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.

All photos on this page link to Midnight Matinee on Flickr

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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!

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