SWINDON, UK – The atmosphere was electric and the excitement palpable in Swindon’s Futsal Arena on Saturday, August 8th, as hundreds of fans from across Europe gathered to watch some truly spectacular international-level derby played in the run-up to the 2015 WFTDA Playoffs.
Most of the crowd had spent the day at the venue attending the first of a two-day bootcamp which was run by the visiting Rose City skaters. They were looking forward to watching many of the skills they’d been shown that day put into practice by the experts, as the WFTDA ranked #4 London Rollergirls took on the visiting #2 Rose City Rollers.
The game promised to be a thrill-ride from the onset, with Scald Eagle taking advantage of an LRG jammer penalty in the first jam and taking the lead 15-3. Some early penalty trouble for London left the blockers working hard to contain the Rose City jammers, whose varied styles provided a real challenge. Both teams started off solid, with strong and dynamic braced walls looking particularly difficult for the jammers to get through.
By the middle of the first half, Trisha Smackinawa (a recent addition to Brawling’s jammer rotation) helped bring the score to 39-37, with London leading Rose City. Brawling began to capitalise on their lead, and with a solid wall holding Scald back, Lexi Lightspeed was able to put 14 more points on the board. The strength of the blockers on both sides continued to impress, with the following jam seeing both Stefanie Mainey and Scald being held back for a minute before Mainey finally got lead, only to be immediately recycled again by Brawn Swanson.
Towards the end of the half Loren Mutch showed off her impressive speed and footwork, dashing through the pack while Mainey was contained behind a formidable Wheels of Justice wall held by Jes Rivas, Swanson, and Jessica Chestnut. The score at half-time stood at London over Rose City, 93-45.
Following an enormously entertaining half-time show courtesy of Vienna’s Fearleaders (see video here), the second half began with both teams’ walls holding jammers with renewed vigour, and the jammers were slipperier than ever. WOJ shook things up by adding a fast and aggressive Feliz Brutality to their jamming lineup, while their blockers worked to provide some excellent sweeping offence to help their jammers out. Scald demonstrated why she’s one of the best jammers in the world by blasting through the Brawling walls.
However the London jammers continued to extend their lead, and despite a couple of scoreless jams, they brought the score to 129-69 over Rose City mid-way through the second half. Some penalty trouble for the Wheels of Justice blockers allowed Rogue Runner to take advantage of her speed and agility to add more points on the board.
As the end of the game neared, Rose City fought back to the sound of a jubilant crowd roaring, “We want Justice!” Licker*N*Split and Mutch both worked to bring Rose City’s score up while Scald Eagle continued to power her way through the LRG walls. Following a hard-hitting and explosive final jam, the final score stood at London 193-129 against the visiting Rose City.