovely interviewees, photographers and awesomes advertisers.

Or click below if you want to check out our short (3’40”) YouTube vlog on the event. Yay!

Mr Adam Reports : Roller Derby

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LIVE DERBY OUTDOORS – Two Rockers Teams At EASTBOURNE EXTREME This Saturday!

The mighty Rockers have a super busy summer ahead. On August 5th they will be skating in the Brighton Pride parade. On July 22nd (Saturday week) they’ll be hosting a special fundraising music and quiz night at the Latest Musicbar – see the links below for details. Before both of those events, however, this very weekend they will be taking part in Eastbourne Extreme. Europe’s only outdoor roller derby tournament takes place over two days (Saturday and Sunday) on Eastbourne seafront. This year the Rockers A-team and B-team will both be in action on the Saturday. That’s this Saturday, July 15th.

The B-team Rockerbillies kick off proceedings with a game against a specially formed Eastbourne Extreme Team (players from a variety of leagues) at the early hour of 10am. The A-team Rockers AllStars will take on Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells at 4pm. In between there are games featuring Eastbourne’s men’s, juniors and co-ed teams, with two sevens tournaments (women’s and open to all) on the Sunday. See the flyer halfway down this preview for the full schedule.

The event takes place on public sports courts at Fisherman’s Green on Eastbourne seafront, roughly halfway between the Pier and Marina. Admission is totally free for spectators, with toilet facilities and food outlets close by. You can bring in your own booze etc – there’s a Spar, Tesco Express and Co-op about four minutes walk inland – and sun cream is advisable. There’s a ticketed after party (£8) right by the derby venue on the Saturday, whilst Sunday’s (free entry) is at the Crown & Anchor pub near the Pier.

Trains from Brighton to Eastbourne are at 32 and 52 past on Saturday. The 32 is much faster (takes half an hour) but is usually only two carriages and can get quite busy, so arrive early for a decent seat. A day return is £7.20 with a railcard or you can get the number 12 bus (which takes much longer) for £6.50 return. The venue is around 25 mins walk from the train station. Point your map app at BN22 7AA. There’s a big car park adjacent (£4.80 all day) as well street parking on inland side streets.

PREDICTIONS AND THAT
[Skip this section if you don’t want to know how the prediction sites expect these games to go.] Since the Rockerbillies are facing a challenge team specifically created for the event, we have no way of predicting the result of that one. As for the Rockers v Bombshells contest, using the UKRDA rankings on Flattrackstats the Rockers (23rd place on 595.0 points) are huge favourites over the Bombshells (58th on 422.7). Brighton are given 98% chance of victory with a 26:5 differential working out as something like a 260-50 Rockers win. The European rankings on FTS have the Rockers 72nd (593.4 pts) and Bombshells 233rd (479.3). Using these figures the prediction drops slightly to 95% chance of a Brighton win, with a 29:10 differential suggesting a 232-80 type scoreline.

The Scottish Roller Derby blog’s worldwide rankings (Brighton 383rd, Eastbourne 1109th) suggest pretty much the same as Flattrackstats. It should be pointed out, however, that this will be the first outdoor game for most of the Rockers, whereas Eastbourne have hosted and played in a number of games at this venue already this summer. The prediction algorithms are geared up for traditional sports hall games, rather than the variables that outdoors and tarmac bring into the mix, so we’re expecting a much closer game. But what do the Rockers expect? Let’s find out…

RACEY – BRIGHTON ROCKERS

Last month’s trip to Ireland resulted in two Rockers wins: 173-157 v Limerick and 453-65 v Belfast. That Belfast result is Brighton’s biggest points haul and margin of victory EVER. What are your thoughts on those games (and the trip overall) and were you expecting such a big win?
Aren’t we the best!? Still on a massive high from that weekend. We knew Limerick was going to be the tougher game, so to get that win under our belts first meant we were on cloud nine. We went into the Belfast game super confident. We had been working really hard for months on our defensive walls and offence. To see it all come together brilliantly in those games was so satisfying. The weekend as a whole was cracking; we managed to survive our murder house accommodation and snagged the only hot sunny weather Ireland has seen since 350BC.

