Severn Roller Torrent are Heartland Champions 2013!

Updated: December 22, 2013

Severn Roller Torrent defeated Romsey Town RollerBillies 129-114 in the final jam of an epic final day triple header to become Champions of the 2013 Heartland Series. Severn had won through their semi final against Mean Valley Roller Derby 162-136 in another exciting, hard fought bout, while Romsey defeated Milton Keynes Roller Derby in a bruising first semi final 220-131.

by Andy Harris. Photography by Sarah Bennett, MDP Images and Poladroid.

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The day opened with the first semi-final, the third encounter between Romsey and Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes were without jammer Magic Beanz but fielded a strong line up and the opening jams were cagey affairs. Both packs were strong and forceful, with points hard to come by. The first 6 jams ended with Romsey ahead 8-6, but some strong jamming from Terrorizinya took Milton Keynes into a 35-21 lead. The Milton Keynes pack looked strong and Romsey took their time to get into their stride. However, with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, a Hermaphroditie powerjam forced a lead change 43-39. Romsey’s pack tightened up and Milton Keynes’ jammer penalties bagan to tell. The penultimate jam of the first half saw a 25 point powerjam from the impressive Schindler’s Lisp which took Romsey ahead into the break 88-50.

The second half was all Romsey, steadily accumulating 4’s and 5’s, with the occasional powerjam to increase their lead. Bare Thrills and Test Monkey were strong in the middle for Romsey and enjoyed physical tussles with Valkyrie and Bolshevik for supremacy. Milton Keynes’ inability to gain lead meant they were chasing the game, with only 19 points gained in the first half of the second period compared to Romsey’s 63. Lisp, Hermaphrodite, and the determined Donna K Baps assured the win through steady, athletic jamming. Milton Keynes fought hard and came back into the game, with Rollin’Sin and Zinya clawing back 60 points in the last half of the period for Milton Keynes, but Romsey ran out 220-131 victors in an enthralling encounter to reach the final.

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The second bout featured Western champions Severn Roller Torrent against Eastern runners up Mean Valley Roller Girls. In contrast to the first bout, Severn ran into quick 40-11 lead, largely through a 21 point Scarlett Shadow powerjam, but mainly through some awesome Severn pack work which completely shut down the previously impressive Mean Valley jammer attack. In particular, Helen Fury completely marked top scorer Diva La Lunatic out of the game in the opening jams, in a textbook display of blocking. However, Mean Valley began to drag their way into the game. DisFace and Ida Bomb began to assert themselves in the pack and restrict Severn’s previously rampant jammers, while their own jammer rotation of Diva and Bean Stalkin Ya started gaining lead and picking up points. Crucially, consecutive powerjams brought 22 points from Diva and 20 from Bean caused a lead change just before the end of a dramatic half, with Mean Valley leading 87-74.

The second period began like the first, with Severn on top, and a lead change at 95-89. Severn used a variety of jammers, using 7 during the bout, with Helli Chopper and Voodoo Ray the standouts, compared to Mean Valley’s 2, but the clash of strategy proved for a intriguing and nailbiting half. The lead changed again and Mean Valley edged ahead to 126-109 but Severn again pulled back to 128-126 on jam 16. The differential remained within 7 points until jam 24 where a 15 point jam from Scarlett Shadow seemed to prove crucial, but a timeout in jam 25 forced a last death-or-glory jam, with 14 points required from Mean Valley to take the win. To the backing of a noisy, raucous crowd, Helen Fury grabbed lead, ran out the clock and gleefully saluted the crowd for a memorable win for Severn. A truly epic bout and both sides should be proud of their involvement in a tie that will live long in the memory.

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Fittingly, the two divisional champions faced off in the final.The opening exchanges saw how well matched the two teams were, the score standing at 2-1 to Severn going into jam 6! The game was low on powerjams but high on organised walls and pack work, where Bare Thrills and Victory Slap were impressive for Romsey and Jedi Mistress and Buccaneer Betty Fear lead the Severn line well. A testament to the packs, that they contained the threats of Lisp, Hermaphroditie, Scarlett Shadow and Helli Chopper for so long. Finally in jam 21, with the scores tied at 28-28, a Helli Chopper powerjam opened up a 20 point lead for Severn and though Lisp posted a 12 point Romsey jam in the penultimate jam of the half, Severn went into the break with a psychological edge 55-40.

