SEQUELS are rarely better than the originals – you hope for ‘Empire Strikes Back’, often you just get ‘Jaws IV - The Revenge’ – but Glasgow Roller Derby’s Home Teams II had all the action, excitement and thrills of this first instalment … with added new ingredients.
This was a chance for some of the fresh talent coming through the ranks of GRD to show their skills on the track. And guess what? On this display, to borrow a phrase from an old song, the future’s so bright we’ve got to wear shades.
All four of Glasgow’s home teams were in action – the Bad Omens, Tyrannosaurus Wrecks, Hell’s Belles and Death Stars – as GRD welcomed home the heroes of ECDX. The Irn Bruisers leapt a mighty 26 places in the world rankings at the tournament in the USA, playing out of their skins against two of the best teams in the world.
A packed ARC welcomed the first course of the day – the Bad Omens vs the T-Wrecks. The hall was already stiflingly hot – and it was only going to get hotter with the scorching hot action on track.
Lining up for the Omens – wearing blood red shirts – were Mona Rampage (co-captain), Terror Byte (co-captain), Beav Aggressive, Hardcore Prawn, Jackash, Janie Bones, Mistress Malicious, Sharizard, Jodie Stanley, Trucks Norris, Zoe Wannabreakher, Fever and Badman – with Moxie Blitz on line-up and Stormy Heather as bench manager.
For the dino dames in green it was Caley Kapowski (co-captain), Coco Pox (co-captain), Sarah McMillan, Venus Velocity, Public Emily, Hex a Decimate, Jess E Ska, Devil’s Advoskate, Studley Muir, Whiskey Galore and The Very Hungry Splatterkiller – with Kitty Slyde on line-up and Morvenom on bench.
There was a special welcome for Public Emily, Janie Bones, Sharizard, Trucks Norris and Badman – all competing in a public bout for the first time.
Jam one saw Jodie don the star for the Omens, with Splat on scoring duties for the T-Wrecks and it was the jade jammer who burst through the pack to take lead. With Jodie being blocked by Venus and Devil, Splat took first blood – 0-4 for the T-Wrecks.
McMillan was the Jurassic jammer in the second and she wasted no time thundering through the pack, although she was closely followed by Prawn. Sarah managed to fly past two Omens before quickly calling it off to prevent the crow crew from scoring.
Jam three saw Zoe aiming to get the Omens off the mark, with Jess starring for the T-Wrecks. And it was Zoe who was crowned lead jammer after slipping through on the inside as bodies toppled about her, racing round and juking through the pack to score three points.
Studley took the prehistoric panty in jam four, up against Janie Bones for the femme fatales. Studley did well to survive a big hit from Mistress, but she couldn’t stay on track as Fever pitched in with an awesome hip-check that left Muir seeing little crows flying around her head. McMillan made sure Bones wasn’t left out though – repeatedly sending her crashing back to earth. The Omens looked as if they had been given a lucky break when Studley – who scored three - was sin-binned for cutting track, but before they could issue a mighty “kakaw” Bones was also hit with a penalty and Muir was given an early release – 3-7 in favour of the T-Wrecks.
Studley was still wearing the dino star in the fifth, but when she was penalised for a low block, it was back to the sin bin for the repeat offender. Bones suddenly had a power jam – but she couldn’t squeeze past snarling T-Wreck blockers Coco, Venus and Devil. Persistence pays off though – especially in derby – and brave Bones eventually found a way past, scoring three – 6-7.
Jam six saw the awesomely-named Trucks Norris motoring on to the track as the Omens jammer, up against Splat for the T-riffic team. Trucks steered her way through the pack brilliantly, despite good work by Hex a Decimate and Caley, but with Splat closing in she pocketed a pair of points and hit her hips – edging the ruby raiders into the lead for the first time, 8-7.