This Saturday sees both the A-team and B-team in action outdoors at Eastbourne Extreme. The Rockerbillies face a mixed league opposition at 10am. Any thoughts?
I’m expecting big things from our Rockerbillies! Their skills have really developed over the past few months especially, and they are now playing at a really competitive level. One of their major strengths, I think, are their derby brains; they are super switched on when it comes to tactics and reading the game.

The A-team face the Bourne Bombshells at 4pm in probably the highest profile game of the entire Extreme weekend. What are you expecting from that contest?
I don’t really like to go into games with any expectations. I just want us to play our best game and the results will be what they will be. We haven’t played Eastbourne in a very long time, and most of us haven’t skated Extreme before so it is a bit of an unknown. They are our derby neighbours though and we know each other well so it is going to be a fun game to play for sure.

How does playing roller derby outdoors on tarmac differ from games in sports halls?
Well, I’ve skated outdoors a whole bunch of times, but never actually played derby outside. I’ve been wanting to play Extreme for a long time to have a chance to try it out. I imagine sharp stops are going to be interesting. I know we get to wear sunglasses, which is fabulous.

What are your expectations for Eastbourne Extreme in general (both on and off track)?
I’ve been to Extreme a bunch of times and it is always such a great day out. Sunshine, skating, seafront – what else could you want?

[Photo by John Hesse]

LINKS
EASTBOURNE EXTREME 15TH & 16TH JULY
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1124805250982415/
BRIGHTON ROCKERS FUNDRAISER 22ND JULY
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/286286108483695/

The first EVER Sussex roller derby derby (Brighton v Eastbourne) is TOMORROW and entry is FREE!

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Crikey! The two longest running Sussex roller derby leagues are finally playing a public game against each other. It takes place tomorrow (Saturday 16th July) and is going to be amazing for all kinds of reasons, not just that it’s the first time these leagues will meet in front of a baying crowd. The game is also OUTDOORS and on the SEAFRONT (in Eastbourne) with FREE admission. You can also – unlike that pesky Dolphin these days – bring in your own cans of beer. The game takes place tomorrow lunchtime (first whistle is at 12.30pm, so set your alarms) and pits Brighton’s B-team Rockerbillies against Eastbourne Roller Derby’s Bourne Bombshells. This HISTORIC match is part of Eastbourne Extreme’s weekend long outdoor roller derby tournament (the only such event in Europe) and we have full info – including interviews with both sides – below.

[NB IF YOU WANT INFO ON THE WHOLE WEEKEND, WHICH FEATURES MORE THAN TEN DERBY GAMES, A BOOT CAMP FROM ROCKERS CAPTAIN GIN ATOMIC AND MUCH MORE… CLICK HERE FOR A FULL PREVIEW FROM OUR FRIENDS AT ERDBY.COM]

HOW TO GET THERE
The action takes place at the Fishermans Green Tennis Courts. That’s a mile along the coast heading North East from Eastbourne Pier – use the postcode BN22 7LH in maps apps. There’s car parking adjacent, it’s 25 minutes walk from Eastbourne train station (Southern trains aren’t as bad on weekends as they are during the week, so you should be able to get from B-town to Ebo in a little over 30 mins, fingers crossed) and several local buses stop nearby. Admission is totally free. As well as the roller derby, Extreme has roller hockey, skateboard/scooter ramps and lots of other extreme sports to check out. There are public toilets right by the derby area (expect long queues for the ladies at half time) and a few food outlets along the seafront. The nearest shop for booze and munchies is Spar on the corner of Beach Road and Seaside (about five mins walk). There are also after parties both evenings – a roller disco on the Saturday and pub takeover on the Sunday – if you fancy making a day/weekend of it. The Bombshells v Rockerbillies game runs from 12.30pm-2pm tomorrow, Saturday 16th, and several Brighton players (both A- and B-teamers) are taking part in various mixed games on the Sunday.

