The mighty Brighton Rockers are back in action in Haywards Heath this Saturday (21st Sept) against teams from the West of both Ireland and England. The A-team take on Limerick Roller Derby then the B-team face their Bristol Roller Derby equivalents. True fact: if you draw a straight line on a map from the centre of Limerick to the centre of Brighton it passes right through the centre of Bristol. But we digress… Doors are at 2pm with the A-team game kicking off half an hour later, followed by the Bs just after 4.30pm. It’s Slap Dash’s birthday and Hippy Hippy Skate’s last game before transferring to the London Rockin’ Rollers, so expect a super special day. Tickets are £8 online from the link at the bottom of this piece or £9.50 on the door. Students and Compass Card holders pay £7 and under 12s go free.
If you’ve never been to the Dolphin before it’s crazy easy to get to. Car users can point their Sat Nav at RH16 1LY. Train folks will find the leisure centre seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath station (turn left and follow the signs) and this weekend is free from engineering works yay! There’s a decent enough pub, the Burrell Arms, opposite the station and a large Sainsbury’s with ATMs halfway to the venue. There should be a bottle bar, cakes, merch, a raffle and more in the sports hall, with a cafe and vending machines in the foyer. The after party will be back in Brighton at the games packed World’s End.
PREDICTIONS [Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know]
Flattrackstats’ own (non official) WFTDA rankings place A-team competitors Brighton 295th and Limerick 373rd. The hosts are given 92% chance of victory with a differential of 56:29. This means the Rockers will need to get almost double Limerick’s points total to improve their ranking, whilst anything substantially less will benefit the visitors. The B-team match is predicted to be closer with the Rockerbillies 261st in Europe and Bristol Bees 274th. Brighton B are given 62% chance of victory and are expected to score 15 points for every 13 from Bristol. This suggests a fairly narrow (20 points or so) overall victory margin, which is super close in derby. Bear in mind that the prediction computer gets it wrong as often as it gets it right. The only real way to know how the games are gonna play out it is to be there watching them.
“The A-team won 173-157 in Limerick in 2017. It will be interesting to see how things have changed for both teams over the past two years. I’m expecting a challenge, but I’ve also heard they’re a great league to play against, so I can’t wait. In the B-team game we’re expecting to face a strong Bristol side. From our perspective, three victories at Eastbourne Extreme has boosted everyone’s confidence and the Rockerbillies are hungry for more success.”
SLAP DASH, BRIGHTON ROCKERS
“The 2017 match was a challenging game at the time and a very close one at that. Brighton won by 16 points, so we’re definitely not going to underestimate the Rockers. All of the Limerick skaters are forces to be reckoned with, every player bringing their unique strengths and skills to the game, so we’re ready and prepared for this rematch.”
LIMERICK ROLLER DERBY
“Our Beehive is constantly changing with some Bees being promoted to the A-team and new bees coming from drop in, but as a good beehive we work as a team and always aim to look after each other and have fun. The only thing we can predict is a tough game from the Rockerbillies. We’ll be digging deep, getting low and most importantly having fun on track.”
BRISTOL ROLLER DERBY
[Photo by John Hesse]
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/403414430300795/