As a lead-in to the weekend ahead, Forest City correspondent Jen Wilson in the guise of jenr8.com brings her derby savvy and keen photographic insights from the January doubleheader.
he night started out with a battle royale between the Luscious Lunch Ladies and the Thames Fatales. These two London teams are full of new players so it was a great game to pit the raw power of each new lineup against the other. One major change was that Mighty Thor [ed.note: noooooo!] is now gone from the roster and Torque E Mada has migrated from the Thames to the Lunch Ladies. Going through six years of existence, maybe it was time for another shake-up in the league.
The Lunch Ladies gained a lead at the beginning. With Clawberry Shortcake and Kindree Surprise doing most of the jamming for the Thames, the Lunch Ladies had to work that much harder to stay ahead. Torque E Mada was playing cat and mouse with the Thames Fatales, and Boxkick Betty had a hell of a comeback for the Lunch Ladies after being in healing mode for the better part of the year.
Captain Anne Tastic along with Kilary Tough, Spock Blocker Chelsea Swagger on the Lunch Ladies were forces to be reckoned with. Sewciopath was a monster on the track and was cut from the game during half time for a major misconduct. There was a lot of action in the sin bin to be sure, but the game was generally good-natured. The Lunch Ladies held their lead through the game and won 218 to 119. Lots of action and good plays by both teams, and kudos to all the new players.
All of this was leading up to the second game. London’s new travel team was being unveiled to play the TCRD Plan B travel team. The excitement was palpable. I thought that this might be the only home game they would play so it was epic just to be there. Many great players from both London teams have joined together to become the … Timber Rollers! They were pumped, and watching Plan B practice before the game gave promise to a good match.
Newly anointed Timber Rollers Captain LB Cakes [Tracy Regan-Moss] of the Timber Rollers was psyched up for their inaugural bout.
“The team was really pumped about our debut as a travel team. With it being our first game, our focus was to play hard, get used to each other in a game setting, and put ourselves on the map as far as ratings were concerned. This took a lot of pressure off the team and allowed us to just enjoy the energy of the whole evening. Tri-City is a phenomenal team and one not to be taken lightly.”
Plan B had the lead in the first quarter with the Hellcat of Panar [freshly moved over from Royal City] jamming like a firecracker. The score was 58 to 37 and LB Cakes was jamming hard trying to keep up. However, Tri-City’s luck didn’t last. With Bloodlust Barbie power jamming with 12 minutes left in the first half, she brought the score up to 56 vs Plan B’s 67. Pixie Kix then knocked the score up to 71 and Pepe le Punch added 3 more to that. The score was teetering on the brink though, with Hellcat power jamming to bring Tri-city up to 92 and Fox Smolder blocking mercilessly. Just before half time, Pepe le Punch and Bloodlust Barbi had power jams bringing the Timber Rollers to 137 vs. 99.
The second half started with Bloodlust Barbie pushing the score up to 141. Pepe le Punch ended up in the sin bin giving Tri-City a power jam, but veteran Anya Face’s solid blocking defended the Timber Roller’s lead. Pepe added another 14 points while LB Cakes brutalized Plan B’s jammer. Bloodlust Barbie seemed to be power jamming a lot and could slide by Tri-City’s defenses at will. Despite Hellcat of Panar powerjamming too —and she is no small talent — Tri-City just couldn’t catch up. The final power jam was by Glamarchist who brought the final score up to 222 for the Timber Rollers over Plan B at 181.
LB Cakes again: “There were a few pivotal moments that could have changed the outcome of the game. I am very proud of how we played. We could have come apart at the seams at times, but the girls banded together and it paid off. We are looking forward to challenging our growth and development as a team in 2013.” As for the win: “I have always believed that you should expect to win and when you don’t, you then figure out why. Going in with a positive mindset is sometimes the weight that tips the scale.”
Great playing from everyone! To the Timber Rollers!!!
Derby is awesome, taking photos of derby is awesome, and this night reminded me of how good it can be. Boojah!
Preamble: Jen “Sureshot” Wilson has been a very busy lady in her world of art, but has graciously taken a time out to provide once more her incisive viewpoint of the Derby goings-on at the end of season doubleheader at Forest City. Her previous story on the Thames bout with Filles du Roi and Luscious Lunch Ladies against Royal City All-Stars is also here. Take a moment to read that, too!