The seventh saw two GRD legends go star to star – McMillan and Mistress – and it was Malicious who skated through on the inside, taking lead jammer. Mistress scored a brace, but not before McMillan scored four points with a brilliant leap over the apex. Sadly her joy was cut short as she was penalised for an alleged low block to everyone’s bemusement – 10-9.
Jam eight started with Prawn on a power jam for the crimson queens – with Splat, Caley, Coco and Whiskey trying to hold her back. They couldn’t keep the Hardcore skater quiet for long though and she secured a fab four grand slams before McMillan was set free – 30-9.
The ninth featured Jess and Jodie as the star-crossed jammers, with the Two-Tone terror squirting through the pack with mercurial majesty – nimbly nipping away from Terror, Mistress, Zoe and Trucks – 30-14.
Jam 10 and Jess had the scent of prey in her dinosaur nostrils. Omen jammer Bones was aiming to cast a dark spell, but facing an awesome wall of Bruiser-like proportions in McMillan, Whiskey, Splat and Devil. Ska was smuggled through the Omens defences by her team-mates and duly went on the rampage – racking up 23 points despite a shuddering slam from the formidable Fever. That saw the T-Wrecks roar back into the lead – 30-37.
Into the 11th and Zoe was hoping to give the Omens something to crow about, while Studley was back for the T-Wrecks. Wannabreakher wasted no time in bursting through the pack, despite a heavy jolt of Whiskey, and suddenly found herself with a power jam with Studley penalised. Up stepped the raptor-like blockers Coco, Whiskey, Devil and Splat – forming a wonderwall (Splat at one stage brilliantly using Whiskey as a projectile to knock Zoe out) while Studley served her minute-long sentence. The Bad Omen was wearing a gold star and she deserved one for keeping going against the not-so-jolly green giants – edging the crimson queens into the lead, 39-37.
With just minutes to go, the penultimate jam matched Mistress and McMillan again – with Sarah in sizzling form as she took LJ before even the first bend, rounding the apex on one foot and blasting her way to four points to the delight of all fossil fans.
Jam 13 and the Omens were hoping that would be a portent of good fortune as Bones donned the star, up against Ska for the T-Wrecks. But Ska showed nifty footwork again, juking left and right and scoring two points to end the half - 39-43 in favour of the dino daughters.
Half-time gave the sweat-drenched skaters a chance to catch a drink and a gulp of fresh air as temperatures continued to soar. All credit to them – they didn’t flag for a minute.
The second half started where the first ended – full-throttle. Mona Rampage won lead jammer for the Omens, but good work by Jurassic jammer McMillan forced an early shutdown.
Jam two and Bones was back for the crow-tastic bad girls, while Ska was aiming to get the T-Wrecks roaring again. With Ska not getting any change out of Mistress though, Bones broke her way through the dino defences. However, she was sin-binned, handing Jess a power jam, which she duly exploited for four grand slams – 39-63.
Into the third and Splat was jamming for the Wrecking crew, with Bones released to try to storm the wall of Caley, Devil and McMillan. Splat secured LJ and roared into action, skating past on the outside and then swinging to the inside to avoid Beav, Fever, Mona and Prawn (birds of a feather block together it seems). Unfortunately the T-riffic experience of the green goddesses was too much for Bones, who was sent back to the penalty box. That gave Splat the chance to bank a brilliant five grand slams – helped by good work from her team-mates to stretch the Omens’ defences. That made it 39-88 for the T-Wrecks.
Jam four was notable as it was the first time T-Wrecks skater Public Emily had sported the jammer star at a public bout and she squirted through the pack, only to be halted by Malicious – leading to an early call-off.
The fifth saw Jess and Jodie wearing the stars again, but it was Ska who was seeing stars for the T-Wrecks after a heavy takedown by Mona – eliciting a hearty “ooh” from the crowd. Omens jammer Jodie duly muscled her way through the pack and was rewarded with a power jam when Ska was penalised. Good work by Devil, Splat, Coco and Hex saw Jodie knocked out and recycled, but strong skating and great reflexes helped her secure the Omens’ best score of the day – a fantastic five grand slams.
