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Rivals roll back the years

PUBLISHED: 10:26 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 30 June 2010

Roller hockey rivals line up for the camera at Retro Skate.

Roller hockey rivals line up for the camera at Retro Skate.

RIVAL teams skated their way into local history after reigniting a fixture that, in previous decades, saw a fierce clashing of hockey sticks between two neighbours.

RIVAL teams skated their way into local history after reigniting a fixture that, in previous decades, saw a fierce clashing of hockey sticks between two neighbours.

It was the first time in 16 years that Great Yarmouth and Norwich roller hockey squads had battled it out, and the honours ended even.

Three matches were played between the junior Great Yarmouth Retro Skate team and the Norwich City Roller Hockey Club, who took a game each before drawing the last match.

Although only some of the participants had reached their teens, organisers hope they have revived a tradition.

Retro Skate was the arena on Wednesday night when Norwich won the U13 match 4-2, an U15 Yarmouth squad won the second 2-1 and a final mixed match ended 1-1.

Their performances follow in the footsteps of a string of teams from the area, including the Comets and the Stars. Among Yarmouth's best players this time around were Marcus and Dominic Jolly and goalkeeper Daniel Beck.

Commenting on previous clashes in which he was involved, former Yarmouth player Tim Nelson, 50, said in the past there was no love lost between the teams. “There used to be quite a physical rivalry between the two teams. Hopefully following on from this match we will be able to get the new Yarmouth team into a league next season.”

The sport was established in the area a century ago, and since then Yarmouth teams have played at some of the highest levels.

Mr Nelson and Glen Bradfield were asked by Retro Skate to kick-start an old tradition and get involved with lessons late last year. Since then, every Wednesday and Thursday night, children aged between six and 15 have honed their skills. England coach Carlos Amaral paid a visit in November.

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