The game opened up in the second half as both teams upped the ante. A Scarlett Shadow 25 point jam put Severn into a 80-43 point lead but, suddenly, the Severn jammers stopped scoring, as Romsey, as so often this year, stepped up their game in the second half. Restricting Severn to 4 points in 9 jams, Romsey racked up 59 points through Lisp, Hermaphroditie and Perpetual Commotion to force a lead change and extend their own lead to 102-84.

The crowd sensed that they were watching top notch derby in a final worthy of the fabulous tournament we’ve had all year, and they responded vociferously. The game turned again as Severn pulled back to lead 115-113 going into the penultimate jam. Shadow called for 4 to leave the two teams in the the final jam of this 31 game tournament separated by only 6 points. Lisp faced Helli Chopper and won lead, but was despatched to the box for a cut and Helli Chopper and the Severn pack held their nerve to secure 10 points and take the game 129-114, sparking tearful scenes of joy on the Severn bench. A fabulous, nailbiter of a finish to a great day and a great year.

Severn ended worthy Champions of Heartland Series 2013, but Romsey gave their all to make an epic final. Congratulations to all teams who took part over the year who contributed to a marvellous tournament and never failed to impress with their attitude, determinaton and growth. Roll on 2014!

Severn Roller Torrent

From the bottom of our hearts, SRT would like to thank everyone involved in the heartlands series. It has been a pleasure to skate with you, to learn from you and to make friends with so many of you. To the teams we shared a track with yesterday – thank you. We loved every moment of the good hard Derby played. Refs and nsos throughout the series, thank you for making it possible. To those who supported us yesterday – wow. Just wow. It meant so much. And to the people who spent endless hours making this whole thing happen, thank you. Thank you, THANK YOU!

All the love to heartlands!

Romsey Town RollerBillies

Wow, what an absolutely amazing day the Heartland Series 2013 finals were yesterday! It has been a pleasure and an honour to be involved, and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to making it such a success! To all the teams in the Eastern division, it’s been so much fun to bout you all, we’ve loved every minute. To Milton Keynes Roller Derby, we were so happy to meet you on the track again, it was a blast to get knocked about by you again. To Severn Roller Torrent, congratulations on taking the trophy and playing some of the hardest and most satisfying derby we’ve ever enjoyed, you guys rock!

To all the NSOs, referees, announcers, DJs, behind-the-scenes organisers, track-repairers, floor-sweepers, merch-stand-attenders, programme-designers, statisticians and anyone else who we’ve missed (sorry!), thank you all so much for all the hard work you’ve put in this whole year! The Heartland Series would not have been possible without each and every one of you.

Finally, a super special leopardy thank you to all our fans and supporters – you guys have been so amazing and we feel blessed to have so many friendly faces getting behind us! The cheers from the audience are uplifting like you wouldn’t believe!

Roll on 2014!!

Milton Keynes Roller Derby

We were honoured to host the playoff final of the Heartland Series 2013 today and what an epic finals day it was. A very big thank you to all our amazing officials, especially Head Refs: Xavier Bacon; Cherry Fury and Fu Man Drew, and Head NSOs LA Claw and Macgeek. Thank you to all the volunteers who got up so damn early and GB Emergency Medical services, yay Team Green! Thank you to Stevil Genius for DJing and all the photographers and anyone else I have missed. Massive congratulations to Severn Roller Torrent – TOURNAMENT WINNERS, beating Romsey 129-114! They played a blinder in both their games today and still had energy for after-afterpartying. Hardcore.

An extra special thank you to the eternally wonderful Romsey Town Rollerbillies who we love very much and gave us a tough but fun game. Final score 220-131 to the Billies. We’ll get you next time!

Mean Valley Roller Girls

It’s a little late in coming (mainly because Prüe has been away from her desk!) but we are so happy and proud that we took joint third place with Milton Keynes Roller Derbyin the Heartland Series 2013! What a way to finish, we’re all so, so proud to have come so far and share our place with the Cows! We want to congratulate Severn Roller Torrent for their win against us – you guys were AWESOME opponents – and for taking first place as Series Champions, it was well deserved! Thank you to everyone who put this together and to everyone who took part from rinkrats to refs, skaters to spectators and all the awesome NSOs who worked their little grey socks off!