NPT Closed Scrim 4th May 2013
Or as I like to call it “The bout that wasn’t a bout but actually was a bout”.
It began as the usual invitation to go off on a weekend jolly to Newport for a nice little skate with some welsh ladies…well, that’s what we were all led to believe when the date was first put into our diaries.
On the day, the usual malarkey ensued: getting up ridiculously early for a Saturday; sandwiches to make; flask of tea to brew; emergency tin of pop; plenty of water; sweeties and making sure we had the not-so-trusted sat-nav which always seemed to get us there, but has a habit of re-directing us to Aberdeen for the journey home.
We’d already had a training session at home run by Hazel from NPT so everyone was fairly calm as we would recognize a few faces and were expecting it would be a similar day again, only on their home turf. How wrong we were.
As we turned up in Newport and entered the smart sports hall, it became immediately obvious things were a bit more serious. NPT were already in their team kit, warming up on track and looking a bit, well, dangerous. Referees and official-looking people with clipboards were milling around and there were even people there to watch the game. Mild panic set in, legs turned to jelly, and waivers were signed, illegibly in my case as the shakes meant I couldn’t hold a pen. We didn’t have a full team of Screamers so a couple of the lovely NPT skaters were in blue and ready to skate with us. Before I knew it and before I even had one skate on I was in the middle of the track for the pre-game Captain chat, now it was getting really serious. Then it began……..
From the first whistle the pace was really fast and as ever, the game was a bit of a blur. As soon as you are on track you have no time for fear, adrenalin kicks in. Still being very new to this derby game at this point we did amazingly well, our walls were getting stronger and we were even hitting some players off track. Slowly and surely we were working together as a team and points were being scored by the Screamers too! As we were short of skaters it was pretty much a constant game of being on track as long as you could still breath. Three jams in a row for our skaters was normal in this game, all that stamina training had definitely paid off and everyone did superbly.
The relief at the final whistle to be alive was overwhelming, sweaty hugs all round and then off to the pub in welsh convoy for celebratory/obligatory booze and more chat about everything derby.
Everyone that day was amazing, we are so thankful to NPT for welcoming us, we learnt loads and are eternally grateful for all the support and encouragement shown to us by their skaters and refs too.……..and for giving us a proper battering! We love it!
Words: Coxy & I know it 000h.