BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND– You could feel the excitement as the crowd flew in, many fresh from a day of learning new tricks from Europe’s number one team, London Brawling. This is Anarchy in the UK
: London Rollergirls’ annual derby bonanza.
After wins all round for London Brawling last year against opponents from the U.S. and Canada, this year they took on an opponent closer to home. Some of Europe’s best skaters banded together to form a Euro all-star scratch team that went up against Brawling.
Game 1: London Brawl Saints vs. Birmingham Blitz Dames
Score: 174-96 to London
London’s all-star reserve team, London Brawl Saints, took the track first against the Birmingham Blitz Dames, who were skating on home turf. Both teams started off strong, and London powered through some fierce offence from the Blitz Dames, while the Dames focused on shutting down London’s powerful jammers. Violent Attack was the first Dame to put points on the board five minutes in, taking full advantage of her blockers causing chaos with London’s wall. After a hard fought 30 minutes, the Brawl Saints were in the lead at half time, 93-61.
Both teams came out confident as the second half begun, but the Brawl Saints must have had some pep talk as they started to gain momentum and widen the score. Lil’ Bow Creep jammed for London, and racked up the points, pushing Brawl Saints up and over 100 with 25 minutes still left on the clock. The packs were fast and frantic with jammers from both teams struggling to deal with the opposition’s solid walls. Despite the Blitz Dames giving it all they had, London continued to shut them down and secure a win 174-96.
Game 2: London Brawling vs. Euro All-Stars
Score: 318-102 to London
The evening’s headlining game saw the London Rollergirls’ all-star team, London Brawling, take on a team comprised of Europe’s finest. Stef Mainey jammed first for London and quickly put 4 points on the board, but by the second jam of the game, Sandrine Rangeon for the Euros, had evened the score. The Euro All-Stars took the lead for the first time, 13-16 six minutes in, thanks to Mort’s ability to smash through London’s defence. London started to notch up the points soon after, and the half ended 163-53 to London Brawling.
The Euro’s came back strong at the start of the second half, taking full advantage of a couple of power jams in their favour. However, the Euro All-Stars soon ran into penalty trouble, and Sandrine Rangeon fouled out. The penalty box was like a revolving door for skaters on both sides throughout the second half, with both teams often skating short.
The last five minutes of the game were electric. Trisha Smackanawa pulled off an impressive 25-point jam to push Brawling’s score past the 300 mark, whilst Nina Erwes burst out of the pack to bring the Euro’s score up past 100. The game ended with a victory for London Brawling 318-102
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