Preamble: While some of us were trundling about on the highways of this province following Derby in our own inimitable fashion, others cast their eyes further and follow Derby while and where they can. Inveterate Derby player and follower Mallory KnoxUOut was captivated by the action on DNN on a Saturday night. Here are her thoughs and words.
YOUR MOM MEN’S DERBY VS ST LOUIS GATEKEEPERS-IN DES MOINES, IOWA (YOUR MOM HOSTING)
Ok so I started writing at halftime…..it was 69-67 not too sure for whom…..but it was such an exciting game I decided to start writing about it in the second half.
It was a hard–hitting, fast-moving game and besides the crazy colors on the floor of the obvious roller rink venue, the most shocking thing was how vocal the crowd was. Calling out what they saw as penalties or their thoughts on better plays. Some yelled encouragement and others profanities!!!
The venue was pretty small, but it was either packed or the best crowd I’ve ever heard at a game.
The teams were very evenly matched with a lot of backwards skating, trapping, and hitting, just like at a women’s game, but the chanting, the screaming the jumping up and down in their seats, this was so different.
Not to mention some crazy drunk guy you can hear in the background maybe 3 rows away from the cameraman. He was screaming at the refs: ” Are your F’n serious?”, “Are you freakin blind?” and my fave: “ I hope they ain’t paying you too much for this!!” Hilarious. The camera picked him up but no one else seemed to be listening to him. I wondered how long until maybe he got ejected and I think the only reason he wasn’t was because no one could hear him over the absolute ROAR of the crowd.
Your Mom Men’s Derby is hosting St. Louis in their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, the crowd completely loses it when they get the lead in any jam….they also get very angry when they disagree with a ref’s call…
The camera man is cheering for the visiting team St. Louis, so it was an interesting contrast. He is yelling defense into the camera, it is amusing me. No pack, he says, tripping….so funny…does he not realize you cannot hear anything anyone is saying to you when you are out there on the track !! Booing when his team got a bad call they were all so loud and animated…it gave me chills to hear it!!
I could not however hear the real announcers, so I apologize that I am unable to name the names of the players that were on the roster….or the ones who made the most points.!
At 6 minutes left in the second half the score is STLGK 143 and YMMD 103…….it is still anyone’s game….it’s getting crazy exciting…and my computer crashes.
(This was the awesome floor of the venue!!)
I hurry my ass up to get booted back up and online….back to the end of the game.
I know Your Mom had the lead when it crashed as I had heard the crowd cheering. When I get back on it is 155-111 for STLGK and just a minute to go….not sure how that happened …..
Lots of booing is what I tuned back into and some swearing….Seems men’s derby is some serious business…either that or alcohol made everyone think they were refs!!
There is a final timeout I am unsure who has called it….But YMMD needs a formidable jam in just over a minute and they aren’t likely to get it at this late in the game…but they fought like tigers. Gatekeepers just fought like bigger tigers….
Both teams have the speed, the moves, the fancy footwork, and the big hits, it was a really tight game and it was anyone’s from the get go.
Last lead jam goes to Your Mom’s Men Derby and the crowd once again roars!! They all count down the last seconds on the jam clock….the whole audience….and the final score is 159-116 for the Gatekeepers….with a more than valiant effort from Your Mom.
I was most amazed by the crowd and their input….i could only hear the people around the cameraman, not the official announcers….it was kind of like being right there …thanx DNN.
Men’s derby is on the rise….they play hard and probably party harder!! And I imagine everyone will be winners at the after party…..<3 derby
/* this is a story still in the creation stage but we owe it to you all to at least get some recognition for all you have done */
Preamble: The crowds were filling up The Hangar while the D-VAS were hosting their first ever bout against the likes of Bones Brigade and Jewel Kicker as Durham Region Roller Derby took to the track for their inauguration to the competitive track as well. Durham have come a long way, baby. Since then they have gone through the growing pains and acquired a steady place they can call their practice space.
It was just a year ago when we wrote: “”Primary jammers for the Classy Trashy Roller Girls in the first half were #126 Cutsie Bootsie, #18 Roxy Rollah and #6 K-Rip. … Durham Region with all its travails fielding its first team and both leagues [Durham Region Roller Derby and Toronto Roller Derby] garnering first game experience for their rookie teams must be a proud and valuable accomplishment for all. … Under the guidance and coaching of all concerned including Blammo, Goodietwoscrews and Bones Brigade, Derby in Oshawa/Durham Region should not be a secret any longer.”