The sixth started with the scores 64-94 in favour of the emerald aces, with McMillan back as jammer – up against Mistress for the Bad Omens. It was Malicious who took lead jammer, but good pressure from Sarah saw her call off the jam with one point scored – 65-94.
Into the seventh and Hardcore Prawn was revving up to 88mph for the Omens, with Splat star-ring for the Wrecking crew. Prawn showed off lacerating laterals as she leapt left and right to weave her way through the pack, securing three points for the Omens – 68-95.
The eighth began with a mighty “rawwwrrr” from T-Wrecks skater Bev Radge – watching from the crowd - and Jess responded by taking lead jammer, but with Zoe hot on her wheels she pocketed two points and called the jam off.
With just under eight minutes left, jam nine kicked off with Splat vs Prawn in a battle of the Bruisers. The crowd was treated to a bit of jammer-on-jammer jousting, with Splat winding down the clock for the T-Wrecks – 68-97.
Jam 10 saw Mona return to the offensive front line for the Omens and she was quickly crowned LJ. The jet-heeled Jess was soon after though, but not before the Rampage took two points.
Into the 11th and McMillan was the exploding star for the T-Wrecks, bursting through the pack despite good work by Jackash and Sharizard - helping her team crack the century - 70-101.
Jam 12 and Jodie and Jess were back for more star wars as they jammed for their teams. Ska ghosted through the pack to take LJ and found herself with a power jam when Jodie was penalised. You don’t offer the T-Wrecks a free meal and expect them not to sink their teeth in – and Jess duly delivered four grand slams – 70-121.
With time ticking away, the T-Wrecks sent Splat back into the fray to jam in the 13th – with Jodie still in the penalty box – and the ‘hungry’ T-Wreckster edged past Malicious and Zoe – securing two points and further killing time.
Jam 14 and Public Emily was back for the T-Wrecks, with Trucks revving up for the Omens. The spoils were shared on this occasion between the two impressive skaters – with Emily banking one and Trucks three.
With 48 seconds left it was 73-124 in favour of the saur-away stars of the Home Teams. Jess took the star one last time for the derby dinos and with Prawn facing an impossible task she was tempted into a foul and Jess got to finish on a high note – displaying magical skills to disappear into gaps that didn’t seem to exist. All things must end though and after six grand slams and a slamming hit by Terror, Jess called it off – securing a 73-154 victory for her team.
Best blocker for the T-Wrecks was Whiskey Galore, Public Emily was best jammer and Sarah McMillan was MVP.
Best blocker for the Bad Omens was an overjoyed Badman, with Janie Bones named best jammer and Jodie voted MVP.
After a break to calm down, it was the turn of the Death Stars and Hell’s Belles to strut their stuff and they certainly didn’t need to warm up in the oven-like confines of the ARC.
Skating out to a funked-up ‘Imperial March’ (remixed by DJ Darth Vader perhaps) the Death Stars sported blue uniforms and lightsabers, while Hell’s Belles, in purple, donned shades, denim and ‘taches to rock like demons.
Lining up for the Death Stars were Haberbashery (co-captain), Marshall Lawless (co-captain), Chemikill Hazard, Fighting Torque, Turbulinz, Peggy Su-icide, Black ‘n’ Deckher, Phoenix Fatale and Disco Brawl, with Scara Leigh on line-up and Simone managing the bench.
For the Hell’s Belles it was Cara Viola (co-captain), Mazzy Chaos (co-captain), Briony, Daisy Chainsaw, Kira, Rogue Runner, Meg 4 Mercy, Tequila Slamher, Slammit Janet and Viper. Maulin’ Rouge was bench manager, with Sadie O’Hades on line-up.
Again, a special mention for the debutants making their first public bow - Tequila Slamher, Black n Deckher and Phoenix Fatale.
