Game Report: Maiden Grrders at Great Yorkshire Showdown 17.9.16

One Saturday back in September, before the crack of dawn, the Maiden Grrders slithered out of bed and tried to convince themselves that being awake before 6am was good for them and character-building and wouldn't lead to serious long-term health issues. Except for bench manager Silvie Postlewaight who was up at 04:30 making guacamole because she's clearly some sort of statistical outlier or alien hybrid.

The reason behind the early rise was a longer-than-expected road trip to Halifax, of which a good proportion was spent navigating roadworks somewhere in Lanarkshire. We entertained ourselves with a Best Onesie contest (there were TWO Totoros!) and a hard-fought Harry Potter quiz. Our bus driver was a total trooper and we cannot thank him enough for delivering everyone safely and just about in time for the Great Yorkshire Showdown.

Mad Natter, NitroJen & Sadie O'Hades waiting for the offense; photo courtesy of  Roller Derby on Film .

Mad Natter, NitroJen & Sadie O'Hades waiting for the offense; photo courtesy of Roller Derby on Film.

The tournament, organised by Leeds Roller Dolls, saw six teams facing off to be ultimate champions: our Maiden Grrders, Halifax Bruising Banditas, Hereford Horror Bulls, Hot Wheel B Team, Manchester Roller Derby's Furies and Leeds' Whip-Its. In the group stage, the teams all played each other in thirty-minute games and the victor in each group went on to a final full-length game to decide the overall winner.

The Maidens' first game was against Halifax Bruising Banditas and was tough, to say the least. Our skaters were not long off the bus and only really started to get into their stride in the second half. They fought valiantly but sadly, that wasn't enough and they lost.

Final score: GRD Maiden Grrders 24 - 187 Halifax Bruising Banditas.

Stinger Belle & Penny Pinch'er holding back the Halifax jammer; photo courtesy of  Roller Derby on FIlm .

Stinger Belle & Penny Pinch'er holding back the Halifax jammer; photo courtesy of Roller Derby on FIlm.

After a brief respite while our opponents played each other, the Maidens were soon back on track to face up to the Hereford Horror Bulls. It was another hard game for GRD but they retained more control than the first and were able to put some more points past the opposition. Despite some great team work, they were again defeated but learned a lot from their experience and they'll be putting that all to good use in the future.

Final score: GRD Maiden Grrders 68 - 125 Hereford Roller Girls.

Spin Diesel on the jam line while our blockers are ready for the Hereford jammer; photo courtesy of  Roller Derby on Film .

Spin Diesel on the jam line while our blockers are ready for the Hereford jammer; photo courtesy of Roller Derby on Film.

The final was played between Halifax Bruising Banditas and Leeds Whip-Its, with Halifax taking the tournament title.

We'd like to thank the organisers and all the teams, officials and other support staff who made the day possible!

Game Report: Winterfell WItches vs Quantum Leap & Vagine Regime vs Soy Division

We've been a bit quiet on the game front since our league summer break and that ill-fated day in Edinburgh, but never fear for this Saturday GRD played host to not one but two wonderful games of roller derby. I'm even going to tell you about them!

First of all, however, you should know that this Saturday, the Maiden Grrders will be up in Aberdeen to take on Tier 4 North champions, Granite City Roller Derby's Northern Fights. For more information, check out the Facebook event. We'd love to see you there! And if you can't make that, check out our Events Calendar for an upcoming Irn Bruisers game in Newcastle, the continuation of our Home Teams Season and a wee musical fundraiser featuring that tiny blur on rollerskates, Jess E Ska.

Poster for the Pride weekend doubleheader, photo courtesy of Claire Brand.

Poster for the Pride weekend doubleheader, photo courtesy of Claire Brand.

Game 1: Quantum Leap (Team Science) vs Winterfell Witches (Team Magic/fantasy)

Since ancient times there has been tension between the rational, enlightened forces of science and the mysterious, otherworldly powers of magic. What better way to figure out who's right than a game of roller derby? Featuring mixed-level skaters from GRD, Auld Reekie Roller Girls, Ayrshire Roller Derby, Doonhame Roller Derby, and Mean City Roller Derby, including some newbies (here's looking at you, Fock Her, Fury L Spark and Poe Slameron!), we took to quad skates to decide the matter once and for all.

Wands were drawn, test tubes rattled and we were soon under way with not much to tell between the fantastical creatures and number-crunching boffins for the first few jams. Soon, however, either the fumes or some fairy curse must have got to our trusty nerds and the wizarding wonders started to pull ahead. By half time the score was 158-62 in favour of the magicians.

The white-coated wonders reapplied their safety goggles while the wily witches brought out their brooms and the whistle denoting the start of the second half was blown. Everyone's favourite defenders of reason fought valiantly FOR SCIENCE! but their devilish opponents were just as determined. Ultimately the Westerosi gave Quantum Leap's geeks a massive wedgie and stole their dinner money (which, given the usual consequence of failure in Westeros, means they got off lightly tbh).

Scientists Stargrazer & Bambo taking on the magical Jess Little. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

Scientists Stargrazer & Bambo taking on the magical Jess Little. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

Final score: Quantum Leap 121 - 319 Winterfell Witches

So it would appear that Santa is real, the Easter Bunny exists and all that nonsense about quantum physics was dreamed up by some bored lab techs after ingesting too much of something mind-altering.

