Wakey Wheeled Cats vs. Mansfield Roller Derby, Saturday, July 29th at Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre.
Mansfield Roller Derby – 237, Wakey Wheeled Cats – 115.
Last Saturday saw the Wakey Wheeled Cats take on Mansfield Roller Derby in the final game of Tier 4 North, British Roller Derby Championships. This was the toughest game of the tournament and Mansfield proved a formidable foe.
This game also broke the Cats winning streak as they took home the silver medal after winning all of their previous games in the tournament.
Despite the loss, the Cats dominated the player’s leader boards with Wakefield jammers Rachel Welch and Coral McNulty scoring the most points throughout the competition. The Cats will also move up into tier 3 thanks to their stellar performance throughout the season.
Saturdays first jam saw the Mansfield jammer in the penalty box giving a power jam to Wakefield although they failed to make the most of the advantage. Strong blocking from Mansfield prevented McNulty from making her way through the pack forcing her to pass the star to pivot Lyndsay Burgan. The first jam ended MRD 9 – WWC 4.
Welch jammed second and managed to bring the points back to an even 9 apiece. Fantastic blocking from Betty Redford and Claire Johnson and another power jam with McNulty as the only jammer on track created some tense moments as Wakefield struggled to gain a points advantage against the powerful Mansfield defence.
Further tension mounted as penalties left Cats blocker Debbie Johnson the sole line of defence against the Mansfield jammer in the lead up to half time, ending the first half Mansfield 113 – Wakefield 38.
Wakefield’s bench team made the decision to change the blocker packs and bring on new jammers in the second half and the Cats started to close the gap between themselves and Mansfield. Claire Johnson as jammer ran through Mansfield’s blockers, gaining lead and taking the points to WWC 50 – MRD 117.
More leads from Claire Johnson and Hayley Brooke coupled with strong walls from Naomi Vergette, Katie Hoskins and Katie Swift and tough offence from Anne Body during yet another power jam made a win look like a possibility. But the Mansfield defence began to break up the Wakey packs allowing the Mansfield jammers to run through and really rack up the points in the final minutes ending the game 237 to Wakeys 115.
“What a whirlwind of a ride! The team have surpassed our goals and taken home the silver for our tier, and even more importantly we move up to Tier 3 next season! We may have come second in the final but overall we scored the most points in this tier, and were undefeated in the run up to this game. I am so very proud of the commitment, hard work and advancement this team have shown in just a few months, and cannot wait to see what next year holds for WWC. We are gonna own that track!”