War on Wheels by Jen Wilson
The Guernica themed program said it all. The arena in London filled up fast and everyone eagerly anticipated a good night of derby. After the Star Spangled Banner, the Canadian anthem wouldn’t play so everyone sang it which gave the night a down home feel which put our American sisters at a bit of a disadvantage.
The Thames Fatales were up against the Roc City B-Sides from Rochester and watching the Fatales warm up made me think that they were going to have a wicked game. The London teams work hard and it shows. They mean business. The B-Sides were no push-overs though! Lethal Lorelei was a very hard hitting blocker who powered around the track and wound up in the sin bin often. Actually, many players from both sides warmed the sin bin seats repeatedly throughout this bout. Slacker Smacker, Killson and Back Alley Sally did most of the jamming for the Thames Fatales. Killson was blowing past everyone seemingly leaving the B-Side blockers stunned. Annie Takers, Jemecide, None Yabiz and Mirambo did some awesome blocking, but the B-Side jammers did a great job too with Halestorm, Temper Tangent and Tata Pain. It was a hard hitting game.
At one point Slacker Smacker went down from slamming into Mirambo but she walked it off and got back in the game. The Thames Fatales were holding the lead and then kept that momentum until the end. They kicked the B-Sides’s B-hinds.
The next game was the London Luscious Lunch Ladies against a mixed team of Guelph’s Royal City Rollergirls plus their coach alongside some Eastside Derby Girls, too!. The Lunch Ladies were in fine form and Glamarchist’s Bowie face paint gave everyone some eye candy.
They gained a strong lead early on and kept it throughout. Thor, Elle Boes and Box Kick Betty were the jammers. Thor is a very strong skater and all the Lunch Lady jammers did great dodging and weaving around the blockers. Hot Cross Guns from Guelph is small but fast, although when she’s caught by the London blockers she can really fly. Dynasty Hit and Hustle were also jamming on that mix-matched team, and Hustle always seemed to plow through whatever was in her way. Goodbye Kitty from Guelph was a powerhouse blocker, but again the training and endurance of the London team won out.
Mischievous Lady T, Andi Slamberg and Glamarchist did some great blocking as did Torque E Mada and Bloodlust Barbi.
Both games were hardcore with lots of fouls on all sides, so there were many power jams to be had. Everyone’s favorite derby photographer Joe Mac [jm: aww really?] was there snapping away and I spoke with the announcer Lightning Slim from Tri-City about the World Cup that will be in Toronto very soon starting in December.
Killson from the Thames Fatales is on the Canadian team and I can see why! She is one of the fastest jammers I’ve seen. Go Team Canada!!!
All photos courtesy of Jen Wilson. This is a gallery of some of her views of the night.
Well, we could not be at the Beast of the East, but going to Hammer City to their season opener doubleheader was not second best to say the least.
By admission within their programme for the night, the Hammer City Rollergirls were going through rebuilding and “some realignment. Under the new HCRG structure we have two fierce teams”, the regional Hammer City Harlots and the WFTDA Hammer City Eh! Team.
The rematch between HCRG and Forest City brought back to mind the two matches from last year, both won by the Hammer, and one of which we were privy to watch at Thames Fatales’s Western Fair stage. The vaunted run and gun and take no prisoner style of Hammer City Eh! team at Quad City Chaos’s first year in 2010 was in full evidence against Thames, rekindling the memorable hits and memorable names at the Battle of the Waterfront (which took place on the hottest day of the year between Death Row Dames in blue and Harlots in red that with the most sudden of sunshowers brought the bout to a skidding stop). The battle with the Thames was the last we were to see of HCRG in 2010 where Perky Set and VicaDoom led the red of the Harlots over the Thames Fatales in forest green and black.
But before we go too much further into the nitty gritty details, one really begins to appreciate the massive organizational efforts made by leagues everywhere to get their events up and running. Original Tankgirl Miss Carriage amongst everyone at HCRG fielding questions from the volunteers and marshalling the media and the musicians and the scoreboard and the NSOs and zebras and merchandise tables and food options and setting up change rooms and kids friendly areas and all the family types and balloons and drawing materials and announcers and the areas for beer [no beeramids in Hamilton] the track and the benches and the chairs with the big J on them for Mirambo and company and the ticket handlers and sellers and suicide line wavers and waivers and keeping everything friendly. And did we mention that Dave Andreychuk Arena with the sunlight streaming in through the end doors was so reminiscent of George Bell Arena and the lighting which is amazing for photo types. If only The Hangar could be as good. [Happy Mothers Day too!]