One year later.
The Derby Gods and Durham Region Roller Derby’s biggest fan must be smiling today. The Gibson’s Cup commemorates the spirit of the league’s friend and ardent supporter, Gibson. The story of Gibson, who the league first met when he was an 11 year old boy, touched the hearts of all of Durham who supported him and is detailed elsewhere more eloquently in their programme.
The 19th of August finally came, and DRRD were ready for the first home game in its history at at the Village Arena in Ajax, Ontario.
Durham has been a league in evolution: last year they were the Durham Classy Trashy Rollergirls, but that dissipated and transitioned into the new league represented by the current trio of teams. Durham has always been good for hitting the road, with their all-stars combined as the Durham Roller Derby Devils, spreading the good word about themselves, from Fresh and Furious to 2 Fresh 2 Furious down at GTA Rollergirls turf or Peterborough’s Electric City, Ottawa’s Capital City or other Derby domains such as the West End Waywards Rollergettes.
True believers in the original spirit of Derby, self-motivated, fighting to get ahead, cultivating their Derby family, newbies and vets alike with great coaching and great fans. And at long last Durham held their first home bout. This is not a story about that game itself – but as you can tell from the photos over at Gibson’s Cup the score was kept close with killer hits from Hitz and company on the Atom Smashers, and returned in kind by Slamureye on Motor City.
DRRD’s Interleague Relationship Co-ordinator #99¢ Beat Boxx McRocks who also plays as pivot and blocker on the track, says of the hard day’s night: “We were so thrilled to be lucky enough to hold such a fantastic event. With our league being skater ran and operated, and having been established since 2009-it was so rewarding to see our two spectacular teams final;y bout against each other. We have been striving towards this goal and looking forward to a kick ass season next spring. I have to admit it was well worth the wait.”
“A lot of us have been skating together since the beginning of our derby lives, and skate together as a team when we compete as the Durham Derby Devils.
“We are amazed and so excited at the fact that our first ever event SOLD OUT!!! I guess it’s just the tip of the iceberg of things to expect for the future.”
The abundance of Derby experience and expertise within the league and who came out to support Durham was rather astounding, with the presence of different leagues coaches and referees who came to help run the show smoothly. Durham’s normal coach Blammo was announcer for the night in complement with Mo Daddy and Crankypants Jr. There were a few familiar personas on the track, Hitz Miller and Darth Kater had changed names from before, but Cutsie Bootsie was still around from The Hangar days against the D-VAS.
During the game, Coach Lucid Lou on the side of the Motor City Madames only asked two things: “Blockers, skate harder! Jammers, skate faster!” and heaven only knows what coach Mouth of the South said to the Atom Smashers. But words can only go so far – it’s the heart of the players that drives the skates to higher revvs around the track.
The worn-out faces on the players and the sweat and blood and bodies on the floor was all the evidence one needed to show they were complying with their coaches. The Atom Smashers jammer rotation starting with 12 Gage and Legzy Maegzy went head to head against the Motor City Madames Cutsie Bootsie, Darth Kater and Blood Muffin in the first half, then the substitutions started coming in as Smashers began to tire or save their legs.
Morpheus’s line from The Matrix came true: “Stop trying to hit me, and hit me!” Any reluctance the Atom Smashers and Motor City Madames had for hitting fellow leaguemates for real in a real game fell in a wayside of hits and blocks that caused players to tumble and collide with the floor. The Motor City Madames raced to the front to create the walls and allow their jammers to slowly pull away and garner the points. What was a see-saw one or two point difference began to expand in the favour of the blue as the second period clock wound down to zero. The anticipation on the Motor Cities Madames bench was palpable. #244 Hitz Miller from the Smashers took to the Naughty Spot penalty bin for the last time.
