Hereford Roller Girls skate to victory in their first home bout.

Hereford Roller Girls are celebrating after winning their first home bout against Shrewsbury’s Evolution Roller Girls, with a score of 286 points to 139. The bout, which took place in October 2012 at Hereford Leisure Centre, was not only the league’s first home bout, but their first open one, with a sold out home crowd cheering them on.

Hereford Roller Girls (HRG) formed in August 2011, the skaters and referees have spent a year training hard and recruiting new members. Several of the skaters have taken part in mixed team bouts across the Country  but the bout against Shrewsbury is the first time they have played together as a full team.

To keep the energy high HRG invited seasoned Roller Derby announcer Rolls Voyce, also known as Twisted Mister, and music was provided by Hereford’s very own Mouthmaster Murf from The Jailhouse.

The bout started well with the Hereford girls skating out to the The Gossip’s ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, with Captain Harm’Her Sutra flying the flag (literally!) for HRG. Head Coach and HRG founder, Eve L Hart, was the team’s Bench Manager for the day, with Barrie DeHatchet as their Line Up Manager. Officiating the match were HRG’s own Referees and NSOs, as well as volunteers sent from Birmingham’s Central City Roller Girls. Shrewsbury skated with four guest skaters in their roster, on loan from Oxford.

There were plenty of nerves among the Hereford skaters, as it was the first time many of their friends and family had seen them skate, but once the first whistle blew all nerves were forgotten as both teams fought for a win.

The opening jam saw HRG’s jammer sent to the box, meaning a power jam to Evolution. Taking full advantage, Evolution’s jammer battled hard against a wall of Hereford blockers and took the lead, 18 points to 4. A scary start for Hereford, but a start they did manage to recover from. Hereford soon closed the score and 30 minutes of official game time later, they went into half time with the score 127 to 90 in Hereford’s favour.

The second half saw the point difference growing with Hereford staying in the lead for the rest of the game. Despite the point different Evolution’s blockers and jammers worked well with the Oxford girls and together took full advantage of a number of power jams, the score crept steadily up for both teams.

The final score was 286 to 139 with Hereford taking the victory lap. HRG were delighted their first open bout was against such a hard working group of Derby girls, and they can’t wait for the rematch next year.

After the bout, awards were handed out, for Hereford The Plauhouse won Best Jammer, Best Blocker went to No Bexcuses and Harm’Her Sutra took home MVP (Most Valuable Player). The after party was in the Barrells, with both teams, and their friends and families celebrating into the evening.

The crowd got what they came for, HRG took their first win, and Hereford saw it’s first Roller Derby bout end in victory. This City may never be the same again!

HRG start their first season of bouting in 2013, keep an eye on the website for next year’s listings.

Photography courtesy of Scott Jones. Check out some of Scott’s amazing work here

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