HCRG, once the champions of Beast of the East in 2008, were missing at this year’s Beast and Quad City Chaos as HCRG as a league underwent a massive organizational change. HCRG carry their Derby history through the Steeltown Tank Girls, Hamilton Harlots, Eh! Team, Death Row Dames. But for now it’s down to the two teams in the Hammer.
This piece is not intended to be another history of HCRG or Thames, but another chapter is being written, so to add to that story is our valued contributor: Lee Way Wreck’Em [incidentally the lead jammer with GTA Rollergirls Derby Debutantes] who witnessed the weekend. The first thing noticed was the massive changes in rosters. Forest City’s Thames Fatales were already without Sufferjet on the jammer line [although playing at Beast] in Hamilton and Piepshow was taking time off since November, but looking forward to a return at the end of May. As well, missing in action in more ways than one was CommieKaze.
These were not the HCRG Eh! Team or Hamilton Harlots of days yore. This was a HCRG without the likes of Dicey or Dangermouse, Vicadoom or Carla Coma, ChainSaw Mary or Jett-Girl, Perky Set. Longtime vets Eduskating Rita and Bitchslap Barbie, Hawkeye Fierce and Miss Carriage are still on the Eh! Team, yet the league as a whole incorporated newer talents presenting new challenges in defending the name of the Hammer.
It was probably Thames being battle toughened already in the season and Hammer playing in their first games of the season that gave Forest City an advantage. Thames Fatales had already launched their season by travelling down to Mid Michigan in a rematch of their bout from 2010. Then came two very tough losses at Beast of the East 2011 against eventual finalists Gore Gore Rollergirls and ultimate champions Slaughter Daughters.
From the get-go in Hamilton, Thames showed themselves to be a high speed team in warm-up that continued onto the game. Thames Fatales have been around longer as an experienced unit, with their roster of ten led by the able veterans including C of 234 Anya Face and A of Mirambo #69 along with 420 Backalley Sally, 13 Dollface Massacre, 5678 Annie Takers amongst others pulled ahead. Both sides dealing with penalties and attendant problems, power jams and Thames trapping walls allowed points to accumulate. Without Piepshow or Tamahawk, the jamming core revelation of the Fatales was Slacker Smacker who practically rotated 1-2 with speedster Killson. Eventually, Jemecide got thrown into the action, too getting two jams, including last jam!
There was no lack of will however on the track, the trademark Hammer style on display, Eduskating Rita still laying the big bombs on the track, captain Bitchslap Barbie, JJ Bladez and Miss Carriage on the jam and Lock N Roll’s go for broke takeout play.
Down 39-63 at the start of the second half, Eh! Team woke up, playing more effectively in the second half, coming up with plays to stop the jamming invasion. Thames’ speed on the jam though negated that, with the presence of Killson. It was a toss-up between Killson and Slacker Smacker as to who was more effective from the jammer position.
“London played solid, they dominated the pack,” says Lee Way. Though it was thought the score was going to be closer, “Hamilton tried to execute plays [to deter the scorer], but they had to pay attention to who was the jammer. London knew what plays to run at the right time. The jammers skated incredibly.”
The first game of the night was the newlook Harlots wearing the Hammer black and white and gold.
The Hammer City Harlots wearing the Hammer City Rollergirls logo tops of black [sans Harlots symbol or red!] squared off against the bright yellow and blue of Luscious Lunch Ladies, the more rookie laden team of the Forest City Derby Girls.
The Luscious Lunch Ladies already had a handful of bouts to their name. But added to their roster was the presence of 666 Elle Boes which gave the Ladies a major, almost unfair advantage because of her Derby background with the original London Thrashers, then the Thames Fatales. Coming out of inaction, it was decided to put her on the Luscious Lunch Ladies for the night to get some gametime in.