“What I can say about that game was for our first league bout I do think it was very successful and that the girls did an amazing job hosting the bout. As for game play, it was very difficult playing against girls that I skate with as a team every week, we know how each other play and what each others strength and weaknesses are but we all played our hardest given the obstacles of knowing, mind you I was caught off guard by how alot of the girls play and can say I am glad to be on their team in all but that game.” – Krystal Hitz Miller
“Bonesy is no longer with DRRD, Goodie became a ref (Klitty Litter). Blammo is our league coach. She did announcing for the game because it wouldn’t be fair for one team to have her bench manage and not the other. She also does bench managing for our travel team with Biz. She does it all for DRRD!”
For another point of view from Cutsie Bootsie on the Motor City Madames, “Just that skating with these girls for the last year and a half has been a life changing experience in the best possible way. It brought me back to life, gave me some of the best friendships I could have ever asked for and when I’m on that track nothing else matters. All my worries and troubles just fade away. Its the best kind of therapy a gal can ask for. I love being on my skates, and I love Derby!”
Indeed, for DRRD, “Roller derby is more then just a sport, it’s a lifestyle.”
Preamble: It is always very enlightening and more entertaining to hear about Derby from the inside track and the participants themselves. So here is the story from Mallory Knox UOut who came down from Sudbury to see her first team in action at the Sault Rollerderby’s Black and Blue debut [featuring Soonami and Blackheart Maidens against Timmins Gold Miners’ Daughters and Fort Frances Freak Show] and ending up yelling from the bench itself. Her story starts here.
Life experience #8,769,174, bench-coaching for the Sault’s Soonami Slammers hosting the Timmins Gold Miners’ Daughters, and what an awesome experience it was!!!I arrived shortly before game time and ran to hug my old teammate “Devil Zone” and say hello. She says: “Hey girl! Do you want to help??”
I had no idea what I was in for!! But I loved that they included me as soon as I walked in. That’s what derby love feels like!
After seating my dad in a location I thought he would enjoy I set off to find “B CZAR”. Everyone seemed equipped and ready to go, taping up their equipment, et cetera. “Hotass Hell” was doing an interview with CTV. The camera was rolling on all the hustle and bustle of the dressing room, and B CZAR sat with a clipboard in hand doing the line-ups and trying to get her gear on at the same time! I asked what to do. She handed me the board with a quick description. And off we went. Everyone’s nerves are frazzled on a big bout day, and being at the enormous Essar Centre was very impressive and reminded me of the Nationals at the playoffs in Chicago/Windy City last November. The very growth of this sport in 10 years kind of hit me at that moment. We had about 300 in attendance and the fans really got into it. They yelled and cheered. They were very verbal sport lovers!!! They shouted and jumped up in their seats for every victory the Slammers had, big or small!
So I worked with B CZAR’s line-up, there were a limited amount of the girls who could or would play that position. B CZAR, Smasha Yar, and DeaLyn Daisies were my main go-to girls.
The Timmins Jammers were fast as lightning…..and their team as a whole was tight. They also had four players from Fort Frances’ team Fort Freak Show on board and they were some hard hitting girls from my vantage point!!
At half time I surveyed the situation. I re-wrote the lines. I tried to balance it the way B CZAR had it but easing up on the jammers, and it worked. I found a good flow within the girls. I commandeered a couple to jam who normally don’t. I think they were a lot more focused in the second half. O, I know I was and I also understood my role better. The Slammers had two very experienced out of town players. DeaLyn Daisies gave us good pointers. She was a great jammer got lead more than a few times. The other out-of-towner Smasher Smore was a very strong positional blocker, but I had to throw her in as jammer a couple times. I used Smasha Yar and Goddess of Destructiona lot more in the second half as jammers. In the second half I am screaming lines to the girls. I had to correct myself a lot. I am not sure how many times but they were patient with me. I would show them the lines on the paper, however, with the sweat running down their faces they said: “We can’t see….yell it at us!!!” So that’s what I did…I started yelling!
I thought it was going swimmingly. Out of nowhere I have two extra people on the track because there are two in the penalty box I haven’t seen whatsoever, and apparently no one else noticed either. So Nick L Bagg [Jeff Latham] the coach from Timmins and I were screaming at the middle refs that I have way too many people on. Jeff is a good sport. I’ll tell you that he just laughed about it after. He knew I had never done that job before!!! So we got penalized for my mistake there, and a couple other mistakes I made about who was lead jammer and who wasn’t!! I think pretty normal mistakes for a first timer.
