Yesterday I went to watch my first men vs women bout. London Rockin’ Rollers’ A Team played newly-formed men’s league Southern Discomfort Roller Derby in the UK’s first public battle of the sexes on roller skates.
The game was both exciting and brutal. There was a lot of speculation about whether the SDRD men would be holding back but it definitely didn’t look like they were at all, especially after the LRR ladies established a big lead from very early on in the game.
Both teams played well but LRR’s experience really shone through and they were strategically much stronger on the track. SDRD formed some very strong walls and could hold back LRR’s jammers but LRR were very successful at shutting them down and getting their jammers through.
LRR proved themselves to be so strong that they were taking hits from men much bigger then them and often stayed on their feet. Some of LRR’s jammers were particularly resilient. I couldn’t help feeling smug when saw some of LRR’s blockers like The Mighty Mighty Bash landing some nice hits on the men and knocking them over. The women were relentless, they were incredibly tough and kept going and going after being knocked down hard.
In the end, SDRD were most let down by the number of penalties they picked up during the game, leaving the track open for LRR to rack up points in power jams. SDRD had 3 skaters ejected from the game. SDRD skated extremely well for such a new league but they would have benefited a lot more from spending less time in the penalty box.
SDRD showed great sportmanship because even though there was a huge difference in scores, they still played their hardest till the very end. They never gave up and at the end they were full of hugs and smiles for the women. All the skaters looked like they were really enjoying themselves, even though it must have been a very demanding game.