The MVP of the night for the Lunch Ladies was Grisly Baire as chosen by the Harlots. The final 210-64 score in favour of the LLL signalled to all on the outside that this was a new Harlots in the making. It was not a night without casualty as #K9 Scooby Doom left the bout leaving with a shoulder injury.
Hammer City coming on the short end of the score on both games does not belie the gritty efforts and hustle and heart of Luscious Lunch Ladies and Harlots, Thames Fatales and Eh! Team on the track and kudos to everyone who ran the show so the fans could see their favourite players in the Derby world.
Andi Slamberg with the Luscious Lunch Ladies knew they had to step up their game to face the Hammer.
“As soon as we knew the Lunch Ladies were going to be playing the Harlots we kicked our practices into overdrive! Regardless of the the shake up at HCRG we knew that the Harlots were a fierce team and we weren’t sure what to expect. We knew that they had some rookies and some more experienced players who weren’t ready to join the Eh Team, so we were lucky when Elle Boes was added to our roster! It was great to add some experience to our team as well since all of us only have 2 or 3 games under our belts.”
“We also had amazing leadership from our captain Mighty Thor and our bench coach Anya Face! Everyone took a a huge leap forward with their game play during this game, spotlight on Grisley Blaire who was a huge force with keeping the Harlots jammers on lock down, and then ended up being a super awesome jammer for us in the second pierod and won MVP voted by the Harlots. The entire Lunch Ladies team really came together, and pulled everything we’ve been learning onto that track. The Harlots were an amazing team, and you can see that they are working towards being the dominating force they once were, I can’t wait to see how they grow and continue to improve! As they do so will the Lunch Ladies and we will be there with open arms to challenge them on the track again! The FCDG Vs. HCRG games aren’t going away anytime soon! We have nothing but love for this league and all they’ve accomplished but it seems like this year is the year of FCDG this is the first time our league has every won against them and it was a huge honour but we’ve worked hard to earn it and boy did we ever!”
Thames Fatales and Luscious Lunch Ladies in their development have shown they are going to be teams to look out for as they represent the Forest City Derby Girls. Lots of savvy and coaching.
For Hamilton, it’s a process that’s going to take time, trying to make a cohesive whole again on both teams. Lee Way concurs herself there are no worries for HCRG: “They’ll be a force once again. I expect them to be dominant again.”
fter a trip down to the Mid-Michigan Derby Girls in a rematch, Thames Fatales scored a 169-71 victory to get their wheels in motion for the new year ahead.
Forest City’s #5678 Annie Takers delivers the state of the league address.
FCDG has worked really hard during our off season to strengthen all of the skills each of us bring to the track. Communication is the key to our success, and after spending the last few months polishing it up we are ready to lace up and skate hard. We are looking forward to meeting up with some new teams on the track as well as some good ol’ sibling rivalry to appear with the teams that just can’t seem to get enough of us FCDG gals. Looking forward to another successful Derby Season! Bring it on!
April 30-May 1st
BEAST OF THE EAST – MONTREAL
(Luscious Lunch Ladies have been compelled to withdraw their team from Beast of the East 2011. Sorry, Debutantes).
Thames Fatales vs Hamilton A team
Lunch Ladies vs Hamilton B team [AWAY]
Thames Fatales vs Nickel City Knockouts [HOME]
June 17- 19
Ottawa CWRDA Tournament [AWAY]
Riot Squad vs Luscious Lunch Ladies
Thames Fatales vs Slaughter Daughters [AWAY]
TKO’s vs Luscious Lunch Ladies
Thames Fatales vs Venus Fly Tramps [AWAY]
HOME game Western Fair – Montreal ? [TBD]
Thames Fatales vs Roc City B-team Rochester NY [AWAY]
Annie Takers in closing:
“Wootwoot! should be good! We are focused on the BEAST and kickin’ it for those gals!”
We were totally prepared. Everything we tried worked.
