MILES of undead flesh and litres of fake blood made for a gruesome Saturday night as roller derby fans swarmed at the SpeedDome for Perth Roller Derby’s Halloween double header Bout of the Skating Dead. WA Roller Derby made history with a convincing win against their cross-town rivals, scoring 143 to 90 against the Perth Roller Derby Rumble Bees. The Rumble Bees shot to an early lead in the first couple of jams but WARD slowly clawed their way back. Lightning fast packs sent jammers flying through, instead of into, the penalty box and some hard hits from both sides kept the game physical, if not brutal. WARD’s methodical goating controlled the pace and their unrelenting walls at the front of the pack made sure they didn’t give any points away without a fight. By half time they had a decent lead 76 to Rumble Bees’ 65.
Rumble Bees’ speed and aggression were evident, with Ja’Main Fear and Julia Killhard fairly flying around the track as their team’s main jammers; Polly Cystic and Morgan Wildchild also put in powerful performances. WARD seemed to gather confidence as the bout went on, their walls were solid, jammers nimble and they deftly controlled the pace of the pack for most of the second half. Notably, WARD played a different jammer for the first four jams and the depth of talent in the young team was clear. Stalwarts Hot Wheels, Serenity Pow and Ophelia Terror did the lion’s share of the jamming and Damanda Respect, Femme Ferox, Juicy M Suffer and Steely Niel were tactical blockers. After Modern Warfare’s outstanding full two minutes jamming in the final jam the teams were exhausted but jubilant with WARDs of the Skate taking home their very first win. Warfare took home Most Valued Player for her team and Julia Killhard was Most Valued for the Rumble Bees. Sadly, the Prime Minister did not take time out from CHOGM to congratulate her.
From the moment the Perth Roller Derby All Stars took to the track dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the audience knew it was in for a show and their bout against North Brisbane Rollers’ Brawl Stars did not disappoint. As always it is a treat to watch players like Annie Thingoes and Mary Fagdalene jam, but NBR’s control of the speed of the pack was exceptional. Hard hits from NBR’s players such as Oh Hell No were impressive and the speed and smarts of Annabell Lecter, Lil Gee Unit and Brandee Snapz as they jammed were a joy to watch. Posh Slice and Dirty KO were instrumental for PRD and the crowd just loved to see the home town girls scoring points but sadly it wasn’t enough. Going into half time the score was 126-65 to NBR.
The visitors’ ability to go from the slowest of slow derby to the fastest of packs to suit their need was impressive as was their gameplay. Late in the second half jammer Lil Gee Unit, upon being the second jammer sent to the box, hovered over her seat without sitting to force PRD jammer Posh Slice to serve out her time, proving NBR brought the tactics to outwit the local girls. NBR left the SpeedDome with a final score of 201 to 139 and left the local roller derby community with plenty of new ideas. Mary Fagdalene took home MVP for PRD and Janosaurus Wrecks was voted most valued for the Brawl Stars.
The finale for PRD may have been held but don’t miss the climax of WA Roller Derby’s season, which will be held in a galaxy far, far away. Tickets are on sale now for Return of the Jammer on November 12. Tickets are just $11 for adults and $6 for children from Planet Video, Rolloways, Talk To Me Derby and online.