Without a doubt, 2014 has been Riot Squad’s most exciting year yet. We sent skaters and refs to the World Cup in Dallas, Texas; we had our new intake of rookies, all of whom look set to conquer the world; and finally, most excitingly, we earned our place as one of the Top 20 ranked teams in Europe.
As our league has grown from strength to strength, Riot has travelled across the country and overseas to play fearsome teams who brought their A-game and taught us how to improve ours. Some of our games were truly nerve-wracking and painful (in every sense of the word) – but that’s why we love this sport!
Riot took January 2014 by storm with a game against Milton Keynes Concrete Cows. Showing what Cronx was all about, Riot sealed their first victory of the year with a whopping 304-72 to Milton Keynes Concrete Cows.
By the end of February, had Riot ramped up another win with 215-121 to Portsmouth Roller Wenches.
Then, in March, Riot (alongside CRD’s B team Vice) travelled to Birmingham to take on Central City Rollergirls in a double headed bout. The game would prove to be one of the most hard-fought in Croydon history and although Riot threw everything they had into it, the indomitable CCR pipped us to the post! We lost out on a win with 109-232 Central City Rollergirls A.
In May, CRD’s Riot and Vice travelled all the way to Northern Ireland to take on Belfast Roller Derby. Riot secured victory with a 100 point lead over Belfast Roller Derby’s A team with 216-116. We also learned that you shouldn’t mix your drinks.
Riot and Belfast after the bout!
Mid-July Riot played a very special game against one of our favourite teams, the Brighton Rockers. A lot of the team have said, since then, that this was their favourite game they’d ever played – and it was the closest we’d ever come to beating our old rivals! After an incredibly close match, Riot lost 151 – 163 to Brighton Rockers.
We’d had a great year so far, but November was bittersweet. Riot secured a win against the fantastic One Love Roller Dolls from Antwerp, Belgium – a team very similar to us in terms of skating style, strategy and strength! – and the final score was CRD 181-99 OLRD. However, it was also a veteran player’s last game with us before she transferred to the Brighton Rockers: the whole league said goodbye one of CRD’s most epic skaters, coaches and all round beautiful individuals, Gin Atomic.
CRD after the One Love bout.
Copyright: John Hesse
While December usually makes the cool down season for most leagues, there was no rest for Riot’s Polly Filla and referee Igor Maniac as they travelled all the way to Dallas, Texas for the Roller Derby World Cup. Polly was representing Team West Indies, and not only did she play some titanically tough games, she made such an impression that she won MVP and skated in an exhibition match! (It was also great to see Igor’s beard on the telly.)
5 Polly Filla in her West Indies World Cup uniform
Finally, Riot took on the mighty Hot Wheels’ A team in Leeds for the last bout of the year. In an incredibly frantic and fast bout, Riot won 171-91, sealing off 2014 with a rise to 19th in Europe, according to Flat Track Stats. The game was great, but the drunken sing-off on the coach home was even better!
So what’s in store for the A-team next year?
We’re proud to say that in 2015 we’ll be playing in the British Roller Derby Championships, and our first game will be on the 8th Feb against the Lincolnshire Bombers. We also hope to become a WFTDA apprentice league, and turn base metals into gold.
We will also be holding a new Fresh Meat intake in March, so if you want to find out if you’ve got what it takes to play the best sport in the world (not that we’re biased) get yourself a pair of skates, come down and say hello! We can’t wait to meet you.
We’d like to thank all the wonderful teams who have played us this year – it’s been a real honour skating with all of you – and a huge thank you goes to our wonderful coach, Herbie LiCious. Without his endless patience and knowledge of the game, we’d have come nowhere near the success of this year.
Last but not least, we’d like to thank YOU for your continued support!
We promise that 2015 is going to be even more of a humdinger than 2014, so keep your eyes peeled for our announcements on Facebook and Twitter.
Happy New Year!