With a dedicated cult following, Adelaide Roller Derby (ADRD), now in its twelfth season, saw the second bout of 2019 take place at the Adelaide Showgrounds on Saturday night. Last year’s third-place getters the Salty Dolls came head to head with wooden spooners the Wild Hearses in a battle of the skates.
While local talent Idly By provided the ringside musical entertainment it was time to stock up on food and alcohol and prepare for the match to start. Fresh meat seemed to be the order of the night with a large proportion of the crowd being first-time derby goers. Not only that, but there were also more than a handful of new skaters dipping their wheels into the treacherous derby waves. Treacherous being the operative word.
The first half saw the Salty Dolls capitalise on an almost entirely new Wild Hearses line up to surge ahead to lead 140 to 38 by the break. Despite a solid effort from some Hearses, especially Eze-Kill (2517) who seemed to spend as much time in the sin bin as she did jamming, the Dolls’ teamwork was far superior. The final seconds of period one where Rose Hip’n’shoulder (360) just skated passed everyone uncontested pretty much summed up the first half of the match.
The second half, on the other hand, saw the Wild Hearse skate out like a fire had been lit under them. In turn, the bout turned a bit…brutal. One of the joyous things about ADRD has been the comradery between the women regardless of what team they’re on. ADRD is a contact sport with copious amounts of pushing, hip and shouldering and hard falls on concrete that echo through the pavilion and make you wince in sympathetic pain. But in every bout I have been to, and there have been many, a hand is outstretched for the fallen to get back up. Not in this bout. When (the only undefeated team in the league) Team Zebras’ whistles blew comradery and kindness were thrown out the window and it was game on.
As hard at the Hearses tried, they just were not able to capitalise on opportunities handed to them on a silver platter. With jammers for both teams being sin-binned consistently over the thirty minutes, for the most part, it was the Dolls who took advantage of the power jam opportunities. First Gnome Chompsky (8) scored nineteen points while three Hearses were sin-binned, then Trinket (119) scored a massive twenty-three points when Hearse’s jammer Bionic Mayhem (420) was sin-binned twice in a row.
The Hearses didn’t go out without a fight though with Blade (112) rising to the occasion with an 8 point jam at one stage and captain, MustDash (62), literally throwing herself into the mix…and having an official review placed on her. The falls were occurring thick and fast with the crowd collectively wincing and oooooooooohing in unison like a broken record. In a bout of broken skates and bruised body parts, the Hearses lived to see their own Dia de Los Muertos going down by 159 with a final score of 261 to 102.
ADRD has been empowering and promoting women athletes for over a decade and during the process has created family-friendly and highly entertaining events. Suitable for ages 0 to 100+ it provides a safe space for kids to ride their wheels and adults to enjoy a beer or two all the while watching a whimsical competition unfold. At any given bout you can expect live music, high energy, laughter, dancing on the track, violence, athleticism and entertainment; a (Bobby) dazzling night out.
See last season’s runners up the Road Train Rollers take on the Wild Hearses for bout three on 1 June 2019 at the Adelaide Showgrounds. Doors open at 6 pm.
Roller Derby Review By Anita Kertes