I had a blast, the Slammers were very appreciative of my help. They were patient with my foul-ups, and I did my best to have them out in 30 seconds.The Timmins girls won 133-89 but the Soo fans were pleased with the first game either way!!!
The after party was at a bar called the Rockstar Bar with a band called Obsession. As always roller girls hit hard on the track and grab asses at the after party. I had a great time seeing old friends….and making new ones…and my dad also had a great time. He kept saying was I can’t wait to see you do that!
So basically, the Sault needs recruits, there needs to be more alternates, more choices for jammer position. Getting people committed with both time and money which are hard things to come by. That’s all the Sault needs are more girls. And refs and coach would be cool, too!!!!
It seems like the third time in a month of Saturdays we’re off again to Royal City for what promises to be a fun night and a colourful battle between the Killer Queens and the Violet Uprising. More words and pics when we get back home again. If we do ….***
And we’re back from the Royal City and quel adventure! Certain details will remain under the carpet but so many Derby thanks and much gratitude to all those who made it all possible. You know who you are.
Saturday night is all right for fightin’ and entertain’ and Royal City Rollergirls brought it all to the floor of the Sleeman Centre in downtown Guelph. A veritable royal rumble ensued precipitated by a combination madskill Derby Skills competition featuring representatives of the three teams of the RCRG, and the evening concluded with the Championship game itself.
The announcer of the night was one Lightning Slim whose dulcet tones have been heard in and around Beast of the East and Tri-City. Another plus was a whole slew of experienced and out of town zebras from the Hammer, Tri-City, GTAR, Forest City to complement the Royal City crew of Quadtum Leap, Chocolate Meltdown and NoRefX. So there would be some serious calling this night, but first the latter three zebras were part of the trio of teams going into the Skills competition devised by Waldow and inspired from an Australian competition she had seen. The first event was a mad dash with two laps per player per team around the track, which was only slightly less dangerous than the speedskating kind seen at the Olympics. However, no one wiped out and ran into the boards. An obstacle course conceived by Chocolate Meltdown proved tricky with the the slippery floor while trying to navigate between the plastic pucks. No doubt the highlight was the high jump hurdle competition that boiled down to the three referees at the end trying to jump the incrementally raised heights of the bamboo stick. In the early stages the zebras were clearing the tops of the posts but by the three foot mark, it was down to the two and Quadtum Leap and NoRefX were left. They both cleared the height of the support, then two derby widows decided to hold the stick between them. It was at this juncture that skates clipped the stick for both contestants which left things at a tie and both claiming the ribbon.
The last competition was a free for all with two couples doing Derby whip or Scooters disco skating moves, but Quadtum Leap took his name to heart and dared to jump over four, then five willing victims. Including NoRefX. The judges accorded perfect 10s and Quadtum Leap claimed his ribbon.
In the final battle of the regular home season two weeks previously, Our Ladies of Pain fell to the Killer Queens, with the winner facing the Violet Uprising to claim the title. On this championship night, Killer Queens were brimming with confidence while the Violet Uprising kept their royal cool. The Killer Queens would have to counter a purple jammer rotation of Annasty Hit, Clare de Lunatic and The Hellcat of Panar with their own Archbitch of Slamterbury, Ivanna Slappa and Built Ford Rough. Violet pivots Waldow, Suenami Slayer, Viral Mayhem, Kitty Con Carnage. Pivot and eyes ready Mandy Maggotbone pivot for Killer Queens with Sixty-Five Roses. Already the Killer Queens would be fielding a bench of twelve, missing at least Lady Gore Jess, and Tight-Laced Tylene was confined to bench coaching.
With the scoreboard clock ticking down towards final jam one could only reflect back towards a season past where Royal City had just started to put its skates on, landing enough interest and membership to form three full teams, and then reached out to other leagues in search of learning and improvement, scrimmaging teams in and around the area, heading up to Tri City to challenge the TKOs in their first ever bout, saying more than hello to the WEWRA Rollergettes.
