While the first event (held last month) and the third (on the 19th of May) pit different leagues against the two Glasgow teams, the 14th of April was particularly special. Stockholm Roller Derby, who had most recently faced Internationally ranked London Roller Girls at home, brought over both their A and B travel teams to play their opposite numbers from GRD.
While Stockholm B fared poorly against the Maiden Grrders, thanks to some penalty issues for the Swedes and some exceptional pack cohesion from the home team, the Irn Bruisers were held to an extremely close bout by Stockholm A, eventually losing to the away team by a mere 2 points!
The "official" bout summary for these bouts from Glasgow Roller Derby is here.
Maidens v STRD
Coming into the first period, the Maidens asserted their strength; jam 3 seeing a blazingly fast Sarah McMillan (7) taking lead jammer and multiple grand slam passes against a pack-bound Jazz Ass (6), who was unable to defeat Mazzy Chaos (R10T)'s opposition. 24 point jams don't happen very often outside of power jams, and despite taking lead jammer in both of the next 2 jams, Stockholm's Hell N Destroy (24) and Roffe (15) could only chip away at the home team's lead.
Ironically, it was Sarah McMillan who also gave Stockholm their best scoring opportunity, picking up a trip to the penalty bench in jam 7 to hand Mouse Trapper Mary (29) a handy power-jam. The Maiden's pack was no push-over, however, Mazzy Chaos and Haberbashery recycling the Stockholm jammer and generally making life difficult for her - the 8 points she acquired were genuinely hard fought.
With Glasgow forcing a slow start to the next jam to allow their jammer to leave the sin-bin, and subsequently taking lead jammer, Stockholm didn't get any breaks from the home team for the next 9 or 10 jams; Hell n desTroy picking up their only scoring pass of the section in jam 9, but having to push an unbreakable Maidens 4-wall out of play to do so. With Roffe off to the sin-bin for a track cut major apparently when trying to pass her own teammates on the inside-line in the next jam, and a further track-cutting power-jam for the Maidens two jams later as Jazz Ass also headed to the bin, Fightin' Torque and Sarah McMillan took the majority of points for the middle of the period.
41 Stockholm B : 94 Maiden Grrders
Once again, this tactic failed to gain Stockholm any more points, the Maidens again slowing the pack to allow Sarah McMillan to escape, and subsequently take advantage of her own power jam as an overenthusiastic Roffe picked up a back-block major immediately on impacting the Maidens' rear wall. While Stockholm presented some tough walls, Glasgow's jammer was happy to batter through and around them until being forced to track-cut tip-toeing around pivot Mouse Trapper Mary, earning her own return to the penalty box. Some aggressive blocking from Mazzy Chaos and Mona Rampage (22) limited the returning Roffe to her initial pass before time was called.
Despite a knee-start catapulting Jazz Ass onto track for the best use of the remaining power-jam, Stockholm failed to benefit as yet another trip to the penalty box beckoned during her scoring pass. With McMillan now used to returning from the bench to score, the result was a perhaps predictable 12 point score to the home team before the jam was called.
With the final jam seeing Stockholm take lead jammer for Mouse Trapper Mary, and even recycle GRD's Fightin' Torque, Glasgow's blockers proved too tough on the scoring pass; distracted by attempting to free their jammer from Glasgow's waterfalling in the middle of the pack, Stockholm didn't even see Torque zip through on her own scoring run. Belated calling by Mouse Trapper Mary set the score at the end of the period to:
43 Stockholm B : 120 Maiden Grrders
A 77 point deficit entering the second period on must be daunting, but Stockholm returned to the track clearly unbowed, scoring in the first two jams, with a close initial jam between Roffe and GRD's Fightin' Torque handing them only a single point. While the Bruisers' Splatterkiller looked like owning the second jam, thwarting Jazz Ass's bid for the inside line in an initial tussle before taking lead jammer herself; a track cut major by the Stockholm jammer soon after capped things off with a power-jam to GRD. Making it look initially effortless, Splat picked up a couple of grand slam passes before a misjudged attempt to slip around the inside line ended up in a major track cut of her own, giving Jazz Ass the chance to score for herself. An extremely defensive Glasgow pack made it as hard as possible for her, however, and the power-jam, and the jam itself, ended before she completed her first scoring pass.
