Anarchy in the UK 2014 recap - Day 2

All photos courtesy of Jason Ruffell (http://www.roller-derby-on-film.co.uk/)


Bleary-eyed derby people filled the Guildford Spectrum for this, the second day of Anarchy in the UK. The bleariest of all were those that were lucky enough to get a ticket for the pre-tournament scrimmage put on by LRG, which started at the silly for a Sunday hour of 8:30am.


Detroit Vs Toronto

In a weekend full of expected results, this one was the upset of the tournament. Both Toronto and Detroit had come out of the first day with no wins, and both wanted this to be the first.


Despite Detroit being the underdogs in the rankings, they came out swinging and took an early lead by utilising Cookie Rumble's nippy jamming style. Detroit continued to show a lot of scrappiness, though they seemed to manage it better than in the game against Rocky Mountain, and were able to gain points advantages through their ability to gain lead, where they were previously shut out by the superior defence of Rocky Mountain.


Toronto seemed to struggle against the more physical Detroit, and even when they had power jams in their favour, they'd simply be beaten down by the Detroit pack to prevent them getting many passes in the new, much shorter 30 second penalty time.


These struggles along with some tactical improvements from Detroit allowed them to take the win 199-159, leaving a tough game against Rocky Mountain as Toronto's last shot at leaving the tournament with a win.



London Vs Detroit


This wasn't actually the first time that London had taken on Detroit this weekend, with a closed door bout on the Friday night ending in a decisive 311-22 win for London. Detroit were clearly hoping to better that result in this repeat.


Unfortunately, if you were to call London Vs Toronto a washout, you'd want to call the first half of this game a drownout. While the differential wasn't as large as in the game against Toronto, London manage to completely prevent Detroit from scoring for the entirety of the first half and a large chunk of the second. Detroit actually managed to score the first lead call of the game, but the unstoppable Kamikaze Kitten prevented them from scoring and that proved to be their only serious points challenge of the first half.


It was in this bout that the scrappiness of Detroit turned into messiness, and the errors started to creep in as London took advantage of power jams. The encouragement that Detroit received from the crowd after putting their first 4 points seemed to give them a little bit more of a spring in their step, but it was too little too late. The Detroit girls ended the bout with another big loss to London, this time 407-36.



Rocky Mountain Vs Toronto

It was never going to be easy for Toronto to stand against Rocky Mountain after a massive loss to London and an unexpected one to Detroit, and although they still seemed to have a little bit of a fight left in them, it was clear from fairly early on that this bout was going to go in Rocky's favour.


Toronto did get a very early lead of 1-0, but it was soon wiped out by Rocky's strong and physical style of play. Although Toronto were able to claw back more points in this game than they did against London, by the time the first half finished with a lead over over 100 points for Rocky Mountain, it seemed that Toronto knew what was coming.


Toronto continued to falter in the second half, with a litany of jammer penalties leading to Rocky pushing their score over the 200 mark, and Toronto jammer Dyna Hurtcha fouling out. Although Rocky had far from a clean sheet, another Toronto skater, Renny Rumbles, fouled out before the end of the bout.


As a testament to the spirit of the weekend, the biggest cheer of the bout came at the end. It was not in celebration of Rocky's decisive win, however, but at spotting that Toronto had finally managed to hit 100 points in the last jam, leaving the score at 357-100 to Rocky Mountain.




As the audience slowly filtered out of the hall it was time to reflect on the weekend and just how far LRG have come over the past 4 years. The first Anarchy left LRG in dead last, barely scraping a place at regionals. This year, they are the undefeated winners, and have at the very least solidified their place in the WFTDA rankings top 10. They will possibly even make their way into the top 5 when the next rankings are released. A lot is made of the gaping skill gap between the average US team and their UK counterparts, but LRG have lit a fire under the bums of many a UK team and shown that if they can do it, then maybe so can we.



Faces of the Day:

Bob LoblawRocky Mountain – Definitely not just the best name of the weekend (though really, who doesn't love a good Arrested Development reference?), she proved to be a formidable blocking presence on track, and the strong base behind many a Rocky wall.


Rogue Runner London – This girl can SKATE. Figurative, and sometime literal, rings around most of the other jammers of the weekend. Her pack awareness is astounding and she has edge work to rival even the top US skaters.


Cookie RumbleDetroit – though she wasn't played as much on the Saturday, she was instrumental in Detroit's win against Toronto, and was one of the few Detroit jammers to give the London wall a run for its money.


Dusty Toronto – another one of the quite tight rotation of Toronto jammers, Dusty worked hard to put the points up on the board for her team.


Wade Wheelson & Ballistic WhistleTies- the bench coaches for Toronto and LRG respectively, these dapper gents did so look precious standing together in midfield in their matching pink ties, like some very strange derby themed wedding party.

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