PREDICTIONS AND SUCH LIKE

We trust the online predictometer at Flattrackstats.com about as far as we can throw it, and since it’s a digital entity with no physical form we can’t throw it any distance at all. We also understand that lots of derby folk don’t like reading predictions before a game. If that applies to you, please close your eyes until you’ve scrolled past the rest of this paragraph…………….. Still here? FTS are calling this quite heavily in favour of the Bombshells. They rank the hosts as the 265th best team in Europe (467.9 ranking points) compared to 338th place (437.7 points) for the Rockerbillies. Including home advantage, Eastbourne are given 78% chance of taking the win here, with an expected differential of 3:2 suggesting something like a 180-120 home win. Bear in mind though that the ‘billies ranking is based on only two full games (v Iceland and Lille’s Switchblade) and FTS doesn’t have a button for ‘this game is outdoors’. So this prediction is extra prone to variables in either direction! Still, enough of that, let’s hear what the two teams are expecting tomorrow…

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THE PHILOSOFEAR – BOURNE BOMBSHELLS

In case any Brighton fans don’t know the Bombshells, briefly what’s your history?
The Bourne Bombshells’ first bout was in March 2013 against Basingstoke Bullets. Before that we’d only had a few scrimmages. About half the team who played in that first bout are still bouting for the team and a few others are still with us as officials.

And the history of roller derby at Eastbourne Extreme?
Roller derby first appeared at Eastbourne Extreme in 2011 – there was an indoor scrimmage and a few jams outside as a demonstration (which I attempted to ref badly!). In 2012 the Bombshells ran a one-day tournament at Extreme. We didn’t take part as we weren’t bout-ready – most of the team hadn’t yet passed minimum skills. In 2013 we were ready to participate. That year we had a tournament on the Saturday for newer teams like ourselves, then one on the Sunday for more established sides. From there it’s grown every year. Now that we are Eastbourne Roller Derby we like to use Extreme as an opportunity for all of our different teams to play, which means it’s the biggest event in the ERD calendar. But we also have mixed team games – a whole day of them on Sunday this year – which give skaters from all over the country (and a few from the continent) an opportunity to skate at Extreme.

How have the Bombshells themselves fared at past Extremes?
We’ve tended to win half of our games at Extreme and lose half. We always make sure that we pick teams for Extreme that will give us a challenge and no one like to watch a blow out. This has resulted in some VERY close games – at last year’s Extreme we lost to Surrey Rollergirls by six points, then won against Big Bucks Rough Diamonds by eight points in an overtime jam!

How different is playing derby outdoors to indoor derby? Any particular pros/cons?
We’re used to it as we train outside in good weather for a few months before Extreme. There’s very little difference to playing indoors as the Extreme track is so smooth. Ploughing is a bit harder and toe stops wear down easily. Leggings are a wise choice. In 2012 one of the teams playing in the tournament arrived in hotpants with no leggings – they left some of their skin on the track! It can get windy on the seafront so that can be problematic too, and we do end up with a lot of people playing in sunglasses.

Although both the Bombshells and Rockerbillies took part in last year’s tournament, you didn’t get to play each other. Are they a team that you know pretty well?
I’d say we know the Brighton Rockers league pretty well in general (especially as I’m an ex-Brighton player). A lot of us attend their bouts regularly and quite a few of them have been to our scrimmages. Their B-team Rockerbillies have a few newer players on their roster that we’re not so familiar with, but there are a lot of skaters playing on Saturday who are well-known to us.

Any particular players or tactics on either the Brighton or Eastbourne sides that people should look out for on Saturday?
For Brighton, I’d say that Lab Wrath and Van Hayley are skaters to watch out for. I’ve seen both of them play a few times and they’re strong. We’ve also heard that the Rockerbillies have a transfer skater from Helsinki who is a good jammer. For the Bombshells, Beast and Smash’er Fierce are both great blockers who are very hard to get past. Bullet Bomber is a brilliant all-rounder. And Crash’s jamming has been on fire lately. As for tactics – I’m not telling!

What are your expectations for the game and for the Extreme weekend as a whole?
I don’t think we really have any expectations for the Bombshells v Rockerbillies game. For the Extreme weekend as a whole we expect sun and sunburn. Every year people underestimate the Eastbourne sun and get burned to a crisp. Bring factor 50 and a hat!