47 Stockholm B : 133 Maiden Grrders
With the Maidens in an increasingly dominant position, the Swedes were given few chances to score for the rest of the bout; not helped by a confused Roffe apparently trying to start without everyone else in jam 4. With Roffe required to reenter the pack as they passed her advanced position, GRD's Fightin' Torque had already made inroads into her own initial pass before the Stockholm jammer could properly start…
An increasingly dominant Maiden Grrders gave Stockholm few chances for the rest of the bout, keeping them to only two scoring passes until the final 10 minutes. The first of these two moments of glory turned to ashes, however, as Mouse Trapper Mary apparently didn't realise that she'd been pushed off track by Jackash (911) on her scoring pass, picking up a trip to the sin-bin for the resulting track cut major. Sarah McMillan's resultant power-jam, despite some solid walls anchored by Polygamy Winehouse, did the score differential no favours for Stockholm at all.
50 Stockholm B : 164 Maiden Grrders
A second power-jam to McMillan (again, versus Mouse Trapper Mary) later in the period just inflated an already impressive lead for the home team, although some beautifully coherent pack work from the Maidens did allow her to collect a final pass even after the Stockholm jammer returned to the track, for a 24 point jam in total!
With around 9 minutes to go, Stockholm finally found their feet once more; extremely defensive pack tactics from both teams seeing Stockholm's 4:3 pack advantage eventually hand Roffe lead jammer status for jam 15, and enough time for a clean scoring pass. Rushing to pick up points as Roffe called it, GRD's Very Hungry Splatterkiller managed to collide with a Polygamy Winehouse from the back, picking up a last second back-block major. Stockholm's Jazz Ass was happy to take the following power-jam; with both teams down to only 2 blockers on track, the Maidens couldn't really do much to stop her initially. Some excellent blocking from Mona Rampage held back her second pass for long enough for a returning Coco Pox to push the track advantage Glasgow's way, however, and as the power-jam ended, another one had just begun; Jazz Ass being forced to pick up enough track cut minors to send her off herself. Despite a hard fall onto her knee, Splat showed how you run a power-jam, picking up 3 grand slam passes, making the jam a net Maidens gain.
65 Stockholm B : 229 Maiden Grrders
The game of musical power-jams continued into the following jam, however; with Fightin' Torque facing only a pair of Stockholm blockers, and rushing to score before the dregs of the power-jam ran through, she somehow managed to contrive to emulate Splat and collide forcefully with their packs on her first scoring pass, earning an immediate trip to the penalty bench. A returning Jazz Ass didn't do much better, with four Maidens blockers to pass, she picked up a track cut major instead! A more cautious Torque still eked 2 grand slam passes out of her brief sole ownership of the track, and a returning Jazz Ass was ably managed by Mazzy Chaos and Haberbashery to let her pick up a third pass before the jam ended.
That was the final scoring opportunity for Stockholm's B team, with the final three jams seeing a third successive power jam for GRD, and two excellent displays of skill by the home team; Fightin' Torque managing to leap her way to a 9 point jam to cap off the bout, thanks to some beautiful blocking from Mona Rampage.
The final score, with those last minute scores, an impressive:
69 Stockholm B : 285 Maiden Grrders
Bruisers v STRD
After that impressive victory by Glasgow's B team, Stockholm A were up to show that the Swedes were not entirely to be messed with.
Opening the first period against Glasgow's Irn Bruisers, Stockholm held the first 3 jams, Mad Maloony (22) outpacing Glasgow's Megan Hyndman (4) in the first to force a no-score, and Blood Countess (1300) and Hell n desTroy (24) both taking lead jammer themselves for points.
