TSI Year In Review 2016

February 13th – TSI vs Mean City Roller Derby Men (175-145):
Eston Sports Academy, Middlesbrough
This was the second time we had taken on Mean City, the first being about 18 months prior when a rag tag bunch of Skate Veterans, newly mins passed Skate Cadets and a few Hired Mercs from Newcastle headed North of the border only to return home with a 3 point loss.
A loss we were determined to avenge.
Both teams had come on leaps and bounds since that last battle and it certainly showed during this game.  Neither team ever got any real advantage and it remained close through out.  When the final whistle blew we had managed to finish the game with a 30 point win.  Afterwards Marryk (aka King Crazy) came over to us, told us how much he had enjoyed it and that he wanted to announce the rubber match when it happened.  Coming from a guy who has seen (and announced) the calibre of Derby he has, we all took that as a pretty big compliment.
Technically the rubber match will be taking place during the 2017 British Champs season, it will just be against Glasgow Mens Roller Derby, a newly formed team comprising a core of former MCRD male skaters.

March 13th – TSI vs Aire Force 1 (299 – 36):
British Champs 2016
Eston Sports Academy, Middlesbrough
Our second game of the year, and our first steps into the British Championships.  This was also the first Double Header we had hosted, quite an experience.  We knew this game would set the course for our champs season, so we had to give it everything we had.  A valiant effort from AF1, but we ended as the victors with a 266 point diff, that to be honest we were not expecting.

April 30th – TSI vs Capital City (230-107):
Eston Sports Academy, Middlesbrough
Another team from Scotland made the journey south to our home venue in April.  The Mighty Unicorns certainly come ready for a fight, but we stood our ground and defended our turf.  This was another hard hitting game (these Scottish Teams are rather tough) which we all left sore and bruised but happy with the victory.

May 14th – TSI vs Sons Of Icarus (349 – 48):
British Champs 2016
Leeds Futsal Stadium, Leeds
For our second game in British Champs we headed down to Leeds to take on a team from Wales (because why not).  After seeing the Sons take on Brothers Grim in the previous Champs double header we had no idea how this game would go (that game ended with only a 28 point diff).  We got on track and just did what we do.  We ended the first period with a hefty lead of 107 points, but we couldn’t rest yet as there are no safe games till the last whistle blows.  We fought on during the second period and managed to extend our lead by another 208 points, only conceding a further 14 points.  This win guaranteed us a place in the playoffs, but the next game would determine 1st or 2nd in Tier 3 North.

July 9th – TSI vs Brothers Grim (249-151):
British Champs 2016 – Tier 3 North Winners
Deeside Leisure Centre, Queensferry
A trip down to Wales was our final stop of the regular season British Champs games before the playoffs.  We faced off against The Brothers Grim in a must win game for both teams.  Grim were certainly a formidable force, they made us fight for every point.  By half time it was BG 93 – 128 TSI.  During the break Swiss Army Mike gave one of his legendary motivational chats and got us back on point for the 2nd period.  It certainly worked as we managed to put an additional 121 points on the board whilst holding Grim to only 58 more points.  This victory put us as the Tier 3 North Winners, and set us up to face the second place team from Tier 3 South in the promotion playoffs.

August 27th – TSI vs Tyne & Fear B*Stars (140 – 324):
Walker Dome, Newcastle
In the run up to our playoff games in September we headed to the Walker Dome to take on our good friends Tyne & Fear.  We have trained and scrimmed with TNF on a number of occasions but this is our first ‘Official’ Bout against them.  Given the calibre of the team we were playing against, we didn’t think we would leave with a victory, that doesn’t mean we went in negatively.  Our heads were held high and we gave our best, but we skated away with a loss.  A great learning experience for sure, every loss will make us better, and one day we will hold a victory over the boys north of the Tyne.

September 10th – TSI vs Bristol Roller Derby (174-201):
British Champs 2016 Promotion Game
Newark Showgrounds, Newark
So we made it, our first season with a full team of just TSI skaters, and here we are in the promotion game for British Champs 2016 Tier 3.
We take on Tier 3 Souths 2nd place team Bristol Roller Derby.  We didn’t know what to expect from this game, and boy howdy did it push us to our limits.  We fought hard, but on this day Bristol took the victory.  This put our chances of promotion to Tier 3 out of the window, but there was still one more game to focus on the next day.
Watch the game here.

