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An Overview of KRG in 2017

An Overview of 2017 from Head Coach Brute 66

We started the year with a trip to Paris to play La Boucherie de Paris Rollergirls. A very early 4am start and a drive through Northern France to Paris did not lead to us playing our best roller derby. We tried to instigate some new tactics, but in the end we were outclassed by a very talented Paris team. This lead to the start of our British Championships T2 season. We were drawn in the Southern division meaning we would be taking on an incredibly strong tier of teams, Windsor Roller Girls. London Rockin’ Rollers, South West Angels of Terror, Swansea City Roller Girls and Big Bucks High Rollers, all in all we were very much underdogs in this tier.

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Pickett, who retired earlier this year, jamming against La Boucherie 

First up was a trip to London to play Windsor. A strong start saw us leading at halftime with the onlooking teams realising we weren’t going to be a pushover this year. Some strong Windsor tactics saw them fight back in the second half and just pip us to the win. Second up was our home b out and a game against S.W.A.T. again we started well, rookie jammer Chip having an amazing game and we held our own all game. Unfortunately, we just let it slip in the final ten minutes and SWAT took the victory. However, yet again we showed that we were a team you were going to have to work hard to beat. Next was the ‘big one’, London Rockin’ Rollers, a mainstay in the British Roller Derby scene, full of hugely talented skaters. We were nervous going into the game, but as a coach, I’ve never been more proud of my team than in this game. The team was outstanding from start to finish and fought for every inch of space on that track, every point. There were stand out performances all over the team, including a 19 point jam from a pivot. The lead constantly changed and though we eventually lost the game, we earned a lot of respect and learned so much about ourselves.

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Tenacious breaking out of the pack against LRR

Our trip to Swansea to play the host team, a team we had lost to in the playoffs the year before, was sadly called off due to a nasty injury to one of our skaters who thankfully has made a full recovery. Thank you to SCRD for hosting the event and their support in the weeks that followed. We rounded off our champs season with a game against BBHR. I won’t dwell too much on this game, but a few injuries to key players and the fallout from the Swansea call off meant we did not play as we had all season and Big Bucks rolled out easy and deserved winners.

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Two transfers to the team, Liannarchy and Finch, playing in Belfast

After a summer to rest and recuperate, including hosting our first ever Rookie Tournament, we attacked the off season with three away games. First, a trip over the Irish Sea to play Belfast Roller Derby. An unknown entity to us, and with two new transfers on our team, we played as a unit and eventually came away with a big victory despite a spirited second half come back from our hosts. The week after saw the very welcome return of the KRG B Team, The Knightmares. A trip to Suffolk to take on the Suffolk Bees saw the Knightmares ride out comfortable winners in their return. The new batch of KRG skaters looking strong and tough. The season was ended with the All Stars traveling to North Wales to play a doubleheader with the newly formed Kent Men’s Roller Derby. Another tough game for us saw and we eventually came away with the victory and then we watched KMRD take their debut victory meaning both Kent teams came away victorious.

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KRG after winning their final game of 2017 in Wales

2018 looks to be just as busy for KRG. We have taken a year out of British Champs in order to focus upon our rankings and hopefully gain our WFTDA apprenticeship. We have our first ever skater to represent their country at the Roller Derby World Cup (go team Romania!) and we will continue to develop and grow our league. We would like to thank all our officials and volunteers, all our skaters past and present for their work in 2017. And a massive thank you to all our opponents, Boucherie De Paris, Royal Windsor Roller Girls, S.W.A.T, London Rockin’ Rollers, Swansea City Roller Derby, Big Bucks High Rollers, Belfast Roller Derby, Suffolk Roller Derby and North Wales Roller Derby.

See you all in 2018, HUC HUC HUC!

If you’d like to come along to our next open day, check out the Facebook event or send us an email at recruitment@kentrollergirls.com

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KRG presents CartoonAPalooza – Skaters wanted!!!

Kent Roller Girls are proud to present CartoonAPalooza, a Rookie Women’s Sevens Tournament – 26th August, 10am–7pm at the Bay Sports Arena, Herne Bay.

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Six 90s cartoon themed teams made up of seven skaters each go head to head… there can only be one winner!

We are inviting rookie skater’s to join us on track to take part in this awesome event. All players are guaranteed 3 games, the entry requirement is that you are rookie level (eg. played 0-7 bouts) and are minimums skilled passed.

Tickets are £20 each (includes the price of your team shirt) and will be available from our online store from 9am, Friday 9th June.