The temperature climbed another notch when the first whistle sounded, with Lawless beamed down by the Death Stars and Rogue Runner jamming for the ladies from Hades. It was first blood for the Jedi jezebels though, with Hazard and Habs keeping Rogue quiet long enough for Lawless to score – 0-4.
Kira was jamming for the purple professionals in round two, while Torque was aiming to use the Force for the Death Stars. Kira did great to take the inside line and burst through, but she couldn’t stop herself cutting track and was sin-binned, giving Torque a power jam early in the bout. Good defensive work by Meg, Viola, Viper and Tequila couldn’t put the brakes on the Fighting Star, who juked left and right to rack up 17 points – 0-21.
Jam three saw Rogue back on track for Lucifer’s lassies, crossing stars with Turbulinz – jamming for the dames from the dark side. Rogue secures LJ status for the Belles, but beautiful work by Linz saw her escape the Satanic shackles – compelling Rogue to call it off with three points scored – 3-21.
Next it was Meg on jammer duties for Hell’s Belles, with Lawless back in the pilot’s seat for the Death Stars. Marshall cleverly used Habs as a Trojan skater, crouching behind her as she cleared a way through the pack then sidestepped to allow Lawless through. There was further bad news for the Belles when they lost Meg to the penalty box for cutting track – giving Lawless a power jam. Despite good defensive work by Viola and Tequila, Lawless took the Stars to 44 – a mighty 39 point lead over the Belles.
Jam five paired Kira and Torque as they battled for points, with sound work by Belle Kira securing LJ status. However, Torque was quickly after her – aided by good defensive work by Peggy and Hazard – 8-44.
Jam six and Turbulinz was crowned lead jammer for the Stars, with Tequila downed by a hefty dunt from Disco Brawl. Meg then knocked Linz out and recycled her, but Death Stars never say die and the skillful skater was soon back amongst the points … only to be penalised for a low block and sent to the box. That meant Tequila had a power jam and she showed great technique to accelerate past the Imperial Guard – Hazard, Habs and Phoenix – calling off the jam to ensure Kira started the seventh with a power jam.
The seventh started with a burst of speed down the outside by Kira and she went scorching past the Death Stars blockers. She scored nine points before pressure from the recently-released Turbulinz led to the end of the jam – 17-50.
Round eight and Slamming Janet was jamming for Satan’s senoritas, with Lawless returning like a Phantom Menace to haunt Hell’s Belles. The Marshall found herself with another power jam when Janet was sent to the naughty step for cutting track. Good blocking by Viper, Mazzy and Viola just couldn’t hold Lawless back – a task that became even harder when Mazzy was sent to the sin bin and then Viper was also penalised. The jam ended with the Death Stars in the lead – 17-60.
Torque started the ninth with a power jam for the Stars and she didn’t miss the opportunity – hitting the bullseye without having to use the Force – 17-85 for the galactic girls.
Jam 10 brought Lawless back for the Stars, while Kira tried to get the Belles motoring. Meg and Viola were determined to hold the Marshall back, but she broke through – quickly followed by Kira who took a nice inside line and began the pursuit. A lovely side-step by Lawless took her through the pack and she accelerated away, judging that she could bank more points than her opposite number with good blocking by Hazard, Black n Deckher and Disco Brawl. The jam duly ended 25-102 in favour of the Death Stars.
Jam 11 and Rogue was wearing the star for the Belles, up against Turbulinz for the Death Stars. Step forward the blockers who took great delight in targeting their opposing jammers – with Mazzy sending Linz sliding out of the track on her knees, while Hazard ejected Rogue. The Belle managed to smuggle five points before the end and with two minutes till half-time it was 30-102 for the sisters from space.
The 12th saw Cara Viola don the star for the Belles and controlled power saw her take LJ and skate gracefully to a four-point haul – 34-102.
The penultimate jam of the half saw Rogue add another four points for Hell’s Belles, evading Turbulinz, Phoenix and Brawl - 38-102.
However, Lawless ended the first half by widening the score even further for the Death Stars – banking another trio of points, with good work by Peggy keeping Belle jammer Kira from getting past.