Royal City has a triumvirate of jammers so reminiscent of a certain spunky jammer in Rideau Valley …
Although the Violet Uprising were the first to crack 100, there came a moment when the Killer Queens were ready to strike back because as Lightning Slim and hosts of other commentators have said, no lead is safe and anything is possible in Derby.
The battle best be carried forth through the contestants on the track: The Killer Queens were already down 100 to 59 with 17 minutes left in the period.
Killer Queens Bonnie BruiseHer: “We have come back from losing at half time before. Unfortunately for us, we had jammers in the box all nite. Of course, yours truly was sent there as well. i have never had so many majors. Even when i was at Tri City and I would dispute two of them. But that’s what we sign up for when we play.”
Violet Uprising Soni Soprano: “During the game, I think we were all anxious. You are not just trying to play the game, you’re trying to play the game to the best of each and everyone’s potential. Myself personally, I was nervous. I think I am usually nervous at the beginning of every game, but as you keep playing, you focus more and more. We aren’t just a bunch of girls that play together, we are like family. You have to have each other’s backs every time you step onto the track. Your jammer cannot get through without the blockers and if your jammer isn’t focused on which entry point she has to get through or see where her blockers open the holes, it’s game over. One cannot survive without the other, it’s like that old saying about the well-oiled machine.”
Bonny BruiseHer: “I for one just keep hammering at the blockers and trying to catch their jammers. Personally, I was very very impressed with the whole team of Violet Uprisihg. I thought Annasty Hit was an incredible jammer and she never tired. We knew we would have to use a net to catch Hellcat, so we had a three wall going at the back. We knew that they would expect me to play back so we hoped this would confuse them.”
Soni Soprano: “What was giving us the confidence was all of us working together and communicating. Not just on the track, but off the track.. We have a coach that has to make decisions with the line coach, your captain and co-captain have to reiterate that to the team, and the team, well, we have to communicate all that to one another. You just can’t have one without the other…..”
Bonny BruiseHer: “They were the better team. that’s it. They played a good defence and their jammers didn’t cut the track or get caught up in our nets. We had a couple of shining moments in the second half, we hammered a Violet Uprising jammer all the way around the track. Violet Uprising have a great jammer killer in the back played by Lavendrr Blu, [who] also races to the front and tries up there as well.”
Bonny BruiseHer: “They have superb jammers like I said and really good blockers. The Killer Queens have knowledgable blockers and a pivot who likes to chase down jammers [Mandy Maggotbone]. It was a very physical game which is my favorite and it is hard to hit friends. That being said….it was a very hard hitting game.”
Soni Soprano: “Being champions of our league is absolutely amazing! Everyone put in 110%, plus blood, sweat, and tears which seems to be prerequisites to a derby girl!”
Soni Soprano continues: “I feel great about our team and RCRG. I have made many new friends and continue to do so! I think that thanks to the travel team putting us on the map in Ottawa, our Queen’s of Pain putting us in 3rd place at Too Fresh Too Furious and Violet Uprising undefeated at Sleemans, these are all landmarks of our future AND we couldn’t have done this all without our volunteers, our teams, and thanks to our president Cynthia Waldow who began this story for many of us. Our coach Jamie a.k.a. Dr. Ninja A.F., our captain Kim Scarsmashian, and co-captain Hellcat of Panar….also, kudos to our Killer Queens Coaches Quoth the Raven and Captain Ivanna Slappa and their team.”
Bonny BruiseHer: “We’ve come a long way this season and it shows. I look forward to next season. we will be a force to be reckoned with. You can count on that.”
Soni Soprano on the future: “What am I looking forward to next? Aha! A nice vacation in the fall, changing my derby name (as per request of a fan…) and meeting all the new fresh meaters when we begin the wheel again! RCRG looking forward to? Fresh Meat coming up, and many more ideas to come in the future…you’ll just have to wait and see!”
Preamble: We come to part five of Sloppy’s Derby adventures in Sweden.
Over the previous four installments Sloppy Boggins has done the special kindness of allowing his experiences in Sweden and Derby to be journaled on these pages. Originally with the Austin Rollergirls where Derby was reborn, he was bidden a sad and fond farewell by the TXRD Lonestar Rollergirls when he came back home to Canada. Here, Sloppy lent his coaching hand amongst the GTA Rollergirls in Toronto and helped foster the Chrome Mollys. Sloppy then left the country for another life to continue coaching in Sweden.
