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.
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.
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.
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.
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!