That made it 38-105 at half-time – with the demonic dames facing a hell of a task to get back in the game.
Rogue started jam one of the second period with the star and immediately reduced the deficit by three points - 41-105.
Jam two saw Belle Kira and Death Star Torque duking it out again – with the skating stormtrooper securing four points – 41-109.
Into the third and Rogue Runner was determined to get the Belles back on track, but could only score a pair of points with good pressure from Turbulinz and excellent work by Peggy, Phoenix and Brawl.
Jam four saw the game turn on its head when the Satanic sisterhood secured a power jam and Viola carved her way through the pack repeatedly – braking, juking and accelerating with lightning reflexes – scoring a fantastic 32 points – 73-109.
Jam five saw the gap narrowed again when Kira scored nine points, with Torque taking a pair – 82-111.
The sixth round saw Turbulinz turn on the warp engines and blast past the pack on the outside, but the jam was called off early after Viola caught a shoulder in the chops to gasps of empathy from the crowd.
Jam six started with the scores poised at 82-113 in favour of the Empire, with Lawless back on jammer duties and hitting the thrusters. She skipped past the pack with a fantastic feint and nimble dodge to the inside, showing why she was such a star at ECDX. With Kira held back by Habs and Peggy, Marshall took the Death Stars to 121, with the Belles on 86.
Rogue Runner wore the star on her helmet for the ladies from Hades in jam seven, up against Fighting Torque. They both got among the points as the blockers switched between offence and defence in a heartbeat – with Death Star Phoenix landing a big hit on Meg – 89-123.
Jam eight was soundtracked by the sounds of jaws hitting the floor as the crowd was treated to a skating masterclass from Mazzy Chaos. The Belles found themselves with a power jam after Mazzy knocked out Turbulinz then recycled her through the pack. A swift panty pass to the queen of Chaos and the fun really began. First Mazzy skated past the wall on the inside of the track while going backwards – pocketing a grand slam – then she returned for another pass, this time going by sideways on the outside, facing the crowd before twirling around on a sixpence with another grand slam.
With seven minutes to go the scores was 113-124 for the Death Stars, with just 11 points in it. Could Hell’s Belles pull off a shock recovery?
Jam nine provided the answer from Marshall Lawless – not on my watch, sister. With Rogue binned for cutting track, the Death Stars seized the opportunity to crush the rebellion. Lawless’ laser-like laterals and dazzling footwork left the Belles chasing shadows and when they were reduced to two blockers (Daisy and Mazzy) –they couldn’t stem the tide. The jam ended with the score at 113-153.
Kira managed to secure Hell’s Belles four points to take the score to 117-153 in jam 10, but it looked like time was slipping away.
The Belles took another four points in jam 11, but the Death Stars seemed satisfied as the seconds continued to leak away – careful not to give away a potentially ruinous power jam this late in the game.
The penultimate jam matched Kira and Lawless on jammer duties, but the Death Star strikeforce wasn’t firing blanks – racking up another 14 points to put the game to bed and switch off the lights – 121-167.
In the last round, Fighting Torque kicked off with a power jam for the Death Stars and she didn’t waste any time – claiming a grand slam to end the game in style.
Best blocker for the Death Stars was Habs, with Turbulinz named best jammer and Lawless crowned MVP.
Top blocker for Hell’s Belles was Mazzy Chaos, with Kira best jammer and Cara Viola voted MVP.
So ended Home Teams II and credit must go to all the skaters who gave every ounce of energy they had on a day that was sweltering from the get-go – showing once again why Glasgow is the best league in Scotland.
The hundreds of fans, friends and family in the crowd agreed this was definitely a sequel worth catching. And the good news is that part III is coming up next month – August 31 to be exact.
Congratulations to all the players – especially those making their public debut for the home teams.
Maybe that old song mentioned at the start could do with a tweak – maybe the future’s so bright, we’ve got to wear skates.