It was a night to be remembered in Nelson on Saturday. The Nelson and District Community Complex hosted four out of the five West Kootenay Roller Derby League teams — as well as hundreds of fans and dozens of officials and volunteers — in the third double-header of the league’s 2013 season.
The first bout featured the Nelson Killjoys matched up against Salmo’s Babes of Brutality.
The Babes had taken a commanding lead in previous seasons, but last year’s match saw the Killjoys win the bout after the fact due to a scorekeeping error. The Babes were determined to take it back for good.
The Killjoys took an early lead in the game and fought to gain lead jammer (and thus the right to end a jam before the other team scored any points) every time they hit the track. Penalties hit both teams and debilitated their defenses, causing the Babes’ score to rise as they took advantage of every chance to throw a hit and help their jammers through a scoring pass.
But the deep Killjoys bench worked in the home team’s favor as they moved players from one position to the next with ease and kept the visiting team from finding any chinks in their armor while steadily building their point differential.
At the end of the game the Killjoys had dominated the play with athleticism and teamwork for a decisive 282-93 win.
In the second bout, Slocan’s Valley Vendettas lined up against the hard-hitting Dam City Rollers out of Castlegar.
The Dam City Rollers entered the match without a win for the season and the Vendettas had won their single bout, so both were out to win.
The game was split by only a handful of points at the half, further demonstrating the nail-biting intensity of this year’s roller derby season. It was anyone’s game.
The Dam City Rollers had struggled with penalties in the past and Saturday night was no exception, but they had added some new tools to their belts and despite the Vendetta’s smart defensive plays and agile jammers, the Castlegar team built on their lead throughout the second half and won their first of the year 238-161.
If you missed the evening don’t pass on the next opportunity to see a derby bout. Go tokootenayrollerderby.com for schedules, photos, and more information about our small towns with big hits.