The proverbial passing of the torch was not a welcomed suggestion for the Philthy Britches, but it was a necessary one. And despite being unable to alter the standings or plead with the roller derby gods for a miraculous entry into the 2012 Warrior Cup, the Britches weren't going to step aside and allow the right of passage – nor willingly forfeit their reputation as the league's marquee team – without a fight.
Britches' blocker, Rican #80, knocks Hookers' jammer, Teflon Donna #85, down and out in one of the most crowd pleasing hits of the bout.
Inevitably, the season's tides stayed true as the Hookers once again came out on top for their fourth straight victory on the Philly Roller Girls' home league schedule. But the Britches made them earn it before falling 159-96 on Saturday in the regular season finale at the Liacouras Center at Temple University.
“I've been here since the beginning and this is the first time we're not in the Warrior Cup,” said Britches' blocker Dotti Horror. “The Hookers have been saying for years that it is their time. And now we will be watching them in the championship from the stands.”
The Hookers had a good handle on Saturday's match-up with about 24 minutes remaining in the bout and a 101-28 lead. It was at that point, however, when pride manifested on the Britches' side. The Britches took three of the next five jams in decisive fashion, slicing the lead all the way down to 27 points. First it was Savidge Booty with a 13-point jam; then Deb Seriously, who added 14. Mo Pain followed with 18, which sent the crowd into a frenzy as the score suddenly became 104-77, still in the Hookers' favor.
The Britches rally: Savidge Booty #327, Deb Seriously #9, and Mo Pain #8 scored 45 points in under 6 minutes.
The reeling Hookers needed a quick response and Tef Leppard answered the bell by scoring the next 15 points to supply some breathing room, finally putting an end to the Britches' rally.
“We're feeling good right now and trusting in each other,” Tef said. “We have been playing strong defense and when the opportunities have come, we turn it into some offense.” The Hookers had already earned a spot in the Warrior Cup final against the Broad Street Butchers, but the Hookers continued their magical season and put the stamp on their first perfect 4-0 season in home bouts.
“It feels really good,” Tef said. “We're not used to being on top. We're going to enjoy it tonight,but it's back to work tomorrow. We're not satisfied yet.”
Hookers' double threat, V-Diva #1818, salutes her cheering fans.
Dotti Horror said the Britches (0-4) took their lumps this season and will have some extra incentive to get back on top next year. The Britches had won five of the last six Warrior Cups. “This game was something for us to build on for next season,” she said. “After losing every game you have a lot of venom to come back and do a lot better. It makes you want to win so much more.”
The Columbia QuadSquad of South Carolina, who received their Women's Flat Track Derby Association membership card in the Spring, made a monumental visit to the City of Brotherly Love. On Saturday, they took on PRG's B-Team Independence Dolls in the first half of the double header.
The QuadSquad took the first 49 points of the contest and prevailed with a 186-114 victory over the Dolls. “This weekend was a great opportunity to play some great teams and get our name out there,” said team captain Holly Hunter.
Hunter said the QuadSquad had been keeping up with southern competition and was looking to play against some of the premiere established leagues. An invitation from PRG's V-Diva set the stage and the team traveled north to Philly.
“V-Diva said we had to come up here and I do what she says,” Hunter said with a laugh. “We were looking for a big challenge and we figured it would be a big learning experience to get to play them this year.”
After enjoying the Saturday night triumph over the Dolls, the QuadSquad faced off against PRG's A-team Liberty Belles on Sunday at the Millennium Skate World in Camden. The Southerners' trip didn't end as blissful as the Belles handed the QuadSquad a 276-116 defeat. The South Carolina team said it was happy to get the chance to play a top tier opponent.
“We have been together for five years and no one really gave us a chance,” Hunter said. “We've played some good teams in the south like Carolina and Atlanta, but nobody knows who we are yet.”
Independence Dolls' jammer Antidote said that stigma would soon change as she returned some respect towards her weekend opponent. “They have risen fast and they are already a good team,” said Antidote, who was voted the Dolls' MVP in the Saturday bout. “I was happy the Dolls were able to hold their own with them.”
The Dolls, with a revamped roster, played from behind the entire match and made a few nice runs to keep the bout close. Antidote said she thought the Dolls produced a solid effort with a transient roster.
“A lot of members of this team haven't skated together in practice very much,” Antidote said. “We are adjusting and I'm in no way dissatisfied with our team.”