London Rollergirls

D1M 1st Place: #1 London fights past #2 Texas, 146-135

D1M 1st Place: #1 London fights past #2 Texas, 146-135 Photo credit: Matthew Becker Photography. facebook.com/mbeckerphoto

MONTRÉAL, QC – In the final game of the Montreal D1 tournament, #1 London faced #2 Texas in a tense battle of smart defense, quick transitions, and line-defying footwork to showcase top-ranked derby at its finest. After a 4-1 season, #1 London brought their methodical game play to rival Texasstoried experience in a back and forth contest that didnt appear to favor either side. Ultimately, after Londons Rogue Runner scored a break-out jam 33-point jam in the second period, Texas fell slightly short in mounting a comeback as London locked down defense to ultimately win 1st Place 146-135.

D1M: #1 London Tackles #4 Montréal, 325-58

D1M: #1 London Tackles #4 Montréal, 325-58 Photo credit: Duane Baker Photography. facebook.com/duanebakerphotography

MONTRÉAL, QC – In game 11 of the Montréal playoffs, the #1 seed London Rollergirls took on #4 seed, and host league, Montréal Roller Derby. While the New Skids on the Block were certainly the crowd favorite, they were no match for London Brawling. London scored 54 points within the first two jams, setting the tone for much of the game.

Both the New Skids and Brawling brought tight defense and the jammer strength expected from both of these teams, resulting in a hard-fought game on both sides. Montréal consistently fought back throughout the game, picking up some momentum in the second half, but London ultimately blew Montréal out of the water, winning 325-58. They will go on to the Texas Rollergirls Sunday at 6pm EDT (11pm BST) in the battle for first place.

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Montréal Preview

2016 WFTDA D1 Playoffs: Montréal Preview Photo credit: Marko Niemelä Photography. facebook.com/punkmarkophotos

After two exciting Division 2 weekends full of upsets, the Division 1 tournaments will begin in Montréal – notably the first time a D1 tournament has been held outside the United States. There is also plenty of international variety within the bracket, five different countries will be represented with London holding the top seed – which makes this the most international D1 playoff tournament yet!

With teams traveling long distances to participate, many of them have had short seasons due to financial limitations, giving them the potential to surprise their competitors. History has proved that we won’t likely see a #7 seed make it all the way to the Championship game on Sunday, like in the D2 brackets that have just happened, but anything really is possible here. The top three placing teams will, of course, get a spot at Championships in Portland this November.

London v. Goffum, Deux

London v. Goffum, Deux Photo by Roller Derby on Film (https://www.facebook.com/RollerDerbyOnFilm/)

The last time these two teams met, the obvious smack talking and bee-related jokes that happened made the lead up to the event quite entertaining to watch develop before the game even happened. After the New Yorkers proved that they indeed could be taken down at Champs last fall, there was no smack talking required this time around as tickets sold out in record time to see the London and Gotham rematch.

If you weren’t one of the lucky golden ticket holders or simply were far, far away from the action, you would have accessed the game, like I did, via the livestream in crystal clear HD. Or nearly, because you know the internet’s never entirely predictable. And boy was it worth the watch!

Mayday in HEL – an International tournament in Helsinki

Mayday in HEL – an International tournament in Helsinki Photo credit: Marko Niemelä Photography. facebook.com/punkmarkophotos

Over the weekend of May 14th and 15th, Helsinki Roller Derby held a two day tournament called Mayday in HEL in Helsinki, Finland. The tournament had five Division 1 teams, four of which are among the top five in Europe: Stockholm Roller Derby All-Stars and Crime City Rollers from Malmö from Sweden, London Rollergirl’s London Brawling from the UK, and the home team Helsinki Roller Derby All-Stars from Finland. There was also a team visiting from Canada, Montréal Roller Derby- New Skids on the Block, as well as a men’s game and a juniors game.