When we received the invite from The Combat Bullies in Aalborg to go and play them, we just had to accept, after all, they're of similar ranking, it's always good to experience different teams that we've never bouted against, to absorb new strategies and tactics.....and everyone wants to visit a country they've never been to before, right?
Photo by @brknribphoto
Dates were agreed, flights, minibus, cars and AirB&B's were booked, Krone purchased, bags packed....it's just as much a team effort to organise a trip like this as it is to work together as a skating unit, which includes the efforts put in by those who take turns to coach the skaters in our twice-weekly sessions. The travel team were accompanied by our Bench Coach, a PCRD Referee and even one of our Rookies (soon to take part in her first Rookie Scrim this coming January) came with us to support.
On game day, we awoke to find snow on the ground and plummeting temperatures, some of the team were suffering from non-derby injuries and others were trying to shake off bad colds and flu on top of the exhaustion of a long day of travel and middle-of-the-night-start from the previous day. After a hearty breakfast meeting the team set off to the venue at a school in the city of Aalborg, where a good home crowd of supporters had gathered and where we soon realised the floor was slippery as heck!.....reeeally slippery.
The first half of the game involved taking some time to adjust stance for as much edge-grip from skates as possible, our Jammers reported that they found it hard work gaining enough traction to accelerate. New tactics were tried out by the PCRD blockers in an attempt to build upon the recent British Champs successes where PCRD won all their bouts, but the Combat Bullies spiced things up by playing out scenarios that required PCRD to re-assess their game play. At half-time the Combat Bullies were 135 points to PCRD's 93 having made full advantage of their blockers strong defence and some very fast jammers.
Photos by @BrknRibphoto
Into the second half PCRD maintained a steely attitude, switching up their tactics to adapt to what they'd learned in the first half and were undeterred by the Combat Bullies buoyant mood. The second half played out with penalties flowing a-plenty from both teams and excitement rising as PCRD closed in on the Combat Bullies lead, PCRD clawed back lost ground and even found themselves briefly in the lead! In the final 10 minutes or so of the bout, the scores had everyone biting their nails and the Aalborg home crowd cheering like mad for their guys. The game finally ended with a win to the Combat Bullies against Plymouth City Roller Derby of 233 - 226. Emotions were high in the PCRD team as exhaustion, adrenaline and efforts they had put in overcame some of them to tears.
Photos by Peter Soholm Simonsen
At the end of the day followed a team meal, we went to the October Fest-themed after party organised by the home team and....well, you can guess the rest. Thanks Aalborg Combat Bullies for a great experience!
Photos By BadassNavas and GingerMissPrime