The Future is Bright for QCRG as Queen’s Court Finish 4th at Fresh and Furious
by Dylan Powell - posted 8:08 pm, July 12, 2015
The Queen City Roller Girls Queen’s Court, first and second year skaters, made the annual trek up the QEW to Toronto this weekend to play in the “Fresh and the Furious” tournament hosted by GTA Rollergirls and Toronto Roller Derby. The 6th year of this tournament for “fresh” skaters, this was QCRG’s best showing. With 15 teams participating the Queen’s Court came away with a 4th place finish.
Fresh and Furious is considered a gauge of where leagues will be at moving forward, and also a bit of a coming out for skaters who may be vying for roster spots on travel teams (or who other leagues may be looking to recruit). Crazy Squirrel, a Tri City jammer who frustrated Furies blockers earlier this year at Beaver Fever, stood out last year at Fresh and Furious. Although the bouts are only 20 minutes long, this is still viewed as a very serious and important yearly tournament.
The Queen’s Court started off the tournament with a 124-10 loss against Roller Derby Quebec (RDQ would go on to win). They followed that up though with wins over South Simcoe 107-69, 111-91 over Forest City and 62-59 against the Bloody Mary’s – all in must win elimination bouts. The win put them back against RDQ in a bout that would see them either battle for 1st or 3rd depending on the outcome. They closed the gap a bit from their earlier bout, but still fell to 103-16 to RDQ to set up a 3rd place bout against Our Ladies of Pain.
Queen City didn’t get off to the start they wanted against Our Lady of Pain – giving up a 17/0 powerjam to start the 20 minute bout. They followed that jam by giving up another powerjam, but this time managing a 10/14 spread. The Queen’s Court struggled with penalties all tournament, but this bout was especially tough on their jammers – giving up powerjams in almost half of the jams in the game. Still, the Queen’s Court dug deep and after two impressive 29/4 powerjams from Rosi late in the bout, the Queen’s Court was up 96-95 with under 2 minutes left. Queen City grabbed lead on what would be the final jam, but the team unfortunately got into some penalty trouble and when the dust settled Our Lady of Pain skated away with a 119-101 win.
Although they missed out on medalling, the Queen’s Court should be proud of their showing. Historically, Queen City has struggled in this tournament and this year they showed good conditioning (playing 6 bouts – the last 4 with hardly any breaks) and battled hard to pull out close elimination games. Coaches Vile and Anita prepared the team well using a tripod blocking style that these skaters are likely to see more of as they progress and also kept the lines competitive to ensure the skaters got a feel for winning. Mae and NicNugget (Alley Kats) thrived in the blocking core using their track awareness to make the more advanced blocking style work. The trade off may have been more penalties, but even still this is worthwhile in order to prepare these skaters for the next level. All of the home teams will be drafting skaters already familiar with their blocking strategies.
Jammers Rosi and Jules Burn (Knockouts) had very strong showings and Rosi’s two 25+ jams in the bout against Our Lady were almost enough to grab this team 3rd place. Inexperience showed in the jammer core as all skaters struggled with timing call offs, but the tournament still showed that the home league teams will have at least three very promising jammers to draft from in October (Rosi, McCreadie and Erin).
For anyone who missed the action – layer9.ca has you covered. They already have the footage up, just scroll down on the sidebar to Fresh and Furious 2015.