Threats From The WEST | BRIGHTON Face Teams From LIMERICK And BRISTOL | Who’s BEST?

The mighty Brighton Rockers are back in action in Haywards Heath this Saturday (21st Sept) against teams from the West of both Ireland and England. The A-team take on Limerick Roller Derby then the B-team face their Bristol Roller Derby equivalents. True fact: if you draw a straight line on a map from the centre of Limerick to the centre of Brighton it passes right through the centre of Bristol. But we digress… Doors are at 2pm with the A-team game kicking off half an hour later, followed by the Bs just after 4.30pm. It’s Slap Dash’s birthday and Hippy Hippy Skate’s last game before transferring to the London Rockin’ Rollers, so expect a super special day. Tickets are £8 online from the link at the bottom of this piece or £9.50 on the door. Students and Compass Card holders pay £7 and under 12s go free.

If you’ve never been to the Dolphin before it’s crazy easy to get to. Car users can point their Sat Nav at RH16 1LY. Train folks will find the leisure centre seven minutes walk from Haywards Heath station (turn left and follow the signs) and this weekend is free from engineering works yay! There’s a decent enough pub, the Burrell Arms, opposite the station and a large Sainsbury’s with ATMs halfway to the venue. There should be a bottle bar, cakes, merch, a raffle and more in the sports hall, with a cafe and vending machines in the foyer. The after party will be back in Brighton at the games packed World’s End.

PREDICTIONS [Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know]
Flattrackstats’ own (non official) WFTDA rankings place A-team competitors Brighton 295th and Limerick 373rd. The hosts are given 92% chance of victory with a differential of 56:29. This means the Rockers will need to get almost double Limerick’s points total to improve their ranking, whilst anything substantially less will benefit the visitors. The B-team match is predicted to be closer with the Rockerbillies 261st in Europe and Bristol Bees 274th. Brighton B are given 62% chance of victory and are expected to score 15 points for every 13 from Bristol. This suggests a fairly narrow (20 points or so) overall victory margin, which is super close in derby. Bear in mind that the prediction computer gets it wrong as often as it gets it right. The only real way to know how the games are gonna play out it is to be there watching them.

“The A-team won 173-157 in Limerick in 2017. It will be interesting to see how things have changed for both teams over the past two years. I’m expecting a challenge, but I’ve also heard they’re a great league to play against, so I can’t wait. In the B-team game we’re expecting to face a strong Bristol side. From our perspective, three victories at Eastbourne Extreme has boosted everyone’s confidence and the Rockerbillies are hungry for more success.”

“The 2017 match was a challenging game at the time and a very close one at that. Brighton won by 16 points, so we’re definitely not going to underestimate the Rockers. All of the Limerick skaters are forces to be reckoned with, every player bringing their unique strengths and skills to the game, so we’re ready and prepared for this rematch.”

“Our Beehive is constantly changing with some Bees being promoted to the A-team and new bees coming from drop in, but as a good beehive we work as a team and always aim to look after each other and have fun. The only thing we can predict is a tough game from the Rockerbillies. We’ll be digging deep, getting low and most importantly having fun on track.”

[Photo by John Hesse]



A Munster Calls – The BRIGHTON ROCKERS Face LIMERICK And BELFAST In Ireland This Weekend!

The mighty Brighton Rockers A-team are in action this weekend over in Ireland. They will be facing Limerick Roller Derby and Belfast Roller Derby in a three-team mini-tournament at the UL Sport Centre in Limerick tomorrow, Saturday 17th June (doors at 11am). Should you fancy a trip over, Shannon airport is nearby, but this late in the day even the budget airlines are far from budget – expect to pay £300-ish return. The cheapest accommodation option is probably Troy Self-Catering Village, about ten minutes walk from the venue, at around £30 a night. Or for fancier folk, Brennan Court Guesthouse is right next door to the sports centre at £60 a night.

[Skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know how Flattrackstats expects these games to go.] Unfortunately the European rankings bit of the FTS website, which we were going to use to predict all three games, isn’t working at the moment. We can predict two of the matches using other rankings systems. Belfast place 18th in the UKRDA with 610.1 points, some way ahead of Brighton in 23rd (595.0). Averaging out home and away predictions for the neutral venue gives 62% chance of a Belfast win, with an expected differential of 10:9 working out as something like a 200-180 loss for the Rockers. Limerick place 203rd in WFTDA on 564.9 points, with Belfast 348th (458.1). The hosts are given a whopping 98% chance of the win here, an expected differential of 13:4 equating to circa a 260-80 home win. The Limerick v Brighton game can’t be predicted right now as the European rankings are offline – we’ll add it when we can. Meanwhile, let’s catch up with a Rocker ahead of the tournament…


The event in Haywards Heath last month saw a big win for the A-team over Hell’s Belles (345-136). What do you recall of that game and the B-team’s narrow loss (187-202) to Suffolk Bees?
Both games were very exciting for us and the crowd. The Rockers have been working so hard for the last year and we’re thrilled that it’s paying off. Hell’s Belles were fantastic competitors; they made us push for every point and it was a pleasure to share the track with them. On an even brighter note, the Rockerbillies have been a real inspiration for us. Their determination and spirit shows more and more with every game. Unfortunately this one was a loss, but only by a dozen points, and they were fighting until the very end. I’m so incredibly proud of them.

This Saturday (17th June) the A-team are heading over to Ireland for a three team tournament in Limerick. The Rockers’ previous trip to the Emerald Isle (Dublin in 2012) has become the stuff of legend. What are you expecting this time around?
Legendary is definitely the right word for that Dublin trip, and our first venture to Limerick will be a great experience for us. We get to play two amazing teams, including Belfast, where the one and only Finn McCruel got her derby start. We’ve got a solid roster of strong, smart players and we may even have a few tricks up our sleeves. It’s going to be a tough back-to-back challenge, but we’re up for it. We’re so excited to experience the wonderful Irish derby hospitality again, and no doubt there will be stories that become the stuff of legends (at least at the after party!).

You’ll be facing hosts Limerick Roller Derby and Belfast Roller Derby. Any thoughts re those teams? Are there extra challenges involved in playing two games straight after each other?
The rankings are fairly close, and we’ll certainly be keeping that in mind; but we’ll be coming in with our game, and I have confidence that with our teamwork we can make some great things happen. To be honest, I’ve not seen either opponent play. Both games are going to be tough and we always love to learn from new teams – we expect a run for our money!

You’re hosting a fundraising night on July 22nd at the Latest Musicbar. What can people expect from that event and what are you raising money for?
The event was supposed to be held last week as a fundraiser for our trip to Ireland, but we ran into venue issues and had to reschedule. So now we’re hoping that lots of Rockers supporters will come to help us celebrate and refill the kitty in July, so we can keep doing what we do. We’ve got a fun quiz (hosted by yours truly), great bands and some extra special surprise merch for the night, as well as classic Rockers after party games. It’s going to be SOME night.

Finally, do the Rockers have much planned for the remainder of 2017?

We’ve got a pretty full summer ahead of us! On Sunday, whilst the A-team are away, the Rockerbillies are raising money skating the South Coast Roll – a whole marathon on skates! Check out the link below to sponsor them. We’ll be taking part in Eastbourne Extreme in July, skating Proudly in the Brighton Pride parade in August, and arranging some incredible games for the autumn. There’s so much to look forward to!