Sunday, 13 February 2011
Wonderbrawl - Birmingham Blitz Dames vs Tiger Bay Brawlers
Wonderbrawl was a week ago but I still have my number written on my arm (I have washed since, and more than once…) and I found bright orange threads in my elbowpad Velcro at skate practice yesterday. At least one Tiger Bay Brawlers uniform took a battering!
Birmingham Blitz Dames v Tiger Bay brawlers was the first bout at Wonderbrawl, Manchester Roller Derby’s first home bout at the Manchester Academy. A big black room, a stage, seating down one side, a balcony, bright spotlights and an oval track – magic in the making.
The Dames bouted Croydon away a week earlier, and four of us (Nina Nunchucks, Superoxide, Suzette la Flamme and Nico Warrior) took part in the Dolly Rockit’s birthday bash in Leicester the day before, so some of us still had numbers written on our arms from previous bouts… We were joined on the track by Tuxspeedo, a Blitz Dame who’s working away in Manchester, Razor Red as alternate and the team otherwise unchanged from the Croydon bout. We didn’t know much about Tiger Bay, other than that they won their first bout against Bristol Harbour Harlots quite recently ; and some of us had seen BB Bombshell skating in mixed teams, in Windsor and Manchester.
The game was a pretty close one; both teams had successful and less successful jams through the first half, neither able to develop a significant lead. Tiger Bay blockers I think were working hard on getting their jammers through the pack, with the smaller jammers often being towed through on the shirt-tails of bigger blockers, so the Blitz Dames pack found themselves working to contain Tiger Bay rather than to help their own jammers through, and BB Bombshell and Queen la Queefah in particular made it hard work for the Dames’ point scorers. Billie Pistol and Crash Bandicute showed some impressive jamming in the Tiger Bay style and Kid Block also stood out as a big presence in the pack. Tuxspeedo, skating in her first bout, jammed effectively for the Dames and strong skating from Violet Attack and Nina Nunchucks also got them past the Tiger Bay blockers. Nico, Suzette and Superoxide showed no signs of fatigue despite their heavy bouting schedule and kept working through the tiny spaces available in the disciplined Tiger Bay pack. Sleazy Rider and Violet Attack jammed and blocked tirelessly, seemingly on track almost the entire bout.
During the second half Tiger Bay’s Queen la Queefah was wheeled out with a broken and dislocated ankle. BB Bombshell and then the Dames’ Izzy Dauntless fouled out; both power blockers treading the line between heavy and illegal hits throughout the game and both made major contributions to their teams before one trip too many to the box saw them removed from play. Tiger Bay had drawn ahead with a couple of high scoring jams and at one point were 20-odd points or more ahead. With five minutes left the deficit was around 20 points; the Dames worked hard to pull the score back, sending out their more experienced players for the last few jams but time ran out with Tiger Bay ahead 123-110. I had a lot of fun this bout; mainly playing blocker 4 and concentrating on jammer killing. I got away with it for a couple of jams, and then Tiger Bay spotted what I was up to and it got harder!
Awards for the Dames went to Diabolus Rutilus for Most Feared Player, Roisin Roulette for Best Blocker, Izzy Dauntless for Pentalty Queen and Violet Attack for Best Jammer and MVP.
Awards for Tiger Bay went to Queen LaQueefa for Best Blocker, Crash Banicute for Best Jammer, BB Bombshell for Most Feared and Penalty Queen and Kid Block for MVP.
We’re learning all the time, and have identified some areas to work on for next time; it was a hard fought bout with plenty of incident. Then we got to watch Manchester Roller Derby take on the Hot Wheel girls – plenty of roller derby action in what we hope will become a regular venue!
~ Roisin Roulette #N17