The boys leave fans a nervous wreck and the Broads champs dreams slip away – this is your April Manchester Roller Derby round up.
Chaos Engine, spurred on by their narrow defeat in March, began April fighting for a home win on the 11th. Local Leeds lads Aire Force One were evenly matched opponents for our boys but after a fast game of big hits and lead changes, a victory was denied to the Mancs by just five points. Final scores MRD 139 – 144 Leeds. Veggie Cray picks up best takeout, blocker goes to Edgar Allen Whoa!, jammer to newcomer Quadrakill, and MVP for the truly Notorious F.A.Z.
The CheckerBroads took to the track immediately afterwards to take on Team Crazy Legs, a challenge team borne out of an a support network for roller derby players who have been affected by mental health issues. After a close first half that closed with Crazy Legs just 8 points behind the Broads, the Manchester girls found their feet and pulled away. Final scores MRD 166 – 98 Team Crazy Legs. Nukelele and Faye-Tality, both new to the roster, pick up best takeout and best blocker respectively, with old hands Vic Tori Bee and Smack Mamba taking best jammer and MVP.
After a break in March, New Wheeled Order were back on 18th April taking on the Barrow Infernos in a British Champs fixture. The last time these two teams clashed on track New Wheeled Order took a comprehensive 155 point victory, but Barrow have been working hard behind the scenes and were looking to make their first dent in the championship table. A neck and neck game saw New Wheeled Order having to pull out all the stops, but they managed to finish victorious - Barrow 128 – 144 MRD. This victory puts New Wheeled Order in second place in the National division, and in with a chance of progressing to the Premier League next season. Quadrakill picks up another best jammer, with Slam C Nesbit taking the blocking award. MVP was Don Gingovanni.
Not content with shredding fan’s nerves at their previous two games, Chaos Engine returned to the track on 25th April, this time crossing the borders up to Glasgow. What seemed like an easy game for Mean City as they took a 30 point lead in the first few jams ended up being another intense match up that saw it all come down to the last two minutes, finishing Mean City 137 – 141 MRD. The year these boys are having it’s a wonder Chaos Engine fans have any finger nails left. Rookie Sauerklaut picked up best blocker, jammer to Notorious FAZ, and Quadrakill collected his third certificate of the month with an MVP award.
The following day the CheckerBroads took on Hot Wheel in a British Champs fixture hosted by Newcastle. The Broads and Hot Wheel go way back, with Manchester taking the victory in two early meet ups at the inception of the teams, but struggling to replicate it since. This game was no exception to the trend – despite some strong early jams from Manchester, Hot Wheel dominated for the remainder of the game, denying Manchester the victory they desperately need to stay in the National British Champs division. Final scores Hot Wheel 255 – 107 MRD. The Broads currently sit second to bottom in their table, and will have to win both remaining games by a significant margin to escape relegation. Price earned the best blocker award, with GoGo picking up best jammer and MVP going to new captain Clout.
We rounded off the month on 29th April with our first ever single header game. One of the most popular teams in European Men’s Roller Derby, Toulouse’s Quad Guards, kicked off their UK tour with a midweek game against New Wheeled Order. Toulouse have taken the victory over NWO twice in the past, but after suffering a few key losses in the last European Championships, it was anyone’s game. Both teams took a beating in a fast and brutal match, with some strong jams in New Wheeled Order’s favour as they locked down those French jammers – but it wasn’t enough to stop Toulouse. Final scores MRD 130 – 202 Quad Guards. U-Go Boss picked up best takeout, Don Gingovanni and Lt Damn were your best blocker and jammer. Alien Al took home MVP.
Missed out? New Wheeled Order and Furies will be playing at our next home game on May 30th, whilst the Broads and Chaos Engine take a break. If that’s too long to wait, don’t forget you can join us for a pint and some head scratchers at our pub quiz, and come and skate with us at our roller disco pajama party.
Photography by Shirlaine Forest, Braínne Edge & Roller Derby on Film.