Glasgow weren't napping, however, and the next two jams saw Megan Hyndman and Hardcore Prawn (88mph) bring the scores back to an even 5:6, before jam 6 started their acceleration away. Chemikill Hazard (LD50) and Oates (360) worked together in the pack to hold Blood Countess at bay while Marshall Lawless (42) took lead jammer and a pair of grand slam passes to open up the score gap.
With Blood Countess off to the penalty box towards the end of the jam, Stockholm were well aware of the danger in the next. Despite the power jam, some exceptional walling by Only (1) and Kix Deville (90) anchored by Swede Hurt (46) shut down much of Megan Hyndman's scoring, limiting GRD to just 6 points before the Stockholm jammer returned to the track.
As Hardcore Prawn slipped out along the outside line within seconds of the next jam starting, Stockholm's Taraism found herself lapped before she could finally pass Chemkill Hazard at the rear of the pack; with the grand slam pass under her belt, Glasgow's jammer was happy to call the jam as soon as she impacted the pack a second time.
5 Stockholm A : 29 Irn Bruisers
Jam 9 saw Hell n desTroy start the Stockholm counterattack, taking lead jammer and, aided by pivot Swede Hurt (46) keeping Glasgow's Rogue Runner (210) controlled at the rear of the pack, completing her own scoring pass in good time. Mad Maloony accelerated the scoring in jam 10, winning her third rematch with Megan Hyndman, and with the GRD jammer staggered down by an assisted check from captain Hussinsane (747) and Taraism, having enough time to pick up 5 points before calling.
Mad Malooney took the jam line, and despite some tenacious (and out-of-play penalty accruing) blocking by Becki Menzies (5), she kept up the pressure, pulling out a a trio of grand slam passes before Marshall Lawless, accelerating like a rocket out of the bench and through the pack as her penalty time expired, forced her to call it. 15 points was just enough to bring the scores nicely level at:
29 Stockholm A : 29 Irn Bruisers
The game was clearly still up for anyone to win. With the two teams trading points, the scores still began to slip slightly the Bruisers' way, with jam 16 in particular showing some excellent play; Rogue Runner patiently working at a tough Stockholm 4-wall until it was forced out of play at the front of the pack, while, despite their 4-3 numbers disadvantage, Glasgow's blockers kept Taraism locked up long enough for a grand slam scoring pass, followed by a second pass after she escaped.
Stockholm were hardly about to give up, of course, and some good play from Mad Maloony and Blood Countess was starting to make up the points differential again over the following 4 jams.
With two jams to go before the end of the period, Marshall Lawless just about exploded out of pack in the first, to take lead jammer and a single scoring pass; Megan Hyndman tried to do the same in the second, but a more solid Stockholm wall forced a minor penalty before it was put out of play, robbing her of lead jammer status. With GRD now all about keeping the Stockholm jammer controlled, Viper started off with a comparatively gentle hip check… knocking Hell n desTroy to the track, where she grimaced and failed to get up. With the jam called for medical attention, that was the last chance Stockholm would get to score before the next period; although, of course, their immediate concerns were more with the injured jammer; happily, she managed to hobble off after some icing from the medical staff.
53 Stockholm A : 68 Irn Bruisers
With the Irn Bruisers only 15 points in the lead at the start of the second period this was still anyone's game; something that was reinforced when, after two lowish scoring jams for the Bruisers, jam 3 saw Emma Ryssfemma (5mg) take advantage of a track cut by Marshall Lawless to slash the points differential to only 5 points in a single power jam.
73 Stockholm A : 78 Irn Bruisers
Despite some excellent work by Hardcore Prawn jamming, and Chemikill Hazard blocking, pulling Glasgow's score ahead in the next jam, a second power jam for Stockholm in jam 5 allowed Taraism (116) to push her team into the lead for the first time since the 4th jam of the bout.
