November 1 2014 marked a bittersweet day for Croydon Roller Derby’s Riot Squad (A team).
While Riot won against the evenly matched One Love Roller Dolls, who travelled all the way from Antwerp Belgium, CRD also said goodbye to the indominatable 23 Gin Atomic who is transferring to Brighton Rockers after three years with us.
But with Riot clearly wanting this bout to be one to remember for our Belgian guests and for Gin too, it was one of the most riveting, fast, strategically tight and fiercesome game to date.
From the first jam but it was clear from the start that One Love would go in hard with strategy after gaining three points and calling off the jam before CRD could score.
By the second jam Viki Speedia racked up 9 points with some super deft footwork and by the third jam, One Love was yet to score anymore new points.
What became very clear, though, by the fifth jam, was that One Love was very evenly matched with Riot, like when you are made to fight your evil twin in a computer game nearing the boss stage.
One Love’s walls were tough to penetrate, just as much as CRD’s were too. Every jam was a battle for both teams which made it one of the most riveting games to watch.
By the seventh jam, One Love brought about a lead change and took the Belgians over to 12 versus CRD’s 11.
However, lovable Amazonian, Gin Atomic snapped up lead jammer status in jam 8 and brought about another lead change for CRD with a nifty apex jump to cap it all off.
By the ninth jam, the score was still nail bitingly close at CRD 18 vs One Love’s 15. With every jam, every block, and with every war scream, the game was as good as anyone’s.
But when jam 11 arrived, everyone’s favourite super-fast, super tiny jammer Agent Cooper, racked up a substantive clutch of points, pushing CRD further in the lead to 28 vs 15.
A One Love leading jam recuperated some points for the group and with a line of epic walling, the Belgian team brought about a tie at 28 by the fourteenth jam.
However, after some craftily executed dynamic walling and jack hammer offence from Apocalex, Inara Terra and Smashasaurus Bex, to name a few and a raft of power jams for CRD, Riot squad led with 40 vs 29 by the eighteenth jam.
In jam 20, Do or Dyduch delivering some wall smashing jamming and gained lead. While racking up the points, two One Love skaters got sent to the box, leading light relief for defence.
In the following jam, Polly Filla brought some of deft footwork and powerful force, pushing CRD further into the lead with 54 vs One Love’s 29.
Nikki Blocker Glory executed an epic breakout from the pack, in that silent assassin way, and sped round the track and took advantage of every single gap made available.
In addition, Viki Speedia’s masterful juking in the 24th jam, CRD’s Riot Squad, led by 67 vs One Love’s 30.
With two and a half minutes left of the first half, Riot didn’t let their near double point lead slow them down, in fact, Viki Speedia claimed lead jam and pushed CRD’s points to 85 vs One Love’s 30.
In the final jam of the first half, One Love claimed the lead jam and managed to grasp another 5 points, bringing the half time total to CRD’s 85 to One Love’s 35.
One Love came back with a vengeance and managed to get lead jammer status in the first jam of the second half, with Viki Speedia quick on the heels of Eve’il X.
However by the fourth jam, Do or Dyduch’s powerful pack splinter and lead jammer status pushed CRD’s Riot ahead further with 99 vs One Love’s 38.
But the Belgian team didn’t let that stop them and through increasingly strong offence and sometimes seemingly impenetrable walls, One Love started clawing back points, reaching 43 by the fifth jam.
Not to be overpowered, Do or Dyduch took up the helm as key offence administrator in jam 4, with Agent Cooper following closely behind to take advantage of every slither of the track. By the fifth jam, Gin Atomic racked up a clutch of points to push CRD up further, finished neatly off with a signature apex jump.
The mighty Polly Filla brought speed and strength to jam 6, by shrugging off some full on hits and snatching enough points to push CRD’s Riot up to 122 vs 52.
After an official review, and some tussling between jammers in jam 7, the following jam led to One love closing the gap on points.
However, with some inside line banditry from Viki Speedia in the following jam, CRD secures its position as having double the amount of points that One Love has.
One Love came back fighting harder and without CRD resting on its laurels, some powerful defence from both teams puts both teams’ jammers through a gruelling pace.
The Belgian’s team’s star jammer, Eve’il X racked up more points but got sent to the box, leaving Riot with a power jam, including a star pass to Dyduch.
With only 10 minutes to go, CRD lead with 143 vs One Love 76.
After, after some frantic jamming, the game was called on a time out after one of One Love’s blockers, Patsy Paranoia, injured her ankle.
When we return to the game, One Love is a skater down and is pushing through with every inch of their skill and strength, leading to a power jam as Agent Cooper stays in the penalty box.
By jam 18, Viki Speedia pulls the score up further to 155 vs 84 for One Love but the Belgian titans managed to block Nikki Blocker Glory in jam 20 by calling off the jam before Riot could score with an outside line transition.
With only four minutes to go, Gin Atomic sealed her position as one of Riots star jammers by executing another perfect apex jump and pushing the points up to 165 for CRD vs One Love’s 95.
As one of the most exciting games to watch involving CRD, it wouldn’t be complete without a frantic final jam.
After an official review and then a timeout called with only 45 seconds on the clock, Gin Atomic took up the final jam of the day and for herself at CRD, making it a bittersweet finish to the day.
After gaining a power jam, Gin Atomic quickly ended up in the penalty box herself, causing the referees to debate over allowing the jam to restart. Eventually, in her last jam, Gin Atomic finished the jam with some spirited and powerful jumps and wall defying leaps, leading to CRD winning 181 to One Love’s 99.
CRD Best Blocker: 5 Polly Filla
CRD Jammer: 23 Gin Atomic
CRD MVP: 2 Do or Dyduch
ONE LOVE Best Blocker: 00 Humpme Bogart
ONE LOVE Jammer: 89 Hipshot
ONE LOVE MVP: 13 Eve’il X
We would just like to say thank you again to the One Love Roller Dolls for not only travelling all the way to battle us in Haywards Heath’s Dolphin Leisure Centre but also for donating a hoodie for our fundraising raffle.
We’d also like to send an extra special flurry of derby love to 69 Patsy Paranoia who, near the end, broke her ankle in two places.
However we have been assured NHS’ finest are looking after her and her supermum travelled to Brighton to be with her.
We’d also love to say see you later but not goodbye to Gin Atomic