... a bit Suffolk
|fr 23 Nov|
It was ten plus minutes into the first half of last night's Shock and Awe in Bury St Edmunds Suffolk before a New York Shock Exchange skater visited the penalty box whilst the mixed league Brawl Street Crash had made a block booking, not scored
at all and were 80+ points behind. It's not clever what NY do, pursue the other jammer and support your own, but they do it so well. The other jammer goes out of bounds? When he comes back on knock him straight out again ... and again ... and again, a bit brutal to watch. Some balance was achieved by Brawl Street helped by Mr Furieux's jamming whose fluid Gallic grace much entertained us, final score 378-78 .. you can probably guess who won. Favourite new to us derby name Maulin' Brando.
|th 22 Nov|
Croydon Roller Derby prepared for their Bucket and Slayed bout against the Seaside Sirens in Southend last weekend by screaming and punching an adjacent team mate. Despite the self harming the Croydon jammers frequently by hot pursuit forced Sirens lead jammers to call it off early. The bout proceeded evenly matched but ending, perhaps surprisingly, 158-133 to the Sirens. Favourite new to us derby name Gin Atomic, honourable mention Daylight Throbbery.
In the men's bout Southern Discomfort initially seemed wary of our camera, which was a bit odd as we've snapped them at the Sirens before, but they soon enough settled to a modest drubbing of Sheffield's Inhuman League 254-73. We were impressed by how cheerfully and committedly Sheffield stuck at the task of steadily losing.
|tu 13 Nov|
As is their style hosts the Norfolk Brawds were short handed Sunday pitching up 12 skaters against the Bristol Harbour Harlots B team's also a short 13. The Brawds started with some rampaging power jams and we thought they would storm the bout but then the Harlots' jammers kept finding the inside line and steadily moved away. Bags of good humoured attitude on the Bristol bench with some jammer on jammer faffing about near the bout's end dumping both skaters on their bums which was much enjoyed by the closed door spectators ... and a smiley high five between the two at jam end. Not like us to know we know but the final score was Bristol 224 - 153 Norfolk and it was the Brawd's last bout of their season.
|mo 22 Oct|
We were deeply shocked in Bletchley Saturday when the MK Concrete Cows didn't win the skateout! Undoubted skateout winners were the mixed league Meerkats with a shhhhhh quiet jobbie, other novelties were twin refs, dj Steve Scott's inspired choice of the Vision On gallery music for the slomo demo jam and the demo not the lead jammer's slomo frustration when the demo lead jammer called it off.
We were struck in the main bout by the jamming of Cow #15 Jay which was not only physical but also considered. Because we're a bit useless we can only say that the Cobras won the support bout, Romsey Town Rollerbillies the main and both wins were comfortable.
|su 14 Oct|
In Bletchley (home of the code breakers) last weekend we photographed another roller derby. On the way there something had happened on the M1 irritatingly clagging up the A5 with creeping traffic but we did see a bride in a bridal white carriage drawn by two horses wearing white plumes and followed by a white stretch limo ... nice.
|mo 17 Sep|
Saturday's Battle of Britain in Southend had four teams led by Seaside Sirens but with guest skaters from all over. The first no break 40 minute Hurricanes v Spitfires bout flashed past, even the 30 seconds between jams somehow seemed shorter ... perhaps it was absence of official time outs. We were taken with the committed jamming of London Rockin' Roller Aerodipanic who seemed to find gaps the size of a garage door to swan through.
Regrettably there had been only ten minutes of the main bout when a scream crossed with a squeak came from Hyps/Storm in a B Cup as she went down with a badly injured ankle. (She later said when she heard the scream she knew someone had been injured and then realised it was herself.) Moving Hyps and waiting 40 minutes plus for an ambulance held up the game for some 80 minutes but the hall flexibly extended the hire by an hour and two 20 minute halves with a five minute break were played catching out most of the skaters who hadn't realised it was the final jam ... wouldn't be the first time.
|mo 20 Aug|
Not surprisingly Saturday the hottest day of the year so far in the Bunyan Sports Centre Bedford had a listless crowd for The Seabourne Menace but that didn't stop highly committed skating and the bloke coaches of the MK Concrete Cows 185 v 176 Hertfordshire Hell's Belles bout adding a male edge, though the on the track jammer's twisted axle did prompt confused inactivity on the bench. The MK Cows as so often before easily won the skate out.