While an immediately subsequent power jam for the Bruisers allowed Oates to snatch back the lead, despite some excellent walling from STRD's Bess Irv Cold (50) and captain Hussinsane (747), it was clear that the home team's victory was increasingly uncertain.
105 Stockholm A : 104 Irn Bruisers
A complex jam followed; Swede Hurt giving Hardcore Prawn repeated hard shoulder checks to keep her in the pack, while Blood Countess managed to take lead jammer with a small apex leap. With Prawn still being hammered by Swede, the Stockholm jammer wasn't having such a good time of it in her scoring pass either, Mistress Malicious (99) and Becki Menzies both hammering her just as hard. Eventually, a track cut sent Blood Countess to the sin-bin, but a beleaguered Hardcore Prawn only just managed a single scoring pass, still being repeatedly recycled, before Blood Countess returned to the track and called it.
With only 11 minutes left in the bout, the scores had drawn once again, sitting at
109 Stockholm A : 109 Irn Bruisers
With both teams pulling out all the stops, it was Stockholm who began to slowly pull away first; a close no-score between Oates and Mad Maloony followed by the precise opposite, a no-lead jammer (thanks to penalties for both Marshall Lawless and Blood Countess) 2 minute extravaganza, with both teams providing near-impenetrable opposition. Over the entire jam, Stockholm managed to sneak in a single scoring pass, such was the intensity of the play from both sides.
Mad Maloony made it another 3 points in the next jam, but couldn't stop a close Megan Hyndman from scoring equally; a very fast Oates made it another 3 for Glasgow in the very next jam, resetting the scores to near parity again. With Marshall Lawless barely fighting ahead to a single scoring pass in jam 18, the lead was changing almost every other jam!
A pair of very close jams broke the trend, for 19 and 20, with Emma Ryssfemma and Rogue Runner, and Megan Hyndman and Mad Maloony, too close to really call; the first a no-score, the second slightly misjudged by Hyndman but with no real impact - both scoring a single point, and leaving the Irn Bruiser still barely in the lead:
117 Stockholm A : 120 Irn Bruisers
With only enough time for a couple more jams, Stockholm's captain Hussinsane managed a last minute reversal, with a tough rear wall keeping the Bruisers' Oates locked up in the pack. Despite Glasgow pulling out their own tough defence on her scoring pass, Mistress Malicious knocking her to the track as she approached, the STRD jammer still managed a grand slam pass before calling it, pulling the away team ahead by a mere 2 points.
Glasgow immediately called a team timeout, strategising and morale building for the final, and potentially pivotal, jam of the bout. In the end, it came down once more to a rematch of Megan Hyndman against Mad Maloony; with both teams fighting as hard as they could to gain advantage, both jammers had promising forays shut down, until a broadly grinning Mad Maloony finally broke through first! With Hyndman in close pursuit, the Stockholm jammer settled for calling the jam as she approached the pack once more, having ensured the period clock had fully expired.
At the end of a nail-biting period, then, the final score remained at:
122 Stockholm A : 120 Irn Bruisers
Conclusions and Awards
The Maiden Grrders are quickly becoming one of the most impressive "B" teams for this season. After their performance against Granite City in their previous bout, and their comprehensive win here, they're consistently showing skill and determination that you might expect of an "A" team from some other leagues.
The second bout of the day was a much closer fought affair, and while Stockholm certainly earned their win, the same would have been true for the Irn Bruisers; both teams can be more than happy with their performance on track.
Thanks also to the producer of the bout programme, and the GRD and STRD tweeters and Facebook-page-responders, who were essential in attaining the skater award details.
GRD v STRD
GRD v STRD
This report, and all photographs and video linked therein, are licensed Creative Commons: Attribution (3.0) (CC:BY 3.0). Free for reuse and redistribution with attribution.
Photographs and video taken with a Sony A580 with a Minolta 34-105mm lens.