A combination of two of my favourite things: roller derby and poetry!
he said I did a low block:
the penalty box.
Getting the pints in,
girls scream and cheer all night as
London Brawling win.
My pads smell like cheese,
that’s been forgotten for months.
My skates? You sniff them!
The park:30 laps.
Muscle pains for a week.
I’m much faster now.
Roller derby is
‘the thinking woman’s sport’,
the journalist said.
will replace electrolytes’
after we beat you.
Last weekend was the most exciting weekend EVER in British roller derby. London Rollergirls competed for the first time in the WFTDA East Region Playoffs- and they kicked ass! After much speculation before the tournament from the international derby community about whether London were up to the challenge, the girls in pink and black really showed them who was boss. They won 3 out of 4 of their games, all against leagues ranked much higher in the region but London saw, matched and beat them, with the exception of 2E Philly, earning a very respectable 5th place in the tournament.
In their first game against 7E Carolina, London stormed in and beat them by almost 100 points. I had done my best to shield my eyes from the internet all day so as not to find out the score before watching it on the big screen so it was a pure joy to watch London advance to the quarterfinals with a 160-67 victory. It was very close for the first few jams with neither team scoring many points but London’s Kamikaze Kitten had the first power jam, scoring 13-0 as Carolina’s jammer was in the penalty box. Vagablonde was up next to jam and scored a hearty 19 points for London, giving them a a 34-2 lead with 22 minutes left in the first half. Carolina managed score a few more points in the first half as Kamikaze Kitten was sent to the penalty box with a 9 point jam from Holly Wanna Crackya. Points crept up slowly for both sides for the remainder of the half, and at the break it was London with a surprisingly large lead at 86-34.
London got off to a strong start in the second half with a 6-0 jam to Kamikaze Kitten, and London remained strong until Carolina jammer Thrashley finally got lead and some points for her team on the sixth jam. Carolina managed to regain some control and score a 10-3 jam to make it 108-46 with 20 minutes to play. They continued to claw their way back and with 15:52 left in the game and the score 111-57. But, with 4:30 to play Carolina’s Ginger Clobbers was sent to the box leaving London’s Kamikaze Kitten to score a victorious 19-0 that made it 134-57 with 4:30 to play, and four jams later London had the win at 160-67.
London were up next against 2E Philly, one of the toughest contenders in the competition. After proving that they more than deserved to be at Regionals, London were faced with their toughest challenge of the tournament and the first half of the bout turned out to be extremely one-sided. Philly were ready for London’s close-to-the-jam-line setups, and London could not come up with an alternative before it was too late. Philly put up an iron defence for the entire first half with London only getting lead jammer 4 times and after the first 15 minutes, Philadelphia were in the lead with 47-3. Philly slowly extended their lead for the rest of the first half, stopping London from scoring by calling off each jam as London’s jammer was about to re-enter the pack. With 6 minutes to go, Vagablonde was called for a major illegal procedure to give Philly the first powerjam of the bout. Stefanie Mainey, Axis of Evon, and Ninjette did their best to hold back Gloria Grindem, but Philly still extended their lead to 74-3. Mo Pain then took over the power jam and scored another 12 points. London’s Stefanie Mainey captured lead in the final jam of the half and scored 3 leaving the score at half time 90-6.
London changed their strategy during the second half. For the first 7 minutes, Kamikaze Kitten, Stefanie Mainey, and Vagablonde leapt, dodged, and somersaulted their way to outscore Philly’s jammers 13-4. London ended a 5-jam scoring drought as Stefanie Mainey adroitly leaped around a linked-arm 2-wall for 4 points as Vagablonde played good defense against Persephone. With 15 minutes to go, Philly led 110-26. However, Philly did not let London catch up. Persephone held a strong defence on Stef’ Mainey, keeping her in the pack while Goldy scored an 18 point jam. Philadelphia got yet another power jam right at the end of the game making the final score a 140-53 victory for Philly.
In their next game against Boston, London continued what DNN called ‘the best run ever by any bottom seed in a WFTDA tournament’ winning against 6E Boston, 142-95.
Boston’s Claire D. Way got lead and a 3-0 on the first jam, but Boston’s jammer Lil’ Paine was sent off before she’d got through the pack and London’s Vagablonde scored a strong 10 points before getting sent off herself. Boston jammer Sugar Hits scored 8-0, flipping the lead for the third time in three jams, 11-10 Boston after 5 minutes. Both team’s jammers were sent off again leaving a very close 23-20 score with Boston in the lead. London finally retook the lead on a 9-0 with about 11 minutes left in the first half. London performed some strong blocking took lead jammer status fairly consistently for the last ten minutes of the half and pushed their lead out to 61-41 before the last jam whereKamikaze Kitten scored a 14-0 that made the half time score 75-41 to London
London scored well in the first few jams in the second half pulling ahead to 97-43, but Boston’s Sugar Hits landed a critical 15-0 that took the 54-point London lead down to 97-58 with 21 minutes of the game remaining. Ivana Shankabitch was sent off after jamming against Vagablonde resulting in a power jam for London’s Kamikaze Kitten, leaping the apex multiple times and scoring a 25-0 that made it 126-61 London. With 12 minutes left, Boston’s Sugar Hits scored 20-0 moving the score to 126-81, but that was the last time that Boston looked like they had a chance to win. From there, London succeeded in playing very defensively, scoring a few but hardly giving up and points. The final score was 142-95 to London.
The 5th place bout was the first WFTDA regional game played between teams not from the US – London vs Montreal. After April’s London-based tournament Anarchy in the UK, London had a score to settle against the Canadians in neon. This turned out to be one of the most exciting bouts of the weekend.
Montreal took the first lead jammer after a very slow pack start from both teams, with Georgia W. Tush taking a 4-0 over Kamikaze Kitten but London got the first powerjam opportunity of the game when Mange Moi El Cul was sent to the box. The first few jams were very close with a score of 10-8 to London after three jams. Montreal got back in the lead and when London called their first timeout, the score was score 31-10 to. Montreal. Iron Wench was sent off soon after and Kamikaze Kitten used the powerjam to take the lead 41-35. Vagablonde extended their lead to 45-35. London continued to score and at halftime, they were leading 68-46.
London came out of the break strong, winning the first 6 jams of the half and taking lead on 5 of them to extend their slight lead to a controlling one at 112-53; It wasn’t until 12 minutes had passed in the half that Montreal’s Iron Wench finally got a lead jammer status. Two jams later, Montreal did manage to get a desperately needed 12-0 on the jam to make it 121-69, and Iron Wench added a bit more with a 4-1 jam to make it 122-73 with 13 minutes left. The game just got closer and closer as Stefanie Mainey was sent to the penalty box twice leaving Iron Wench to put the score at 122-97 London. Georgia W. Tush then scored a 14-0 jam that made it 122-111 with 5:26 to play. Montreal’s score crept up for the next few jams in spite of excellent defence from London making it 129-118 with 2:22 left. It was nail-bitingly close right up until the very last minute with Iron Wench was up against Kamikaze Kitten in the final jam, needing at least two scoring passes to win. Iron Wench got lead jammer but had a very tough time in her opening scoring pass. however, Kamikaze Kitten was completely stuck for almost a full minute. Right when it looked like Iron Wench was about to score, Stefanie Mainey hit her to the inside, saving the game for London. Kamikaze Kitten finally escaped the pack and scored a 4 point pass that put the margin just barely out of reach. Though the jam went 8-4 to Iron Wench, it wasn’t enough to make up Montreal’s 6 point deficit, and London won by the skin of their teeth, 137-135.
Well done London!!!!!