In his first installment Sloppy wrote about his introduction to coaching Derby in Stockholm Roller Derby (STRD). The second chapter GAME TIME! detailed the STRD travels to play in Malmö, then came the birth of a great day in Swedish Roller Derby, “the birth of Swedish rollerderby”, the first Derby bout in Sweden itself ever. The third chapter covered Fresh meat and coaching from Sloppy’s point of view. Part four covered the latest action in STRD and birth of a new team in Sweden. Now Sloppy goes on holidays Swedish style in this narration.
Over to you one more time, Sloppy!
That last double bout was a hot and somewhat stressful day, but when it was over I felt great. The last five months were a success. I had set some goals and I think they were all exceeded, and I could now enjoy a little vacation time. Well, more of a derby vacation.
The first stop was a brief one for Mid-Summer in the countryside where I could enjoy the clean air and plenty of dogs. I had been missing the time I normally spend in the cottage country of Canada, but the Swedish version is much the same, awesome! It was a quick but lovely stop before taking the ferry to Gotland.
The ferry landed in the town of Visby which is quite a sight. The town is completely surrounded in a 12th century fortress wall. Unlike other such places it is a breathing heritage site with people living and working normal jobs and lives within. At first glance the cobblestones might make you ask why I brought my skates but this is the home of the Visby Valkyries.
Not far outside Visby, we camped out in the yard under the flag of the Visby Valkyries which we shared with chickens and horses. A few hours of practice each day mixed with some sightseeing and simply hanging out in the beautiful weather was just what I needed. I don’t really hang out with the people I coach as much as I might like to because it can interfere with the derby relationship. But in this case I wouldn’t have the pleasure to work with any of them until the World Cup, so I loosened up a bit. One of the Valkyries even commented on the difference between my coaching persona during a bout that she had seen versus who I was in person. Apparently she was surprised that I was nice. I must not appear so during a game? So I guess there are a few versions of myself in Sweden: the coach/trainer, the coach in a game, and the guy with the silly laugh sitting in the “baden baden”, aka lawn chair, under the apple tree. Well, only two of those were in Gotland for the week that became known as Rauk N Roll.
The Raukar is a long dead ancient coral reef that is now a bizarre rock formation along the coast of Fårö island. Conveniently, there is a very nice path running along side it and the Baltic sea that you can skate on without much problem at all. The low lying lands, the Raukar, the low sun, and the great company made for some of the best outdoor skating you could hope for. There were many more sights, but back to derby.
What the Visby Valkyries lacked in numbers and experience they more than made up for in teamwork and determination. It was so nice to see some development while we were there as we had them play as a team on the last day and give STRD a good challenge. Once again it proved that it is just a matter of understanding what it is you have as a player and using it as best you can. I have no doubt that the Visby Valkyries will do very well if they can attract more recruits. They were the greatest of hosts and I do hope they make this an annual event as I would be so curious to see how good they will be this time next year.
As for Stockholm Rollerderby currently in the off season, it has been a great pleasure to work with each and every one of them. They have great talent and a well-thought out organization that always looks to improve without falling into the idea that they must follow what others do. STRD has carved out its own identity in derby and I hope they will continue to do so.
Some have expressed a sense of “what do we do when you’re gone?” but the fact is that part of their training was in being a very self-sufficient team. STRD can adapt well on the fly to make the adjustments as needed during a bout. They are cool under pressure and never let a lead or a deficit affect their focus. And at this point they have a great sense of team/league which will do well to hold them together when things get tough.
It has been such a great learning experience for me to be free to use all I know to help a league thirsty for knowledge. STRD’s desire and ability to learn and adapt so quickly has not only pushed me to work harder but inspired me to enjoy working hard to come up with drills that would pinpoint specific areas they needed to focus on. It has been a full time job that I have very much enjoyed. I’m thankful that STRD put their trust in me and I will cherish the time together so very much.
Preamble: After the wrap-up of the ToRD season at The Hangar with the festive Clam Slam leading into the Canada Day weekend, July turned into the jampacked Derby month as we ventured into the realm of the 2 Fresh 2 Furious tournament, then the longest weekend afterwards which started by heading out to Tri City and ending up in the Hammer, then the next week back to Royal City and finishing the week amongst the Rollergettes. The following takes place between July 16th and July 17th.
