I said I’d start with the following summary of the bout:
Rebellion are a strong team. Mean valley were a relative unknown to us, aside from their rigorous training schedule and rumours of tough, strong hits. That was enough to get us thinking, researching and revising strategies…Throughout this we went into the bout with one main line of thought – play the best we’ve ever played. It didn’t matter whether we won or lost, what mattered was that we played as Rebellion; for us and for Karen.
We stepped into the fray fielding a team of only 8 skaters; we had to conserve our energy and send out our experienced ‘blockers, occasionally jammers’ as ‘jammers, occasionally blockers’ on a tight rotation, and keep all remaining skaters on multiple jams in order to allow the jammers to rest. We were a small team and relied on each other, more now than ever before.
The game starts and…we have it. A showing of strength, maintaining an ankle-biting distance between us and Mean Valley. It was stunning. We switch power jams, ones for them, ones for us, the scores catching up. By half-time we’re only 30 odd points behind and we felt elated. The enthusiasm on the bench was euphoric (and other words beginning with ‘e’), not only were we maintaining this score but we were earning those points, Mean Valley were not making it easy. Our bench, a seemingly chaotic flurry of ‘one off, you on, two are in the box, return to bench, jam again, stay on’ couldn’t have been more controlled. Lulu and Juliet kept the Zen bench ideology while Rebellion dug deep for their energy.
A welcome half-time break arrived, allowing well-needed breathers and a bench chat from Juliet and Lulu that lifted our spirits. We went into the second half knowing that we had played successfully and kept this up. Again, we switched power jams between each other as well as Mean Valley’s strong walls vs our own, meaning each team would have their own time with a lead jammer, biting at the points, stopping the other team scoring, but it didn’t dampen our spirits nor the spirits of our loyal crowd, cheering us on and pushing us further to succeed. Jammers were on constantly, sometimes three jams in a row, showing little signs of fatigue.
At the end of the bout the score was 230-149, a brilliant win for Mean Valley. We were proud of our opponents, proud that we still had a full team by the end, proud of our bench and proud of each other. Viva Rebellion!!