5 April

Hellfire Harlots Take The Lead From Leeds Roller Dolls

Bettie Mal Seizure and Wren E. Gade

Bettie Mal Seizure and Wren E. Gade blocking Leeds’ jammer
c. Richard Nicholson

Nottingham Hellfire Harlots played away on 22 March with a game against Leeds A Team, The Rebel Roses.

The day began with Leeds B team vs Oxford Wheels of Gory. The Whip Its dominated the game from the outset and won 483 to 54. Oxford – we hope you could hear us cheering and encouraging you on!

The second game of the day began at 5pm.

Now this is a special game for me as I have a real soft spot for Leeds. Back in April 2010 when the Harlots were just a twinkle in the eye I was on holiday near Leeds as asked if I could join them for a training session. They kindly said yes and this new but super keen rookie went along. I was terrified. I barely knew the game and was nowhere near passing min skills. But Leeds welcomed me with open arms, I was looked after by Banshee throughout the session and everyone supported and encouraged me. Towards the end of the session when it came to scrimming I made my way off track happy to watch but was dragged back to join in and had my first experience of actually playing roller derby. I know now how well they looked after me allowing me to positionally block but it was amazing and I fell in love with the game right there.

So finally seeing the Harlots play Leeds (even though I’m not on the track) was very special.

As the first whistle went, both teams came out strong but we took the first points.

Leeds played hard but appeared to become rattled by our strong defence that came out in every jam from the first whistle. We kept hold of our lead as they found our defensive walls hard to break and couldn’t keep out of the penalty box. After a shaky second part of the first period (half time score LRD 77 – NHH 64) we brought our cleanest and most controlled game to date to surge ahead and stay there.  Even though Leeds was ranked higher than us, their jammers spent longer fighting to get out of our packs and savoured every hard-won point they scored.

There were some moments of pure inspiration:

  • Scarlet O Harder taking a hard hit to the face but carrying on. It wasn’t until later after a visit to A&E we found she’d damaged the surface of her cornea, yet carried on playing.
  • May K Fist’s epic jamming as she pushed and danced around the solid Leeds walls.
  • Kill’her Instinct in the Leeds jammer’s face, dancing around her so she couldn’t get free for a whole lap.
  • Panic holding the jammer for half a lap in a super plow.
  • Epic pack discipline with everyone in the pack responding as one.
  • Joannasaurus’ super skilled jamming making the hard work seem effortless.

Harlots and Rebel Roses fought hard all the way to the last whistle.

Final score Hellfire Harlots 160, Leeds Roller Dolls 117.

It was a well-deserved win that shows all the work the team has put in.

An an emotional win for me to see how far we’ve come since those early days.

Just think what we can do in the next 4 years….

Written by Taz Mania De’Ville #L30N

Joannasaurus

Joannasaurus showing off her great jamming skills