July 13, 2014

Richter City Home Season Opener - Brutal Pageant vs Smash Malice

The Richter City Roller Derby 2014 season has well and truly begun. After hosting WRDL and the triple header with Pirate City and Paradise City earlier in the year, it was time for some home team action.  The new year has not only brought us the new venue of Kilbirnie Recreation Centre, but new sponsors have been found in the guise of Hell Pizza, who were also selling their snack pizzas to compliment the sausage sizzle, candy floss and bar. 

Being a smaller venue, the seats filled quick.  We arrived barely 15 minutes after the doors opened and almost struggled to find a suitable seat on the grandstand. The suicide seats area seemed busier this time, and there also appeared to be more people standing around the outside of the rink.  The "Hell Pizza Penalty Box" has found it's way to the middle of the track due to lack of space in the usual spot between the team benches, which lead to many collisions between refs, officials and skaters on their way to or from the box.

After two years of Comic Slams seeming to have unfair advantage during the home season competition, and what seems to be a fair amount of player attrition thankfully matched with plenty of graduates from fresh and tender meat, the two teams we saw on Saturday of Brutal Pageant and Smash Malice were teams not seen before.  Long time Malice skaters Tuff Bikkies and Jem Molition now don the red and pink of Pageant, Suffer Jet and Anna Pave-U'Ova who have been core Slams members the last two years are now in black skating for Smash Malice, Jet as captain. Ella Kazam has too left Comic Slams, and now captains Brutal Pageant.  Both teams had three or four new skaters in their ranks to compliment the switch-up of our old favourites.

A strong start was made by Brutal Pageant, winning a few points first jam and getting a power jam shortly after.  New skater Burn Witch Burn featured heavily as jammer for Pageant, helped along by Meat Train, Tuff Bikkies and Ella Kazam in racking up points in the first half.  Malice fought back, clawing the lead several times in the first half thanks to jammers Anna Pave-U'Ova, Skanda Lass, Bubble O'Kill and the relatively new Dolly Diddit.  Both teams featured some intense walls of blockers, sometimes causing those seasoned jammers a lot of hard work trying to get through.  The half time score was 142 to 91 in favour of Brutal Pageant.

A lack of half-time show was almost refreshing when remembering some of last years efforts, it was merely a thankful break from the hard seats and a chance to go for a refreshment run.

Smash Malice appeared to have received a good talking to in the changing rooms at half time while the relaxed Pageant girls were gossiping out front with their friends, family and fans.  A couple of good strong jams from Malice and trips to the penalty box for Pageant, helped close up the gap in the points differential, with about ten minutes to go there was less than 8 points in it.  As the last ten minutes progressed, it seemed more spectators slid closer to the edge of their seats and more time outs called by the teams and officials.  An official time out with less than a minute on the clock led to Bubble O'Kill being ejected from the game for maximum penalties, announced to us by the head referee (as he did with the reason and result after each official time out - a change in process I at least appreciated).  The last jam may have gone differently for Smash Malice had they not lost this strong skater at crunch time, with a win still easily in their grasp.  Unfortunately for Malice, Brutal Pageant ended the night with a power jam skated by Meat Train resulting in a final score of 168 to 197.

Skaters who really stood out to us in this bout were Burn Witch Burn and Dolly Diddit, both had some outstanding escapes and runs as jammers, while Poise N Dart (Pageant) and Lolo Morales (Malice) cemented our ongoing respect for their blocking skills.  Richter City chose Skanda Lass and Cher Trouble as MVPs for Smash Malice and Brutal Pageant respectively, and an honorable mention to Dolly Diddit.

Tickets are already on sale for the next home season bout, Brutal Pageant vs Comic Slams on Saturday July 26th.  Check the Facebook event page for hints closer to the time such as reminders to bring cushions and change for the raffles and pizza etc.  The third home season bout is on Saturday August 2nd, see Facebook for further details and Eventfinder for tickets.

No comments:

Post a Comment