Do the Bombshells have any plans for the rest of 2016 (and beyond) derby wise?
We have a game in August against Oxford Wheels of Gory. And then in October we have a double header (the Bomb S’Quad are also playing) and we’ll be up against Wiltshire. We’ve also been looking into playing some teams in Northern France and we have a few games under discussion there.

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VAN HAYLEY – BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES

For any non-Brighton fans reading this, can you give us a brief history of the Rockerbillies?
We’d all played together in scrims and mixed games, but I think our first game as the Rockerbillies was in May last year. We had to draft in a couple of A-teamers as we didn’t have enough people for a full roster, but the league has grown so much since then that we’re spoilt for choice now. There are a few of us from that original roster playing at Eastbourne Extreme, but a lot of the current Rockerbillies are newer additions. It’s really exciting and fantastic to see people starting out at our Fresh Meat sessions and just getting more and more confident as they move up to the B-team.

You took part in last year’s Eastbourne Extreme tournament. What was that like?
Last year’s Extreme was crazy! Three games in one day, all in the blazing sunshine. It was really tough and very intense, but it was a great experience. There were a few casualties but we all learnt a lot, and there was loads to see when we weren’t playing. There was just so much going on! I cracked one of my plates and ended up with some pretty funky tan lines, but it was really good fun.

How different is playing derby outdoors to indoor derby?
The tarmac is super grippy so it really favours fast, jukey jammers. It also chews through wheels and toe stops pretty quickly! I’ve heard some horror stories about tarmac-related injuries too, so it’s long leggings all the way for me. We all found our feet pretty quickly, though. I think you just get used to adapting to different kinds of floors at away games. Being outside in the sun by the sea beats being inside a leisure centre any day, even if we did all get a bit burnt last year.

The Bombshells were also in that tournament last year, but you didn’t get to play against them. Are they a side you know pretty well?
We love the Bombshells! We’ve played a lot of scrims and closed door games with them and it’s always great. They always give us a run for our money. They’re a really tough team, but they’re so much fun to skate with – we’re really lucky to have them so close by! They’re great to hang out with, too. We didn’t get to play them at Eastbourne Extreme last time because of the way the tournament format worked out, so we can’t wait for this year. Watch your backs Bombshells!

LAB WRATH – BRIGHTON ROCKERBILLIES

Any particular players or tactics on either the Brighton or Eastbourne sides that people should look out for?
Well we’re not going to give away our secrets now are we! I’ll just say we’ve got some up-and-coming rising stars on the team that I and the rest of the league are really excited about fielding.

What are your expectations for the game and for the Extreme weekend as a whole?
We definitely expect FUN all weekend. And of course it goes without saying that none of us will get a penalty and all our practised moves to go perfectly every time… And constant sun, of course.

Do the Rockerbillies have any plans for the rest of 2016 (and beyond) derby wise?

Damn, I need to check. I think we might have a double header coming up. Stay tuned!

[Photos by John Hesse]

THE GAME IS HERE AT 12.30PM TOMORROW: https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Fisherman’s+Green+Tennis+Courts/@50.7777313,0.3062278,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6545daa5ced75dc7?sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjc_rOM3PPNAhVEAsAKHQzTANMQ_BIIbjAK

PS IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT THERE SHOULD BE A LIVE STREAM ON THIS FACEBOOK PAGE: https://facebook.com/EastbourneextremeRD/

Turn Left Issue 2 now online

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Did you miss out on a hard copy of issue two of our fanzine ‘Turn Left’ given out at yesterday’s Brighton Rockers v Leeds Roller Dolls bout? Not to worry, here’s the next best thing: an online viewable (and downloadable if you join Issuu) version. Just click the image above or visit http://issuu.com/turnleftmag/docs/turnleft_issue2. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also find further images from Bash and Racey’s fashion shoot (for Dig for Victory’s ad in the mag) right here: http://www.roachphotography.co.uk/portfolio/#3545. Yay!

