2012 grand final double header

The tensions and anxieties present before a game—let alone a semi- and grand final—were all present on the night of Canberra Roller Derby League’s Attack of the Flat Track Women.  But none of the league’s ladies let that  stop them from putting on a great show, both on the track during each game and beforehand, when all skaters participated in a league-wide rollout.  This year’s double-header event pitted the same two teams against each other as the 2011 season finale: in the quest for third were the Brindabelters and the Surly Griffins, and competing for first, the Black ‘n’ Blue Belles against the previous season’s champions, the Red Bellied Black Hearts.

The first bout of the evening saw the Griffs and the Belters reunite after a mere four weeks apart; in October’s game the Belters came away with a win of 149-123.  This time round, the Belters were desperate to distance themselves from the dubious honour of winning the Wooden Spoon for the third year in a row...but the Griffs didn’t want it either!

The first ten minutes of play were marked by a narrow lead for the Belters at 22-8, with jammers Shaggle Frock, Pink Mist and Freudian Slit racking up a minimal amount of points and attempting to call the jam before the Griffs’ jammer could score.  Work by Ginger Nutcase, Rainbow Spite, and newcomers Harlot O’Scara and Dread Herring as jammers, in addition to tough blocking from Aunty Aggro, AnneThrax and Louiville Slugga saw the Griffs close the gap and eventually take a lead with 47-30.  Nevertheless, Belter blockers (in particular Stone Jett, Ova Bearing and Peachy Keen) displayed militant focus on the opposition jammer and put the pressure on, forcing the occasional star pass by the Griffin jammer.  At half time the score was 63-55 to the Griffs.  The second half had fierce play from both teams, but saw the score line creep away in favour of the Griffs, who at one interval led by 104-69.  Determined pack work from the Belters and a power jam in their favour rewarded Belters fans with a lead change of 125-116, which the Belters maintained until the close of the game at 156-131.

The fight for first place between the Belles and the Black Hearts was loaded with hopes and expectations.  A thrilling and varied season of play meant the Black Hearts won only their first game, while the Belles had reigned undefeated.  Cautious and controlled play for the first ten minutes resulted in a low score line, with a lead for the Belles of 15-8.  The confident footwork of Bambi von Smash’er as a jammer paired with strong pack work saw the Black Hearts take full advantage of a power jam, scoring 33 points and changing the lead to 41-19.  This scenario was immediately reversed in the following jam, as the Black Hearts’ jammer Bebe Aggressive was sent to the bin, giving Fanta C. Lane an opportunity to power through for 21 points and narrowing the Black Hearts’ lead to 46-40.  The remaining jams of the first half saw the two teams tie at 48 points, after which the Black Hearts expanded their score to 80-52 during a power jam.  ShortStop pulled out a stellar effort in the final jam, earning several grand slams and scoring 28 points as the Belles pack contained jammer Flyin’ Foxy.  Returning from half-time with a score of 80-70 to the Black Hearts, each team steadily accumulated points, with the Black Hearts leading in the remaining six minutes by 124-111.  Black Heart blockers accrued majors and filled up the bin, while LegoLass was also penalised for a fourth minor when jamming against ShortStop.  With four minutes left, a depleted Black Hearts pack combined with the Belles’ efforts saw a lead change to the Belles’ of 134-126.  The final jam pitted the Belles’ Valhannah against Bambi; Val took lead jammer and decisively called it off at 142-135.