A strange melange of Les Contrabanditas took to the track in New Hamburg on a Saturday night to take on the flying Vicious Dishes of Tri-City.

DSC_5205 originally uploaded by Midnight Matinee 24.


noted along with Dr. Johnny Capote:

The Tri-City Rollergirls were just about ready to wrap up their regular home season throwing in their newest and “black and bluest” Total Knock-Outs against the D-VAS from Toronto Roller Derby to start off the evening. Then the second half of the double-header featured Les Contrabanditas from Montreal Roller Derby [MTLRD] against the Vicious Dishes.

It was a strange time to be on Les Contrabanditas. Players who did not normally wear the red and black awoke and made the trip to Tri-City. The roster at Tri-City was not what Dr. Johnny Capote saw in Montreal this summer.

Our own trips up to Tri-City this year up to the Waterloo Rec Centre always came with some manner of ride to the arena by very generous people within the league or someone officiating [thanks Suzy Slam, Christa Jane, T-Ref], and this time we were met by Lippy Wrongstockings herself and the husband sometimes known as Big Bag who adorned with kilt leads in the charges of the Thunder or Dishes or Venus Fly Tramps with his bagpipes. On the way there was a bit of chat harkening back to the last venture to New Hamburg itself to see CN Power and the Thunder. Then the famous encounter of the Thunder against the Montreal Sexpos last August who brought along names such as Georgia W. Tush, Trash ‘n Smash, Nameless Whorror into their lineup. Wonder what became of them since then? So almost as a jest, it was asked who would possibly be in the Contrabanditas roster for the night? And we found out.

This was not the Skiditas. Even Sparkle ‘n Maim from La Racaille switched sides for a day. Rookie Ti Loup who had just been jamming with the Sexpos at ToRD against CN Power and down at the Big 5 Eastern championships with the New Skids on the Block as their third jammer … Greta Bobo from La Racaille … Bikini Skills [co-captain of Sexpos, triple threat with Ditas], blocker Dame of Doom, Charlotte Bruise-A-Lot co-captain, Ninja Simone [co-captain, blocker and pivot with Ditas and blocker with Sexpos], Ti-Loup, Roch Dee Taunt blocker … add in Bean Stalker, Naughty Bee Oh!Henry from the Hammer and this was definitely not Ricky Balboa’s usual line-up of Les Contrabanditas. Regardless the Ditas team came to play.

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The Vicious Dishes came out with their precision style of speed and blocking and jumped to a very quick lead. Boss Applesauce had her Dishes ready. Motorhead Molly, Skate Pastor, Lippy Wrongstockings, the ceaseless jammer rotation for the Dishes going against the likes of Ti-Loup, Naughty Bee, Greta Bobo. It truly was one of the fastest games seen this summer. And for the first time, Matt S Faction granted photographer access to the centre of the track itself. If the game seemed fast from the outside, trying to track the players from the middle was a thrilling challenge. Not only were Lippy Wrongstockings and Ti Loup and Motorhead Molly and company keeping up a blazing pace, the inner track referees following and calling were another impediment to the view, or they could be embraced and become part of the action itself. The centre is a world of its own with all the bodies on the inside, referees, NSOs, penalty wranglers, line and stats trackers, the referees. The roar of skates is something the crowd doesn’t hear from the stands, and the four blasts of the whistle calling off the jam is indeed earsplitting.

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The score stood at 85-10 which looked bleak, but based on the comeback, the Contrabanditas coach Ricky Balboa got everybody in line. The new and current Ditas began to blend and stepped up the pace.

“It doesn’t matter what team you give to Balboa, he won’t accept lack of effort from his players, this I know,” says Dr. Johnny Capote.

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There were maybe a couple of unconventional jammers for the Dishes on the night, with sin-e-star wearing the star once. Then Stacie Jones was put in as last jammer for the night with Motorhead Molly as a blocker, but the Contrabanditas were not giving up with Ti Loup running up a final 14-4 jam.

The final score of 117-80 was an indication of the Ditas ability to claw back and what could have been.

One of the TKOs comments: “I’d like to say that Tri-City had home turf advantage, but the truth is that the Ditas were a brand new team almost, and there were players fielded from Hammer City to fill the roster. It probably wasn’t the best situation that the Ditas could be in, but they pulled it together pretty quickly for what they had to do to play the game. P’tit Loup was still on fire – it was nuts to see her play another away game right after returning from Easterns!”

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As the track was being dismantled, and the scoreboards wiped clean and display tables carted away,  more Derby goodness was on the offering with not just one but two offers of rides back to Toronto, and indeed, two is better than none. Bidding farewell to the players and volunteers who were fueling up on the after-bout repast that Tri City always seems to provide [and being given access to a slice of pizza], they like most leagues everywhere do treat everybody right. Everyone is always willing to field a question or two about Derby, there were multi-discussions with players and coaches about strategies and plays such as the crowded jammer line at the Westerns. So on the ride home, it was comfortable to talk about what people saw on the track, learn more about the draft and the future of the D-VAS in Toronto Roller Derby and tactics once again.

All in all there are good people in Derby everywhere, on and off the track, all promoting the world of Derby, and we feel privileged to know them. And we don’t take any of this for granted.



Soon to come: more catching up with the stories of being on the road this summer in the pursuit of Derby.

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