The Disloyalists (KDG) 314 vs. The D-VAS (ToRD) 55
Kingston Derby Girls’ Disloyalists have come a long way in the past year. Previously, they were just another of the many leagues popping up in the burgeoning Ontario derby scene; at last year’s 2 Fresh 2 Furious they had their moments (one of their unnamed teams lost to the D-VAS in the quarterfinals), but still looked very much like a league finding itself. They played some tight games against some of the other newer leagues in the sport, but didn’t do much to distance themselves from the likes of Durham Region Roller Derby or the Royal City Rollergirls. But as physical a sport as roller derby is, there comes a point when the difference between two teams will be defined by their knowledge of the game, by that elusive but all important “track sense”: once you get it, the game changes and the improvements become exponential. In 2012, the Disloyalists have certainly gotten it.
Coming off of two one-sided victories over previous rivals in Durham and South Simcoe in the past two weeks, the Disloyalists rolled into Toronto in the midst of their first significant winning streak and continued those winning ways with a thoroughly dominant performance over ToRD’s D-VAS. Of course, this D-VAS team is not the same D-VAS team Kingston last encountered, and the inexperience was evident as they played their first game against outside competition in 2012. Kingston got going early, led by 100 at the half and pulled away at the end of the 259-point victory.
Things got rolling quickly for the Disloyalists with Lavallee of the Dolls picking up 6 on the first jam. Sticking with a tight jammer rotation in the early going to Lavallee, Luci Fleur and Johnston (with Yo! Shanity Slam and the triple threat Manic Breeze sneaking into the rotation as well), the Disloyalists rushed out to a lead but couldn’t quite distance themselves from the D-VAS. The Toronto team went with a much wider jammer rotation giving at least six skaters a shot with the star. Lexi Con got the D-VAS on the board first and Joss Wheelin (who wore both helmet covers with confidence on the night) picked up an early 2 points as well, but the D-VAS couldn’t do much to penetrate the tough pack defense from Kingston and found themselves down 29-5 ten minutes in.
With Meanstreak on the track jamming, Kingston’s Luci Fleur was sent to the box on a major track cut giving the D-VAS a chance to make up some ground early, but in a jam indicative of the way things would go for the D-VAS, they negated the power jam with a penalty of their own, and further penalties from pack players led to a formidable Kingston pack advantage as well and the subsequent 19-point jam from Luci Fleur blew the game wide open and gave Kingston momentum. While strategic miscues were reflective of the lack of experience, the D-VAS had great individual moments throughout, and the smooth skating Tomy Knockers (playing her first ever game in Toronto Roller Derby) scored some nice late-half jammer take outs, while Mazel Tough had her best game with the D-VAS showing a strong positional awareness and performing very well one on one. But the fast strategic transitions of the Disloyalists had the D-VAS constantly a step behind, and they stared at a big 131-29 deficit at the half.
The D-VAS came flying out to start the second half, and a massive 20-point pick up by Wackedher on a power jam pivoted by Joss Wheelin (and aided by some nice recycling from the D-VAS pack led by Tomy Knockers) had them clawing their way back into it. But the pushback wouldn’t last. Two strong Kingston pivots Little Orphan-Maker Annie and Banger Management worked together on a jam to neutralize D-VAS jammer Machete Maiden, and a couple of natural grand slams restored the Disloyalists’ lead to 155-49 five minutes into the half. Again the D-VAS had their moments: both Babushkill and Mean Streak continue to be solid performers and Joss Wheelin and Lexi Con are beginning to exhibit diverse talents on the track transitioning from blocker to jamming very smoothly, and the improvements were evident as the game wore on and they began to respond to situations more efficiently and accurately (like a well executed Viktory Lapp power jam pivoted by Joss at the midway point on the half); they also kept their spirits up and made sure to celebrate small victories (like an Armageddon Rose jammer take out on Vagina Dentata late in the game). But the Disloyalists never looked like they were out of control at any point. Widening their jammer rotation late didn’t change things either, and the depth of the pack made sure that the D-VAS could never truly mount a significant comeback. Luci Fleur closed things out for the Disloyalists, scoring 17 points on the final jam of the bout to push her team over 300 points, cruising to the 314-55 victory.
For the Disloyalists, this is just another victory in what will undoubtedly continue to be a break out year for them (and they’ve certainly earned themselves a shot at a more experienced ToRD team like the newly resurrected Bay Street Bruisers, for example). For the D-VAS this game provided perfect, much-needed experience against a strategically sound team that is on the rise and is the first step in a year-long process that will prepare them for ToRD’s 2012 entry draft (held in the fall); all of these little experiences (no matter how challenging) will pay off immeasurably in terms of experience gained and knowledge acquired.
**Next up for the D-VAS is a showdown in Brantford against the Belles of the Brawl on May 26th, while the Disloyalists have a little break in their busy schedule before taking on the Royal City Rollergirls next month in Guelph.