Sussex Summer of Derby

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“When is summer going to properly arrive,” people have been moaning over recent weeks. This weekend, as it happens. Not necessarily in weather terms, but in FACT terms. Friday 21st June is officially the first day of summer in 2013 and Saturday 21st September is the last day, so enough of the “it’s supposed to be summer” whining in spring, yeah? Truth be told, we derby fans don’t really like summer anyway as it tends to be the fallow season for derby. Given the age and gender of most combatants, lots of skaters disappear off for holidays with their kids. Yet more – whether students, teachers, tutors or otherwise education sector based – spend much of the gap in the academic year visiting relatives or enjoying the break in other ways. Consequently, many derby leagues take a month or two off, at least in terms of bouting, at that time of year. Having said that, don’t let the blank (apart from something that happened in March) Event Calendar page on the Brighton Rockers website fool you; there’s actually plenty of derby action coming up over the summer months. Here we run down some bouts featuring the Rockers A-team, B-team, individual skaters and/or ex-skaters, plus other derby events with a Sussex twist. We’re sure there are several other events out there that should be on this list – we know of at least one bout in Sussex that only doesn’t feature here as there aren’t enough details available yet – so please drop us a line at brightonbrats@yahoo.co.uk if you know of anything else. Also, be aware that some of these events (particularly those towards the end of the list) might be subject to change as derby schedules can be a little, shall we say, ‘fluid’. Cheers.

SATURDAY 22ND JUNE – CROYDON ROLLER DERBY v BELFAST ROLLER DERBY – 1pm, Haywards Heath, Sussex
Roller derby is a great force for good in the world, and it’s heartening to see the sport thriving in a location many people perceive through media reports as a divided community riddled with disorder, prejudice, lawlessness and fear, so hats off to the skaters of Croydon. This bout doesn’t feature any Brighton skaters, but there will likely be a smattering of Rockers refs and NSOs involved, along with Brighton superstar/coach Mistress Von Uber Vixen in the role of co-announcer/commentator. The event is also taking place in Brighton’s regular bouting venue, the Dolphin leisure centre in Haywards Heath – Croydon’s usual bouting venue at Monks Hill is currently being rebuilt (despite the rumours, CRD’s Riot Squad didn’t burn it down themselves, it’s a planned upgrade). Doors open at 1pm with first whistle at 1.15, and tickets are great value at £6.50 online until Friday or £7.50 on the door, with an after party in a (fairly) nearby pub to follow. PS Kudos to anyone who, like us, is going to try and take in the London Rockin’ Rollers v Paris 4pm bout in East London too – Haywards to West Ham in 70 mins via weekend public transport is certainly going to be a challenge!
https://www.facebook.com/events/306242812842347/

SUNDAY 30TH JUNE – FREAKY MONS’TER DERBY LADIES v BOURNE BOMBSHELLS – 2pm, Frameries, Belgium
Not only does this bout not feature any Rockers on the track, but it’s also in another country. So why is it listed here? Because the fast rising Eastbourne league feature various ex-Brighton B-teamers and freshies in their ranks, and this bout marks only their second public appearance and first international trip. Plus, of course, they’re the Rockers’ East Sussex sisters. So if you happen to find yourself in the French bit of Belgium this particular weekend, get yourself down to the Max Audain sports centre in Frameries (on the outskirts of Mons) to show Eastbourne some Sussex derby love.
https://www.facebook.com/events/428276057268827/

SATURDAY 13TH JULY – DOLLY ROCKIT ROLLERS v BRIGHTON BRUISERS – 12.30pm, Ashby Parva, Leicestershire
Wooah! An actual Rockers bout. Nominally a B-team one, but given the pretty strong opposition and no-one in the Rockers squad having had a public run-out since the London tattoo show tournament in late May, we’re expecting this Bruisers line-up to contain even more A-team ringers than normal. It’s taking place at the Midlands Roller Arena, which is a fab looking venue normally used for roller hockey, somewhat incongruously located in the grounds of a rural garden centre! There’s easy road access from the M1 etc, but for us public transport types the only option is the hourly 140 bus from Leicester (45 mins journey) to an unmarked bus stop outside a farm 10 minutes up the road! There’s a mixed bout of some sort before the Brighton one, and at least the after party is closer to civilisation, taking place in a pirate themed bar in central Leicester. Still in some ways coming to terms with former star player Rogue Runner’s transfer to London Rollergirls a year ago, the Dolly Rockits currently rank 23rd in the UK and will provide a stern test for the Bruisers, no matter how many A-teamers Brighton sneak into their fourteen.
https://www.facebook.com/events/135120176689644/

