Two bouts in one day! IN THE SAME PLACE! Result!
This was the end of the first season for LRG‘s three permanent teams, and after two games apiece it was time for the final reckoning: the steam punks versus the time traveling feminists in a high speed, high stakes, collision of past and future. The Steam Rollers had scored one win and one loss, and the Suffra Jets were undefeated. The last time these teams met the Steam Rollers got close enough to be breathing down the Jets’ necks as they battled to close the points gap in the third period. They didn’t run out of steam, but they did run out of time and ended on 89 to the Jets’ 103. Could the Steam Rollers flatten them, or could the Suffra Jets deploy the forces of the future to keep time on their side again?
We love the Ultraviolent Femmes. They’re green, we’re green, Awesome Sock Monkey is green, and we all like violence, so we were psyched to see them play three times this season too. And excited to see a new European team willing to head over to London to take them on. Barock City put a big smile on Awesome Sock Monkey’s face by skating out to dispense some impressive snacks. Chocolate, pretzels, and cupcakes? Where does he put it all? Probably in his very long hollow legs.
After the snack excitement it was time for the serious sporting activity, and Barock City sure had their work cut out for them. As the first period got underway it rapidly became clear they were no match for the mighty Femmes. Time after time the Barock jammers were trapped in the pack while the Ultraviolent jammers broke out to score and score. The points began to heap up against the visitors, but they were undeterred. The crowd dished out the support every time Barock’s jammers made it to within a Femme of the front – but unfortunately for Barock that Femme was usually Hula Gunn, whose ruthless pivoting power ensured that the first period ended with the Ultraviolents on 112 and Barock yet to score.
The visitors threw themselves into the second half with renewed determination and their enthusiasm undented. When their jammer broke through the pack for the first time, the roar from the crowd was deafening; I inhaled with such excitement I nearly choked on my cupcake. Barock’s renewed confidence and the Femmes’ line up changes brought a new element of unpredictability to the game play in the second period, but it was clear that Barock were going to finish the game thoroughly tolchocked. They gave it their all, but ended with only 15 points against the Femmes’ 165. It would have been nice to see more of a challenge for the Ultraviolents at the close of the season, but despite the mismatch in experience Barock clearly loved every minute of the experience and both sides came at the game with great attitude. Huge respect to Barock for making a brave first bout choice with such enthusiasm, hope we get to see them play again soon!
To help us handle the suspense of the upcoming final game, LRG thoughtfully laid on some space hopper racing in the interval. The Rollerbillies are skating in a mixed team for Roll Britannia (more on that later) and we’ve been taking it very seriously. Aside from our main strategy of shitting ourselves when we think about it, we got Violet’s friend Pete to help us with our fitness training. The fact that he’s about to join the RAF failed to impress us, but he definitely convinced us of his awesome athletic capabilities by winning the space hopper race. So now were listening to every word he says and doing the circuits like he told us. Go Pete!
After all that excitement, it was finally time to decide who would be rolling away from LRG’s first season championship victorious. The Suffra Jets had lost Silky Briefs and N-emma-si5 to injury, and the Steam Rollers had Sky Rockit back on the track after her absence from the last game. Was the change in line up going to tip the balance? The opening jams were full of anticipation as strong defensive play from both sides drew out the wait for a lead jammer. The points stayed low with single scoring passes, the Jets took a narrow lead, and the play stayed close and full of tension. The points briefly equalised, but the final jams of the first half saw the Jets grab the lead back to pause at 40 – 30.
Our asses were beginning to get numb from sitting on the floor as the second period began. The pace was fast, with the Jets solidly determined to defend their lead and the Steam Rollers desperately trying to undermine it. We narrowly escaped a skate shaped dent in the face when Correctional Felicity landed on us feet first (see below), but that just added to the excitement. Plus leaping backwards probably helped boost our circulation a bit.
Back on the track, the Jets were breaking through the pack ahead and gaining the points advantage with almost every jam. The combination of their agile defensive play and that clever sideways stance thing they do kept their jammers off the floor and out in front, and the differential gradually widened to 30 points. When the DJs started playing the final countdown we realised that the end of the final period was drawing close. Da da da da, da da da da daaa. The Steam Rollers fans amongst us willed them on, and in the penultimate jam they clawed back 11 points, holding the Jets back entirely, da da da da daaaa, but it wasn’t enough. When the final whistle blew with the Steam Rollers on 73 and the Suffra Jets on 93 it was all over: an awesome bout, and truly awe inspiring skating from the winning team. If this is the future of feminism, bring it on.
Congratulations and thanks to the Suffra Jets, the Steam Rollers, the Ultraviolent Femmes, and Barock City (and all the awesome support folks) for such a great day! We can’t wait for the next double header. We’ll bring cushions.
Also many thanks to the photographers who kindly allowed us to feature their shots here. Pictures of Awesome Sock Monkey and snacks, and the beautifully crisp one of Pete, are ours; left to right from the top, photo credits are: 2-7, 9-11, 14 by Mitesh Tailor, 12 by Neal Humphris, and 13 by Steve Newton.