Oh wow. It has been an amazing year for us, and a busy one too: as you might have noticed, we haven’t had the time to write about the Finnish Nationals, and that was a month ago! All our teams have been extremely busy, A-team playing in WET, B-team in Cologne and C-team having games all over the country! Not to mention the several HRD players representing their country in Dallas right now.
WE ARE THE CHAMPS!!!!! Photos by Marko Niemelä
But let’s get to the point: We are the champions! After a year with no losses for Helsinki Roller Derby, the expectations for the final games were high. On the first of November the last four games of the cup were played in Tampere. In the semifinals Helsinki Roller Derby met Turku’s Dirty River Roller Grrrls! and Kallio Rolling Rainbow played against Tampere Roller Derby. The outcomes of these games naturally determined the spots in the final games.
Aptly named Tampere Areena was well decorated according to the Bout of Thrones theme: The organizers had designed and made a fabulous coat of arms for each team. These were hung on the wall of the court. The intro tune from the TV series Game of Thrones was played at regular intervals making the atmosphere even more epic. But the announcers, Dagger and Ani, took it to the next level by dressing up according to the theme. We’re told that spending the day in chainmail armor was just as hard on the legs as a day on skates!
Our dedicated announcers. Photo by Marko Niemelä
Game 1: Helsinki Roller Derby vs Dirty River Roller Grrrls!
Turku got a regrettable amount of penalties, but at times the HRD’s jammers had more than a little difficulties with DRRG!’s walls and were recycled to the back of the pack time and again. Unsurprisingly HRD won the game. Judging from the time Turku’s players spent on the track it seemed DRRG! was planning ahead and were saving some of their strength for the bronze game.
Game 2: Tampere Roller Derby vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow
Kallio started out strong and Tampere had slight difficulties in getting their game in order. However the game was far from uneven. At half time the score was 110 – 96 for Kallio. Kallio is known to come on strong in the second period, but Tampere knew this and put their best foot forward. However this time Kallio managed to slowly but surely increase their lead. To the ever so slight disappointment of the audience the final games were played by the exact same teams as the year before.
The excited fans just couldn’t stay seated. Photo by Marko Niemelä
Bronze game: Tampere Roller Derby – Dirty River Roller Grrrls!
Turku jumped to an early lead and could withstand the heavy attacks coming from Tampere side. During the halftime Tampere clearly got their act together and came to the second period with a lot of new tools in their bag. They really worked well for them, and after a while Tampere was able to push the situation to a tie. Turku fought back really well, but in the end TRD’s new tricks were too much fro DRRG! and they were able to pull a comfortable lead much to the pleasure of the home audience.
Final: Helsinki Roller Derby vs Kallio Rolling Rainbow
The game got off to a ridonculous start when Super Maria scored 34 points against Kallio’s four. Pretty Sick was the most effective jammer against HRD – no matter how solid a wall is it is difficult to stop well executed apex jumps. The atmosphere was truly electric and the audience could hardly stay on, or even near, their seats. Kallio’s fans were there for their own and at times the DJ was completely drowned out by the competing fan songs roared by the fans.
Super Maria was on fire! Photo by Marko Niemelä
No team can claim to have stayed dry eyed as the medals were handed out. Each team gave their all in the games and each team really had to earn their awards. After barely containing their excitement, Suvi Hokkari and Raivo charged through the track to snatch the trophy as soon as the medals were handed out. It is not clear how it was determined or agreed upon, but Hokkari was the first to go to the sauna with the trophy.
The trophy is OURS!!!! Photo by Marko Niemelä
Helsinki Roller Derby 295 – 142 Kallio Rolling Rainbow
Tampere Roller Derby 171 – 122 Dirty River Roller Grrrls (Turku)
Kallio Rolling Rainbow 206 – 142 Tampere Roller Derby
Helsinki Roller Derby 79 – 300 Dirty River Roller Grrrls!
The MVP’s of the tournament:
Elina Ruhoranta (TRD)
Doomey B. Hind (KRR)
Blocking Molly (HRD)
YAY US! Photo by Marko Niemelä