The mighty Brighton B-team Rockerbillies are in action in Guildford this Sunday 3rd June as part of a cat charity fundraising double header. The game takes place at the Spectrum Leisure Centre. Tap GU1 1UP into your SatNav or make the 90-minute journey by train from Brighton (27 past, change at Gatwick). Doors open at 1pm. The Rockerbillies take on Surrey Roller Girls in the first game, followed by a mixed leagues game with a cat theme. Tickets are £10 on the door with free entry for under 16s. The event dubbed ‘Pennies for Pussycats’ is a fundraiser for the RSPCA and SNARL. Fancy dress is encouraged.
BRATS’ Mister Adam comes from just down the road (Woking) and has this to say about Guildford: “Most Surreyans think of Guildford as the county town, despite the fact it technically isn’t (the council are based in Kingston, which is odd as it hasn’t been part of Surrey since 1965). The centre is one of extremes, with historic buildings around the castle and cobbled High Street, a stone’s throw from drab modern architecture and traffic around the Friary shopping centre. Sights include the 20th century Cathedral off of horror film The Omen and the aforementioned castle.”
One big attraction in Guildford is the derby venue itself. The Spectrum is a huge leisure centre to the north east of Stoke Park. It’s 25-30 minutes walk from the station (1.5 miles). You could get a 101 from the bus station or use London Road station (one of only two stations with that name in the UK; no clues as to where the other is) which is half a mile closer, but both are only a half hourly service. The venue has quite a reputation in roller derby – the London Rollergirls used to play their big Anarchy tournaments here. It includes a few cafes, a bar, tenpin bowling and an ice rink (the closest one to Brighton, fact fans).
Pub-wise, the nearest places to the venue worth a visit for any fans arriving early are the Stoke and King’s Head, which are across the road from each other at the opposite end of the park to the Spectrum. Though about 15 minutes walk from the venue they’re handily placed halfway along the walk from the station. The after party is at the Britannia, which is about five minutes walk south of the station, alongside the River Wey.
[Skip this paragraph if you don’t like to read predictions ahead of a game.] Surrey are ranked 276th in Europe on 462.5 points, whilst Brighton B place 342nd on 443.0. Flattrackstats give the hosts 70% chance of victory here, with a predicted differential of 38:29 working out as something like a 190-145 Surrey win. Which is super close in derby terms.
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Dr Francanhurter: “Surrey Roller Girls was founded in December 2011. We train twice a week, and love hanging out together outside of derby. We are very excited about playing Brighton B because they are a lovely opponent to go up against. We are hoping that our home game this year will raise lots of money for the cause, and we’re very excited to eat all the food and have a dance at the after party!”
What are your thoughts ahead of the game?
I’m excited! It’ll be my first away game and my fourth as a Rockerbilly, so I think I’ll be on top of my nerves and I’m looking forward to playing a focused, solid game.
How much you know about Surrey Roller Girls?
I know that the Rockerbillies played them a year ago, before I joined, and had a good game. Everyone has said how awesome and friendly they are and the prediction is that our two teams are pretty well matched, so it should be a good contest.
What you are expecting from the game and the event?
I’m expecting there to be a lot of cats, on the track and in the crowd [not actual cats, presumably]. The event is called Pennies for Pussycats and is raising money and awareness for a local cause. I love a good theme and there’s bound to be a purr-fect atmosphere (sorry). I’m expecting the game to be close, but we have been working hard as a team on keeping our walls together and good communication, and I think we’ll bring what we need on the day. We’ve been practising scrimmaging against our A-team for the last few weeks so we’re used to being pushed!
How do away games differ from home ones?
I’m excited to play my first away game! My previous games have all been at home and I’m looking forward to the luxury of just turning up and playing – as well as the mystique of being the outsiders.
What are the Rockerbillies’ plans going forward?
We’ve had a lot of new players this season – myself included – so our last few games have seen a lot of people making their debuts or playing their second game. We’re all settling in now though, and I think folk will see us becoming stronger as a team in our next few games. We’re hoping to have an international bout before the year is out, and to revisit a summer favourite, but the main plan is to keep having fun, learning from our games… and winning! (In that order.)
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