22 October 2010
Season 3 Bout 1 - Oct 9, 2010
With the third London Rollergirls season comes a few changes - fabulous demand for tickets has given us the opportunity to bout in a much larger venue – Brompton Hall at Earl's Court. And an increasing number of girls discovering roller derby has given us the chance to expand with a new team! Expectation was high for the new look season, with around 850 people – our biggest ever crowd for an intraleague game - passing through the doors for our first bout of the season, a double header; Steam Rollers facing the Suffra Jets and the Ultraviolent Femmes taking on the brand new fourth team, the Harbour Grudges.
The Suffra Jets line up was a sparse one, having been blighted by a spate of recent injuries, plus the loss of some of their players to the new team, most notably Stefanie Mainey. Due to the number of injured skaters the Jets were reinforced by guest skaters - C-Bomb from the Ultraviolent Femmes and Hula Gunn, a former Femme who is now of the Harbour Grudges. The Steam Rollers were less injury-stricken with an almost full roster, but had equally lost a key player to the Harbour Grudges in the form of Sky Rockit.
The Steam Rollers began strong with jammer Axis of Evon taking an easy lead and the Suffra Jets’ jammer Grievous Bodily Charm being sent to the penalty box within seconds, leaving Evon to scoop up 14 points unopposed. This pattern continued into the second and third jams with the Steam Rollers' Fox Sake and Evon picking up five and four points respectively leaving the Suffra Jets trailing 3-23. Suffra Jet rookie The Dalai Harmer stepped up to the jammer line for the first time shortly after but, despite winning the lead against Fox, Harmer’s tumble allowed Fox to streak out of the pack and she was forced to call the jam off.
The Steam Rollers continued their onslaught and denied the Suffra Jets any chance to score again until the eighth jam when lead jammer Fox Sake was sent to the penalty box, handing Poison Arrow a power jam, but a solid defense from a tight Steam Roller pack prevented too much damage and limited her to a five point jam, bringing the score to 8-33. With Fox still serving her time at the start of the ninth jam Grievous Bodily Charm had the powerjam advantage, but as Fox was released from the sin bin she sped through the pack almost unnoticed, forcing Grievous to call it off having added 4 points to the Jets' total.
But as the game went on a combination of a light Jets roster and on-form team work from the Rollers - which was lacking towards the end of last season - allowed the gap to widen as the Jets' jammers frequently found themselves lapped as they struggle to break through the Steam Rollers defense. Jammers Fox and Axis of Evon proved themselves to be a formidable force as they secured the lead position in jam after jam, playing nearly one on, one off, for the duration. Impressive blocking efforts from Suffra Jets' Most Valued Player The Bexorcist and guest Hula Gunn couldn't quite make up for their injured players, with the game finishing on 66-148, marking the first time the Steam Rollers have beaten the Suffra Jets and, in fact, the Jets' first ever loss since the London Rollergirls' first full season.
Last season's championship was a close run thing between the Ultraviolent Femmes and the Suffra Jets, with the Femmes going from underdogs in the first season to firm contenders to the top spot. However, they were without star jammer Vagablonde, and facing the formidable Harbour Grudges, who without yet playing a game look fearsomely strong on paper with transfers of Travel Team players from all three original teams, including Stefanie Mainey, Sky Rockit and Metallikat.
The game began close, and tight; with the score at 0-0 after the first jam, with Kamikaze Kitten getting lead jammer but with Sky Rockit so close to her back wheels she was forced to call it off. This became a bit of a theme whenever these two met on the jammer line. The Harbour Grudges drew first blood in the second jam with Lola Vulkano for the Grudges taking the line against Snoop Dodge for the Femmes – Lola broke through first without lead jammer, and managed to score 3 before Snoop escaped the tight Grudges defense to call the jam off. The score crept up in a similar fashion for the first 7 jams at which point the score was 7-7 when the first gap opened up. Lola once again took the star against Poddington Peaved for the Femmes, who got battered by a strong Grudges pack while Lola skated her way to a triple grand slam, with the jam running for a full 2 minutes and the score rising to 7-22.
The Femmes remained trapped on 7 points for several jams, with Grudges captain Metallikat widening the gap with a 10 point powerjam as Snoop Dodge was boxed. The Grudge onslaught continued, with tight defense keeping the Femmes jammers firmly trapped in the pack allowing their jammers to score a full 5 points on each lap. Whenever the Femmes managed to break the pack first and gain lead it always seemed that the Grudges' jammer was hot on her heels, forcing them to call the jam and denying them the change to make any real headway into narrowing the gap. By half time the score sat at 20-84 to the Harbour Grudges.
The second half began much as the first, with tightly controlled defense and tactical jamming holding both teams scoreless for 4 jams, with the score only creeping in tiny increments - in fact in the first 8 jams a total of only 4 points was scored, but the Grudges just seemed to have the edge on both team work and jammer depth as their score crept ever higher while the Femmes were denied time and time again. The Femmes started to have penalty trouble, with their packs light and the box full of white and green; and the big hits got fast and furious, with pile-ups and re take-outs aplenty, including a huge spill which took out 3 skaters and a ref - and nearly some of the crowd! Disaster struck for the Femmes in the final jam as Mouchete lined up to jam against rookie Harbour Grudge Little Knell, but made her 7th trip to the box, thus fouling out and giving a powerjam advantage to the Grudges, who, in taking 20 points and bringing the final score to 42-168, firmly established our brand new team as one to beat this season.
Penalty Queen awards for naughtiest Rollergirls went to Lola Vulkano (HGs), Mouchete (UFs), Dot Slash (SJs) and Ena Flash (SRs) The Tatty Devine MVP (Most Valued Player) awards went to Stefanie Mainey (HGs), Ninjette (UFs), The Bexorcist (SJs) and Axis of Evon (SJs).
Don’t miss Bout 2, when the Ultraviolent Femmes take on the Suffra Jets and the Harbour Grudges take on the Steam Rollers. Can the Ultraviolents grab victory from the Suffra Jets after coming so close in the championship nailbiter? Can the Harbour Grudges break up the tight Steam Roller defense? Make sure you buy your tickets for November 13th!