September 11th – TSI vs Brothers Grim (358-60):
British Champs 2016 Tier 3 – 3rd Place Game – 3rd Overall
Newark Showgrounds, Newark
Coming off the disappointment of the previous day we had all given our heads a good shake and came into this game against Brothers Grim (who had also unfortunately lost their game the previous day) ready to battle.  This certainly showed as we hit the Grim boys with a renewed vigour, a stark contrast to our previous meeting just 2 months prior.  The score line might not show it, but this was a hard fought game, Grim certainly didn’t make it easy on us.  Our win in this game gave us 3rd place overall in Tier 3
Watch the game here.

October 25th – New Captaincy
After an amazing, but stressful season, Rob Noxious announced that due to ‘Real Life’ commitments outside of Roller Derby (who knew there was such a thing?) he was stepping down as Captain.  We were of course saddened by this, but we had to move forward.  A meeting was called and a new committee elected.  Swiss Army Mike and Dick Dashtardly were voted in as Co-Captains, with Rob Noxious, Nakker Waggon and Walter Fight forming the rest of the committee to take us through the 2017 season.

November 19th – Oldham Sevens
Thunder Dome, Oldham
Game 1: TSI vs Wirral – 57-61
We took to the first game feeling reserved and not knowing what to expect, Wirral were a quality team and it made for an exiting game from start to finish. We had a power jam right as the game was coming to a close, where Sparky managed to sneak in an apex jump setting us only a few points from victory.  He then went in for a second but missed the jump and was sent to the penalty box. When their jammer was released, the blockers on track did an amazing job of holding him, allowing our jammer to sneak through and score some final points before the final whistle leaving the score at a painful 61-57 to Wirral.
Game 2: TSI vs KORD – 66-27
We were hurting a little after such a close game against Wirral.  Swiss Army Mike did what he does best, settled us down, reminded us of what we do well and got us ready for the next game. We refocused and went onto the track (already quite sweaty…). From there it generally was about what we do best – calm walls and stealthy jamming.  Knights of Oldham did destroy our expectations though as they had really improved since our last meeting (June 2015 – KORD 46 – 404 TSI) and really messed with our walls.  However with Mikes words ringing in our ears we pushed on and managed a solid win which saw us qualify for the 3rd/4th place playoff.
Game 3: TSI vs SOI – 66-35
Having already beat SOI during British champs with a 301 point diff, we were surprised then to face off against a new and improved Sons Of Icarus.  They showed new skills & determination that really challenged our jammers and blockers.  We took an early lead but as the game progressed the scores became narrower until one of our main jammers, Dick Dashtardly, struck out as injured for the rest of the game.  This could have been the turning point of the game but we soldiered on a man down and held on to our lead finishing 66-35 and putting overall 3rd Place in the tournament.
Overall Tournament Awards:
Best Blocker – Dyna Mo (Barrow Infernos)
Best Jammer – Sparky (TSI)
MVP – Jardine (Barrow Infernos)

End Of Year Awards.
To close out the year we had our obligatory night out and also presented some awards.
The 2016 award winners were as follows:
Best Jammer – Sparky
Best Blocker – Johnny Bloxville
Best Fall(s) – Dick Dashtardly and Skate’n’Bake
Most Inspirational – Swiss Army Mike
Most Improved – Johnny Bloxville
Most Promising – Worzel Scrimmidge
Maddest Skillz – Sparky
Off Skates Commitment – Walter Fight
Ref Of The Year – Rita Lin
Member Of The Year – Walter Fight

We also want to give a big thank you to our Bench Coach, Terri Sudron, our Line Up Manager, Frodo Bashins and to all the Refs, NSOs, Volunteers and of course the fans, without all these people we would just be skating round in circles aimlessly.

So that was our 2016, we hope you enjoyed the ride and trust you will join us in 2017 for more Roller Derby goodness.

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