On October 25, the grand final of Canberra’s premier roller derby league went off with a bang. After a phenomenal season of roller derby, the four home teams stepped up to the track to show their stuff one last time for 2014. The double-header’s theme was Blockingjay, a nod to the ruthless competition of the Hunger Games franchise...in which there can only be one winner.
The fight for third place was between the Black ‘n’ Blue Belles (league champions in 2012 and 2013), and the Brindabelters. Previously in the season the Belters had been defeated by the Surly Griffins and the Red Bellied Black Hearts, earning their sole victory against the Belles. The Belles, meanwhile, hadn’t won a single game in 2014 and were eager to change that!
Belles’ powerhouses ShortStop and Fanta C. Lane collected points against the Belters from the first jam, but it wasn’t without great opposition from Belter blockers such as Ova Bearing, Miss D. Meaner, and Shaggle Frock. Berry Bad, Pink Mist, and Kimodo Dragon consistently put points on the board for the mountain gals but stellar jamming efforts from Mae Q. Sqwheel, Rubi Doom, and Icy Red maintained the Belles’ lead, which at half-time stood at 75-53.
Photo courtesy of Steven Craddock
The second half was marked by tight play and strong defence; there were no run-away margins here! It looked as though the Belles had secured their first victory for the season until, in the penultimate jam, their jammer earned a penalty. This power-jam permitted Berry Bad to score 15 unopposed points and close the game with the Belters in third place, 144-140.
This was a bittersweet bout for several beloved and stalwart Belles who were playing their last home game. CRDL salutes Fanta C. Lane, Hatchet Woman, Kitten Kaboodle, Stace of Emergency, and ShortStop, for their excellence on and off the track and the contributions they have made to the league over the years.
In a reversal of 2013’s grand final, the Surly Griffins and the Red Bellied Black Hearts were competing for the title of champion. After two consecutive seasons in which they hadn’t won a single game, 2014 proved an auspicious year for the Griffins and they had played undefeated. But could they take this win, too? The Red Bellied Black Hearts weren’t going to let it go without a fight!
This game was competitive from the first whistle. Both teams brought everything they had to the track and it showed. The footwork was nimble, the blocks were hard, the pack-work tight. Jammers from both sides showed tenacity and strength: Canuckles and Harlot (Griffs) and Black Hearts Bambi von Smash’er, Lego Lass, and Bubble O’Kill in particular.
Formidable blocking line-ups including Madamage, Rainbow Spite, Aunty Aggro, and Anne Thrax, meant that the Griffins secured the lead by the end of the first half, scoring 69-46.
Photo courtesy of Steven Craddock
The Black Hearts came back on the track after half-time meaning business; for the remainder of the game the teams were neck and neck. Blockers Bohemeth Rhapsody, Big Dakuna, and Kat A. Wall were especially lethal as Black Heart defence. The Griffins’ offence was often more effective in securing their jammers lead, however, and ultimately ensured that they took first place with a score of 137-114.
Both teams should feel delighted with the competitive game they played, but particularly those for whom this was their last time on the track with CRDL. We bid farewell to Big Dakuna, Kat A. Wall, and Jaxhammer from the Black Hearts, and Strawberry Punch from the Griffins.
The Official crew for Blockingjay comprised
REFEREES: John Ref Kennedy (the grand final his 160th game!), Pombat (Sydney Roller Derby League), The Bayliff, Rumpirestiltskin, Refachu, Mickey Finn, and Tom ‘n’8Tracks (Varsity Derby League).
NON-SKATING OFFICIALS: Seath Lord, NSOblivious, Curly Burly, Roman Umpire, Jade Jynx, Jam Pants, Kim Parshal, Cindareffa, Stacey Waring, Veruca, Loxmyf, Madamage, Hondo, Dread, and Isabelligerent.
Thank you all for making this amazing event possible!