The Hammer City Harlots were set to square off against the Royal City All-Stars on a hot Saturday in the middle of July. The trick was trying to get there.
The weather was not letting up which meant traffic congestion for cars trying to escape the city. And the proverbial weekend closures and road constructions only added to the mess. Zipping out to Guelph for their doubleheader was an adventure in itself. Trying to navigate and remember landmarks and the vagaries of Wellington and landing a parking spot in Guelph was accomplished just in time for the second half of the first bout of the Royal City Brawl between the blue of the Our Ladies of Pain and the red Killer Queens.
All the tension was in the atmosphere as the final spot for the Royal City Championship was up for grabs. In the three team Royal City Rollergirls league, the winner of the night would go up against Violet Uprising two weeks hence.
When we finally landed on the floor of the venue, the score was as close as it could be with a 53-55 advantage for Our Ladies of Pain over Killer Queens. Most of the crowd were congregating upstairs in the glassed-in lounge. The Sleeman Centre is one of the best arenas in which to watch Derby with lots of seating in the stands and suicide seating on the floor with supplied chairs, plus great amenities such as the licensed bar serving Sleeman on tap and PBR in the fridge [along with a barfood kitchen] and the ample room in the aisles and hallways for merchandise tables and charitable promotions. No wonder since it is the rink of the hometeam Guelph Storm of the OHL. But when the ice is off the floor, the place is an air-conditioned paradise with first class treatment for everyone alike.
Killer Queen Bonny BruiseHer gives her take on the scenario detailing the intensity displayed by the opponent Our Ladies of Pain who were “not smiling and very serious. In fact, I recognize that look of intensity. It’s the Tri City look! [However], the Killer Queens were going to be victorious as they have been all summer. Our Ladies of Pain was very systematic and I noticed that right away.”
Afterwards, “I told them I thought they played awesome. We [as Killer Queens] were quite scattered at first half. We have a lot of talent on this team. Combine this with teaching skating and footwork along with coaches strategies and it’s all been good.” The focus of attack for the Pain was one fast tandem of Spunky and Hot Cross Guns which was countered by the Killer Queens jammers Build Ford Rough and the Archbitch of Slamterbury. The Killer Queens crew with Mandy Maggotbone and Lady GoreJess gelled and stepped up their game, [this is an example of the Oxford comma] and pulled away to the 110-88 victory.
With Hammer being in the house, they brought along some of their zebra crew, so it was good to see D-Minus, Hot Carl and the fragile on skates again. The whistles were busy and it was a battle of the fast and the furious as the reformation of the Hammer City Harlots continued against the hitters and speedy jammers of the All-Stars from Royal City.
It would have been to the advantage of the Harlots if they had concentrated less on getting their own jammer through and focused on the one two tandem of #1910 Hellcat of Panar and #38 Hot Cross Guns. But the Harlots were being distracted as the All-Stars jammers gained the inside line and racked up the points. By the second half when it was painfully clear that victory was beyond their grasp, the Harlots settled down and focused on hitting their opposition which made for a more effective game and made the bout even more a joy to watch. One could never anticipate that Hammer could be so much fun on the track, but the moments watching ScoobyDoom and her team and the All-Stars hitting the hell out of each other, then shucking and jiving to the music during and afterwards reflects the true dynamic of Derby. Derby is always in a cycle too, with the reformation of the Hammer City and restarting its ascendancy and Royal City in its infancy and blossoming. The night ended with the Royal City All-Stars ahead by 168 to 47 and a mad dash out of the arena and on the highway and a zip back into Toronto before 12:30 could strike.
With only days left to go, the Royal City teams have been incommunicado leaving only Waldow left to speak for the league which has exploded beyond early imaginings. Quoting from facebook:
“It’s outgrown the house we built for it. It’s got a mind of its own and we’re just along for the ride!”
So looking forward to this weekend for a Derby skills competition inspired from Australia and a skate demonstration from Bonny BruiseHer and Chocolate Meltdown as a lead-in to the game this Saturday night. Killers Queens vs. Violet Uprising!