Awards:

Quantum Leap
Best Blocker: Velosidy 16
Best Jammer: Fury L Spark 64
MVP: Fury Eyes Only 007

Winterfell Witches
Best Blocker: Sadie O'Hades 311
Best Jammer: Hardcore 24
MVP: Jess Little 7

Game 2: Vagine Regime vs Soy Division

Rumour has it that there was a rainbow in Glasgow on Saturday, and its end was at the ARC sports centre. It's either that or we had Vagine Regime to visit on the day of the Glasgow Pride march and they brought the most spectacular multi-coloured helmet covers you ever did see, in an attempt to dazzle their plant-powered opponents, Soy Division.

It was also lovely to see and hear the fantastic Jeneral Strike and her new bionic limb, as one half of a formidable announcing partnership with fellow Irn Bruiser Siobhan Sinclair.

In the first jam, Vagine Regime's captain Inky Minx showed that she meant business and took lead jammer status, calling it for four points. Sarah McMillan for Soy made it out of the pack first in the following jam but a no pass/no penalty call allowed VR's Hoots to become lead and she took full advantage, with the score 12-8 in VR's favour by the time she called it. Both teams experimented with their tactics to find their opponent's weaknesses, with some lovely offence off the jam line from VR. The third jam saw SD pull ahead due to a power jam, with Hazzard jamming to end it 16-17 to Soy.

Wrath and Rosie Peacock with their eyes on the prize while Sarah McMIllan sneaks by for some offense. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

Wrath and Rosie Peacock with their eyes on the prize while Sarah McMIllan sneaks by for some offense. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

Unfortunately, an illegal star pass saw Phoenix sent to the penalty box for SD at the end of the following jam and VR's Catashtrophe capitalised, pulling ahead to end the fifth jam 55-17 to VR. Soy fought back hard, with some tactical calls to reduce the damage from VR and some lovely defensive walls including a powerful Phoenix/Collie combo that troubled Catashtrophe for some time.

Some really strong jamming from VR mixed with powerful blocking allowed them to pull ahead further across the first half, though that isn't to say that Soy were passive. A cracking apex jump from Soy's captain Sable, while VR's Rosie Peacock watched wistfully from the penalty box, made the audience sit up and pay attention but the points just kept coming for our en-rainbowed guests. Each team called for an official review but not even Soy's upheld review was able to turn the tide for them.

Despite some clever play, VR stretched out their lead over the first half, ending it 141-56 to VR.

Pumped up on kale and equal rights respectively, Soy and VR meant business in the first jam of the second half. With Catashtrophe jamming for VR and Postlewaight for Soy, Rosie Peacock saw the opportunity for a punishing offense and pulled the Soy jammer back, meanwhile Inky Minx did some good work to let her jammer sail past the opposition. The jam ended with Catashtrophe racking up an impressive 31 points, leaving it at 172-56.

VR kept the pressure on and pulled further ahead. By the end of the twelfth jam, which saw Sarah McMillan take lead jammer over Rosie Peacock with some lovely footwork up the outside line, the score stood at 193-78 with Soy's chances of clawing it back disappearing by the moment. At this point, VR called a team timeout which gave everyone a chance to collect their thoughts.

Clearly whatever was said to VR during the timeout did the trick and they became even more dominant. During jam 14, Catashtrophe managed to score an impressive 44 points surely pulling VR into an insurmountable lead with 241 points to Soy's 79. In jam 18, Soy managed to break the 100-point barrier with a Sarah McMillan jam featuring an apex jump described by the announcers as 'beautiful'.

Not to be outdone, VR send Rosie Peacock on in the very next jam in which she is noted to perform some interpretive dance before a huge hit and recycle to wear down the jammer, Sable. Presumably confused as to whether she was actually playing roller derby or featuring in some avant garde Fringe show, Sable passed the panty to Sylk but the jam came to an end almost immediately with the score 258-104.

In jam 23, the last of the game, Sable and Catashtrophe line up together behind the jam line once more. Catashtrophe plays a bit of fifth blocker to hold the Soy jammer at bay while giving time for the two VR blockers to get out of the penalty box, and then she disappears into the distance with a magnificent backwards spin through the pack. She makes it look easy, breeazing past some really brilliant defence and at the final whistle Vagine Regime's victory is confirmed.

Final score: Vagine Regime 291 - 108 Soy Division

A veritable rainbow of officials, both on- and off-skates. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

A veritable rainbow of officials, both on- and off-skates. Photo courtesy of Dave McAleavy, boutday.com.

If you were in attendance you may have noticed something a little unusual about our referees and NSOs (more than normal, I mean). For one day only our zebras and flamingoes eschewed their standard colours and went more than a little bit rainbow in honour of Pride - and they looked fantastic! Thanks, as always, to every single one of them as without them these games couldn't happen.

Awards:

Vagine Regime
Best Blocker: Slappedash 190
Best Jammer: Catashtrophe 663
MVP: Rosie Peacock 50

Soy Division
Best Blocker: Drama Bomb 000
Best Jammer: Sarah McMillan 7
MVP: Sable v20

I would also like to thank everyone who came along to give us their support, all of our volunteers whose hard work made the day run smoothly and the EMTs who are always on hand with a smile and some expert first aid skills as needed.