Also speed kills. And that was essentially the key to the Gore Gore Rollergirls the champions from 2009 prevailing once again to win the Toronto Roller Derby finals for the year 2010 in the Battle for the Boot. Last year it was GGR triumphing over Smoke City Betties – this time the Chicks Ahoy! who claimed the boot in 2008 fell in a speedy and physical battle before the sold-out Hangar crowd. Not only were tickets sold out online in a matter of hours tickets throughout the city disappeared to eager fans and disappointing others who could not get theirs. Adding to the atmosphere of the anticipation was the presence of the Rogers Cable television camera crew who were on hand to film the bout for a December 4 broadcast at 8 p.m. Announcing in their booth in the stanchions was Monichrome and some nerdy Derby person. Everyone in and around the Hangar seemed to be dressed in their finest including a certain Skinned Knee Crosby with a certain uniform on finally! Leagues from all around were representing, a triumvirate of three from Tri-City, a Thames contingent to see Classic Joker in his so-called final ToRD bout, maybe Hammer City, GTAR kicks and all and definitely the large pack all the way from Kingston! [Even with the presence of Rogers, lighting was still pretty dark, something that would be nice for the ToRD ladies to work on]. The night also hailed the announcement in the game programme for the next Quad City Chaos on March 26 and 27 of 2011. Teams to be announced?
After warmups and waiting for the ticket crowd to finally make it through the doors while BDI put on an exhibition of her skills, the contest was on.
Speed on speed and power vs power – but maybe Gore Gore Rollergirls had a little more guile and pulled a few of the slow tactics to control the game. However, with the first jam that netted GGR two points Bambi versus Candy Crossbones on the line the Rollergirls never looked back.
Jammer on jammer hits and slowdowns – the Rollergirls rolling Bambi, Dust Bunny [who the sidetrack announcer kept on calling Caitlin for some reason], Lunchbox against the rotation of Mach Wheels, Candy Crossbones, Dyna Hurtcha, Kari Mia Bere for Chicks Ahoy! The bout was marred by Chicks Ahoy penalties – including a gross misconduct, maybe an illegal procedure – that got them into trouble in the box and allowed the GGR to slowly inch away. Chicks finally got onto the scoreboard with one point against 15 for GGR. Effective blocking by both sides kept the scoring runs down although the go for broke attitude resulted in big spills on the track. The score was remarkably low at 27 to single digit 9 in favour of the Gore Gore Rollergirls with four minutes left in the first half.
The thirty minute intermission was an opportunity to hear The Cowbell Choir again who were at the previous semi-final with the Death Track Dolls and the Chicks Ahoy!
Second half the margin was still only at thirty with a 46-16 lead at the 20 minute mark and counting down. The penalty troubles accrued for Chicks Ahoy! with them standing only with two players in the pack while they tried to fend off power jam situations that eventually sped up the Gore-Gore Rollergirls ascent up the scoreboard. With the Chicks Ahoy! held at 16, the Gore Gore-Rollergirls were at 65 then 80 after a 15 point jam. GGR reached the century mark at 105-27 with two minute left and a final jam or two. Missing in action was Crankypants who in his other position in the world was at the Gemini Awards. Well la-de-dah la-de-dah. Actually if there is anyone who supports the Canadian arts it is he. Not to say that Mr Whistler and that was Hot Roller? did an evil job but no one cranks the crowd to GET LOUDER! LOUDER! than Crankypants.
The inevitable last jam came and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls claimed the Boot amidst lots of hugs and cheers. Maybe the We Are The Champions music was missing.
Meanwhile up in Tri-City on the Saturday afternoon the Luscious Lunch Ladies from Forest City stormed into the New Hamburg arena of the Thunder to take on the Total Knock Outs in a battle of rookie teams. The Luscious Lunch Ladies in another incarnation who had taken on Rollergettes of WEWRA and then Nickel City’s Sister Slag as part of the double header with Thames Fatales and Hamilton Harlots. Although the TKOs lost 72-26 they did TCRG proud and it’s just one step in their quest to dominate the world. Forest City may have something to say about that.
And November 24 from Timmins Roller Derby arises with Timmins Meet and Greet Come out to our First Skate and meet tonight Wednesday, November 24th 7:00-8:00 pm Mountjoy Arena. Please bring $3 for admission to the skate.
And that marks the end of a season and our second ToRD finals. When we stepped into the world that November ago those finals were only the beginning in the year in the life of this so-called photographer trying to figure out what was happening on the track and prying our cramped fingers off our poor Nikon and knowledge out of those in the know. And remembering the focus of it all should always be those ladies fresh meat, new leagues or veteran teams alike on the track who are giving it their all.