- #67 Mean Valley host #88 Birmingham Blitz [B] in a bid to continue their climb this season. BBD did not field a B-team in bouts for almost 16 months, and this will be their third bout since their reintroduction.
- Manchester Roller Derby send both A and B teams over to Dublin for a double header. #85 MRD[B] are 2-2 right now, and can finish the 2012 season with a winning record if they can take down #66 DRG[B], who also need a win to finish 2012 above even.
The A-team bout features #32 MRD travelling to #20 DRG. The Irish side won their one previous meeting, and have managed to increase the distance between the two leagues on the chart ever since. However, according to MRD's SkullDozer, "This time it's a very different team, we have worked very hard on adapting to situations & reading the other team for their tactics. I think it'll be a tough game, but if they keep their heads & work hard I think they stand a chance!"
#27 Dolly Rockit are heading to #14 Hot Wheel for the third bout between the two leagues. Head-to-head, DRR have a 2-0 lead, and the two have traded the higher position on the rankings 3 times in the last 12 months. HWRD have been climbing into the teens, though, whilst DRR are still trying to climb back up after a disappointing July and August.
I spoke with Jerry Atric from HWRD, who explained to me that it's part of his grand strategy to bout against difficult teams, then "settle the score" if they win the first time. Hence the back-to-back bouts against DRR and Newcastle, both with winning records over Hot Wheel. "Both the Dollies and Newcastle have both shown historically that they can play some solid roller derby and they are certainly not bouts to be taken lightly," he told me. Saturday should show if they've made that turnaround.
- In the headline bout of the weekend, #2 Glasgow, fresh off a great performance in Europe and an 11-month undefeated stretch in the UK, take on #9 Tiger Bay, looking to establish themselves as permanent members of the top-10 club. Both teams made significant climbs up the chart this summer, and even a good perfomance in a loss for the Brawlers should cement their reputation as one of the UK's power leagues.
However, the reason this bout is my headliner isn't the two big-name teams taking the track second. It's the two junior derby teams taking the track first! I think this is the first time I'm excited for a bout that won't go into the ranking scheme, or produce stats, or anything like that. This time I'm excited because British derby will be taking a massive step forward, led by the Brawlers, with the public growth of the junior game.