Total Knock-Outs dismantle Royal City
One of the great joys for anyone who follows a sport is getting to know the personalities and skillsets of the players, which allows you to share in their victories and defeats. It’s the very essence of fandom. I had the pleasure of witnessing some milestones Friday night in Guelph during the mixed scrimmage between the TKO’s of Tri-City and the Royal City Roller Girls, as it was the first taste of on-track action (and first test against an external opponent) for many of the skaters.
The TKO’s went into the contest carrying some uncertainties which were quickly banished by teamwork and a reliance on training. An injury to Anaslaysia Killsemov placed the captaincy on Ann Kilbiter, who rose to the occasion higher than her size might suggest. Kilbiter logged solid minutes in all positions with a ferocity that kept herself and budding jam-star RainBlows Brite at a remarkable +29. Pandemic Pearl and Fox Smoulder also staked claims to triple-threat status. Sticky and tenacious blocking by Meldusa, Scream Filled Cupcake and Groins frustrated the speedy jammer squad of Royal City as the TKO’s cruised to a 73-15 lead at the half.
Royal City’s counter-attack in the second period was pursuit-jam based, and although not always successful at netting, Spunky Rooster, Cannonball Doll, Ivanna Slappa and Wildcat of Panar often fooled the TKO’s into fleeing their own scoring opportunities. Tammer the Hammer provided timely hitting and the Archbitch of Slammersbury played spoiler against Bonnie Bruiseher’s line, but the slippery wooden floor of the venue led to some handsy behaviour and The Guelph squad soon began a penalty box parade.
Photo Courtesy Tri-City Roller Girls
Into this foothold skated Bloody Mess Jess. The TKO’s most experienced skater imposed her will physically, jamming with sure-footed confidence and bulldozing her way through the elegant whip-and-pass strategies of Royal City. She was able to share some of that confidence with her team-mates, as brand-newcomers Pane Goodall and Lonnie* performed ably in the final minutes, both looking very much at home on the track in what was only their third full-contact scrimmage.
The final result was a 152-23 victory for Tri-City, followed by an after party at the Albion Hotel (my old digs!) which I have on good authority was dominated by Royal City, and provided the seed of many new derby friendships. The RCRG have only been together for five months, and they put up some serious fight. Guelph’s my hometown, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this league develops. At the same time, I’m very proud of the Total Knock-Outs, the now first-blooded and official fresh meat squad of Tri-City. Their next challenge: The Lunch Ladies of London on November 13.
*Grab a derby name, girl. Or not – with moxie like that I just know I’ll be talking about you again.