Want to come and watch this exciting event? Spectator tickets will be coming soon – keep your eyes out here and on our Facebook page for details!!!

BRITISH CHAMPS TIER 2 – KENT ROLLER GIRLS VS S.W.A.T ROLLER DERBY

We narrowly missed out on their first victory in tier two of the British Roller Derby Championships on March 4th, when we played SWAT Roller Derby at our home ground, the Bay Arena, in Herne Bay.

We invited the Lord Mayor of Canterbury to come and open the game, who not only got involved in blowing the ceremonial first whistle, but was later seen cheering on our girls in gold from the stands with 200 other supporters.

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The final score was close with only 34 points separating the two teams, the majority of which was scored in a 6 minute period when Kent suffered from multiple penalty trouble. Thanks to everyone that came along to cheer on the team! There was an amazing atmosphere in the Arena on the day and it was great to see so many faces enjoying roller derby on our home turf.

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We now have two months time to regroup before we take on the London Rockin’ Rollers in the next game of the series. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for details.

 

Kent Roller Girls take on Tier Two

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The British Roller Derby Championships gets underway on 11th Feb with Kent Roller Girls taking on Windsor. The game will be part of a double header event in Tottenham, the home ground of London Rockin Rollers who will match up against Swansea City. See Facebook for event details.

Kent topped the table in tier three last year, beating Plymouth, Bath, Cornwall, Plymouth and Surrey, along the way. At playoffs, the only team in their way to promotion was Norfolk Roller Derby who lead from the start but Kent managed to swing the match round in a nail biting game to take the win with the final score of 154-138.

KRG advanced but lost to Swansea, the overall winners of the playoff games,and were pipped to a third place by 47 points in a game against the hard-hitting lasses from the Wirral.

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Tier two will be a step up for Kent, as many of the teams have international players, London Rockin Rollers have world cup veterans Jack Attack and Rammit, and Team Wales and Swansea’s #7 The Mortician is a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, Windsor have a seasoned squad who have played in the USA and Scandinavia, and the Angels of Terror and Big Bucks High Rollers round out the rest of the bracket.

If you want to support the team on their journey into Tier Two the next home game of the season will be at the Bay Arena, Herne Bay on 4th March; tickets are available here.

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If you are a woman over 18 and fancy giving roller derby a go, email recruitment@kentrollergirls.com to join them at their Open Day on 12th March. The team are also always on the look out for Referees and officials (both on and off skates) and can teach you all you need to know.

 

British Championships Tier 3 playoffs

We are super proud to announce that, last weekend, we secured our promotion to Division 2 of the British Roller Derby Championships for next year, following our playoff match against Norfolk on Saturday 10th September.

KRG's founder Demi Lition means business as she barges past Norfolk blockers

To recap, we won all 5 of our divisional matches in this year’s championships against Cornwall, Devon, Surrey, Plymouth and Bath, so we needed one victory  at playoffs to secure our promotion. Held in Newark, playoffs involved 8 teams from across the country (South, East, West and North groups) playing to win the title of Tier 3 champion for 2016.

The Norfolk Brawds were very co-ordinated in their attack and showed strong offence skills from the start to create opportunities for their jammers to get points on the board and were leading by over 30 points at half time.

Commander Pain Shepherd clears Norfolk ( in red ) out of the way

However, your beloved Kent staged a remarkable comeback, which began in the first 2 minutes of the second half by drawing a penalty which sent the Norfolk Jammer to the box for 30 seconds.

This gave us a chance to start scoring unhindered and boosted the teams confidence to help wipe away the deficit and then go on to stage a stunning revival and finish the game victorious at 154-138.

Team Captain Jennapocalypse said “I’m so proud KRG is going to be a division 2 team next year. We sat down last year after coming 3rd and decided we wanted to make it playoffs.”

“After missing out on a spot in the 2015 playoffs the team were so focussed and driven that we ended up finishing first in our division, getting to playoffs, and then, winning our promotion match. We really smashed both our expectations and our opponents.”

MVP Roxy takes the Jammer star to go ona point scoring mission

We played two more games in a knock out round of the tournament, but our winning streak was not to continue with 2 losses on the Sunday, first against Wirral, who were 15 places higher up the rankings (Final score 73-130) and the overall champions on the day, Swansea ranked 22nd  (Final score 123-223).

However, it was still an amazing weekend for the team, with such close scores boosting our end of year position on the Flat Track Stats ranking table ahead of our move up to the next tier of play in Division 2.