SATURDAY 13TH & SUNDAY 14TH JULY – EASTBOURNE EXTREME TOURNAMENT – 10am, Eastbourne, Sussex
Anyone who can’t make it up to the East Midlands this weekend, will find a wealth of derby taking place just off Eastbourne seafront. Even those who did go to Ashby Parva – and isn’t that the best derby venue location name ever – should be able to shake off the hangover in time to catch most of the second day. The UK’s only free outdoor roller derby tournament, now in its second year, is hosted by the Bourne Bombshells, who will be facing off on the Saturday against Surrey, Basingstoke and a debutant B-team from Mean Valley (Bedford/Peterborough). The Sunday features an upper bracket of Croydon, Portsmouth, Big Bucks (Wycombe) and Kent. Teams will play one 30-minute period against each of their three opponents, with the day’s top two facing off in a 5pm final. There are other events, including after parties and a roller disco in a Napoleonic fortress, over the course of the weekend. Derby-tastic!
https://www.facebook.com/events/130614833797691/

SATURDAY 24TH AUGUST – SUMMER SUR5AL REMIX – 11am, Windsor, Berkshire
The Royal Windsor Rollergirls are innovative sorts. We caught an intraleague bout of theirs a week or two back where they operated a queuing system for line-ups which meant all players getting (more or less) the same amount of track time. One of their biggest innovations is Sur5al, a frantic full-day derby tournament featuring 15 teams of five who play one full-length two minute jam against each of their 14 opponents. There are no subs or replacements, so if players get injured or expelled for seven penalty box visits that team is down in numbers for the rest of the tournament (some teams have been left with only one player!). This particular ‘remix’ version adds the extra innovation of mixed gender teams, three women and two men per side. Given there are only about a dozen bouting men’s leagues in the UK (compared to 200-odd women’s) the guys have been much sought after. Indeed the 2012 European men’s champions, London-based Southern Discomfort, have provided players for more than half of these 15 sides! Brighton interest comes via the Rollin’ Rockers team which features Brighton superstar The Mighty Mighty Bash alongside Rockers ref Noise Tank; bolstered by Bash’s England team mate Jack Attack and derby power couple Betty Swollox and Piston Broke, this looks on paper like one of the strongest teams taking part. The Eastbourne league is also represented, with head coach Toxic Block Syndrome, Bullet Bomber and The PhilosoFear (who provides most of the photos for this website and our fanzine) featuring for the Foxy Morons.
https://www.facebook.com/events/507099186005322/

SATURDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER – BRIGHTON ROCKERS v LEEDS ROLLER DOLLS – details TBA, Sussex
Eek! Not just a Rockers bout, but an A-team bout and in Sussex to boot! Last we heard Brighton were still hoping to arrange another home bout prior to this one, but if that doesn’t come off this will be their first outing back in Sussex since the March double-header v the London Rockin’ Rollers and Portsmouth Roller Wenches. Brighton, incidentally, haven’t officially confirmed this bout v Leeds on any social media, but Leeds themselves and semi-official UKRDA ranking site flattrackstats.com have both listed it as happening for quite a while now. No more details (eg time, venue) seem available at present, but one thing we can predict is a bruising encounter; with Leeds currently ranked 5th in the UK and home team Brighton 9th, this one should be close. Even tougher opponents look on the cards for the following month – 2nd ranked Auld Reekie have a home bout with Brighton listed for Saturday 26th October (2pm) at the Meadowbank Arena in Edinburgh. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here, though. This preview is only supposed to cover the summer and the Leeds bout is scheduled for the very last day of whatever sort of ‘summer’ we’ll end up with this year.
No Facebook event pages yet. Please check the home and away league’s websites, Facebook, Twitter etc closer the time for more confirmation and/or details re these two potential bouts.

[Photo by Rebecca Cornford]