Although hosts the Bedfordshire Roller Girls lost in the end 111-264 to the continental flavoured Oxford Roller Derby the Beds ladies were happy to continue even though the refs had decided the bout was over ... and then there was good clean fun to be had with balloons.
|th 12 Jul|
Peeing down for jubilee Sunday at the beginning of June, our satnav and website streetmap convinced Easton college Norfolk is in East Dereham six miles away, we find the campus but it's doing an impression of 28 Days Later so several circuits of the campus to find the sports hall followed by more circuits to discover you enter the front car park from the rear car park where we first stopped. Inside the hall is not big enough for a full size track and the shiny surface causes some early skidding for the closed door bout but the skaters soon figure that one out and the derby magic starts. Visitors Hertfordshire Hell's Belle's did loose to hosts Norfolk Brawds despite particularly sparky skating from speccy Phizzbang and a confusing half time team talk from Brawd Philthy Delphia We're winning but we mustn't be compliant yeah? ... and we were so lucky to turn round just in time to see Brawd Colletteral Damage jump the apex ... you never forget your first time.
|th 31 May|
It's a five hour round trip near the coast to Grantham for the Lincolnshire Bombers' Ladies That Crunch and a lot longer from Cardiff but the Tiger Bay Brawlers and the Cardiff Roller Collective both won their bouts so must have thought it worth it. Similarly to our last Grantham visit the Bombers turned out iron skaters including Fish who contested both bouts. Regrettably the pa mike didn't work for most of the afternoon and it was difficult to follow events with out a commentary especially as the
scoreboard's game clocks were difficult to read from the other end of the hall but as always derby is a joy and we learnt some new offences the jammers can commit ... and if you think Cardiff's a long way the Bombers are anticipating a visit from Aberdeen of the Granite City Roller Girls.
|th 26 Apr|
At Pier Pressure in Southend Saturday we missed the first bout skate out but surely the Sirens' A team's dough boy must have won despite mixed team Masters of the Derbyverse coaches YT and Philthy winning appreciative laughter from the crowd for their super-heroine capes ... wouldn't it be nice if programmes gave the home leagues of mixed team skaters? The Masters of etc went evens stevens against Sirens B until three quarters through the bout when jammer majors hurt them. We were impressed by the jamming of Seaside Siren Fort Knocks, despite being of slightish build she seemed to just throw herself at the blocker wall.
In the main bout it was the first public derby for the Wolverhampton Honour Rollers and as so often in derby the 236-87 score line didn't reflect that they weren't outclassed and they will get better.
|we 18 Apr|
The Romsey Town Rollerbillies had their first home bout Saturday in a large Cambridge sports hall on the first floor?! and universally painted a green which though it complimented the Billies uniform gave everything an underwater look. For the first jams the blockers lined up on the jammers line (as is the present fashion) with resulting heaving masses of humanity looking a bit like man derby. The scoreboard failed to work for most of the first half making it hard to follow things and requiring announcer Dan Gleibitz Mossman to make length of the hall dashes to confirm the score. In the end the Brighton Rockers beat the Billies 304-60 and the badger ladies were absolute sweeties.
|we 28 Mar|
Rather like Benhall when you say Houghton Regis most nearthecoasters ask Where's that?, but the satnav found it alright (unlike last time) for Co-Eduskation on Sunday. A mixed bout in both gender and league but without the spectacular height differences of Grantham. What did for Team Black (they lost 106-206) was not brutal blokey blocking but the ankle wrenching sideways cuts of Team White's male jammers. Nice to see Team Black's blocker's occasionally getting involved on their power jams unlike the present fashion for the jammer's blockers to stay out of the way. Presumably just because of life's randomness lots of official timeouts in the second half and a ref unable to escape from the pa's cables without assistance. Cracking stuff Gromit!
|sa 10 Mar|
The Meres Leisure Centre is a cold war concrete bunker set in a barren industrial wilderness on the outskirts of Grantham where you have to pay for more than two sachets of salt with your chips, living proof that councils can't do fun ... but by some oversight last Saturday they'd allowed the Lincolnshire Bombers to provide fun on turbo boost inside with the hosts beating but not drubbing the Birmingham Blitz and an outstanding bout from the Lincolnshire Rolling Thunder the men's team against a mixed (in both league and gender) team. The bout had only one point in it at the start of the final jam! Inevitably the gentlemen tend to be bigger than the ladies but this puts their shoulders in the wrong place for blocking so things tend to cancel out.
|we 7 Mar|
That's nice, our snap of Milton Keynes Concrete Cow Kim 'Kapow' Powell and a baby at Foul Portents is derbylife.com's pic of the day.
|mo 6 Feb|
It was snowing in Framlingham when we woke up Saturday morning, the A428 was clagged with traffic diverted from the A14 and the satnav went into a tizz around Bedford but at the Bletchley Leisure Centre it was such a full house for Foul Portents that 80 had been turned away. The Beds Rebellion destroyed the Vendetta Vixens but the foxes are newly hatched and will get better. The MK Concrete Cows' twitchily original skateout led to a 171-77 win over Oxford Rollerderby who weren't as outgunned as the score suggest. Next End of the World Series match in April in Bedford ... can't wait.
|tu 31 Jan|
|we 18 Jan|
We were back in Cambridge Sunday, this time to shoot the Billies for Leadjammer magazine and to see the Billies play choochoos.
|th 12 Jan|
Last Sunday we travelled to Cambridge to see hosts the Romsey Town Rollerbillies scrimmage against the MK Concrete Cows and it was well worth the effort.
|fr 6 Jan|
<blush> Our pic of Truly Thumptious and son has been nominated by US website Derby Life for Most Derby photo 2011.