The team are all smiles after securing promotion

Feeling inspired? If you’re a female over 18 who wants to learn the game and how to skate, we are holding an open day on 23rd October at the Bay Arena in Herne Bay – see our Facebook event for details.

British Champs Tier 3 – Games 4 & 5

Kent Roller Girls’ last 2 British Championship games were just 2 weeks apart, with KRG vs Plymouth City Roller Derby on July 3rd followed by KRG vs Cornwall Roller Derby in the Championship Tier 3 South final on July 17th. These last two games would determine, firstly, whether the league would be heading to playoffs, and secondly, whether they would be heading there as champions.

Game 4 – vs Plymouth City Roller Derby:

Kent looked strong from the outset, racking up points before Plymouth managed to get any on the board. Plymouth were determined but only managed 13 to Kent’s 158 by half-time.

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Despite being the first to score after the half-time break, Plymouth continued to be dominated by Kent as our jammers Tenacious and Foxygen carried on the scoring streak. The game finished with Kent on 277 to Plymouth’s 35. Despite the large differential both teams agreed that it was a great game.

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This win put Kent at the top of the Tier 3 table and guaranteed us our place at the promotion playoffs in September.

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Game 5 – vs Cornwall Roller Derby

After wins against Plymouth, Bath, Surrey and North Devon both teams entered this game undefeated and having secured places at the promotion playoffs in September. The game was expected to be incredibly tight with only two places between the teams in the UK rankings.

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Cornwall scored first after the whistle, finishing the first jam 2-1. Cornwall had clearly done their homework as they earmarked our jammer, Tenacious, who has impressed in every game this season with her ducking and weaving style, and held her to no points in the second jam. Despite Cornwall’s best efforts, we picked up momentum, adding a few points in each jam. An impressive showing from Bionic Bessie racked up 14 points in one jam as our blockers held Cornwall’s jammer to zero. Kent finished the first half up 101-39.

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The beginning of the second half brought danger for Kent as Cornwall took advantage of fatigue, gaining 20 points to our 5. Thankfully, after a strategic time out from bench coach Rosa Lethal, we found our second wind. Cornwall continued to fight but we proved too strong for them as they continued their momentum to finish 160-95.

We are incredibly proud of what our team have achieved this Champs season, winning all 5 of our games and taking the trophy for 2016. All our skaters have stayed true to our ethos of Hustle, Unite, Commit and have really given their all over the past 5 months. We can’t wait to head to playoffs in September to see what next year holds for us!!

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But you don’t have to wait that long to see us play again; we have a open mixed scrimmage coming up on August 20th as part of Herne Bay Festival. The game is at our home ground, the Bay Arena, and is free to enter. The teams will be made up of skaters from across the South East and is looking to be a great game. More details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1709493202658414/

Photos courtesy of Elissa Morton & Gabriel Monteregge (KRG vs PCRD) & Paul Delooze / http://www.rollerderbyphotography.co.uk (KRG vs CRD)

BRITISH CHAMPS TIER 3 – KENT ROLLER GIRLS VS SURREY ROLLER GIRLS

Kent Roller Girls welcomed Surrey to the Herne Bay Arena this weekend for our third game in Tier 3 South of the British Roller Derby Championships.

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The county match-up was our toughest game yet in the tournament, but our preparation showed with the KRG being the first to score, taking the lead to 17-0 after the first few jams.

There was some impressive footwork from our jammers Tenacious, Vikispeedia, Bionic Bessi and Foxygen, as they juked and ducked around Surrey’s defensive blocking players. Likewise, while Surrey’s jammers put up a fantastic show of power and speed, our blockers slowed them down with a solid wall of skaters. By halftime we had a 134-56 lead. Both teams fought a hard fight in the second half but our tenacity paid off, taking the win 247-100. KRG captain, Jennapocalypse, said “I couldn’t be prouder. We have been working really hard and it shows. We came together as a team and it was that that won us the game.”

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After Cornwall’s solid 219-108 win over North Devon’s Grin N’ Barum earlier that day, we needed to win by 25 points to stay top of the division’s table. This decisive win leaves us equal on points with second place Cornwall, both having won 3 games, but ahead by 121 on score differential. We are fighting Cornwall for the top spot in the table and, in turn, promotion to division 2, so we can’t afford to relax for a minute!

On 3 July we face off against Plymouth at Surrey’s home venue in Guildford in our next champs game, then later that month we face the formidable Cornwall in our last game of the tournament.

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