Grand Final 3rd/4th Place Playoff by Tricksey Belt’em

The eagerly anticipated double header promised to deliver exciting derby, and it did.

Days before the event, the last tickets sold out, the first time ADRD has seen a bout sell to capacity. Some enthusiasts arrived as early as 10:30am, and by 12:30, the area outside the Jubilee pavilion was alive with all manner of derby fans, most of them in team colours, relaxing on camping chairs, chatting and laughing as the excitement mounted.

With 2500 people crammed in around the track, the day’s derby began with a West Side Story themed skate out, with all four teams participating. After a quick demo, the first bout was underway, a 3rd/4th place final between The Salty Dolls and The Mile Die Club. Plenty of pride was riding on this bout, the MDC gunning to secure a win for the season, and the Salties trying to hold onto their spot in third place.

MDC burst from the gate with a 4-0 jam between Pistola Balboa and Radical Edward, although Kissy Suzuki put the Salties on the board with a 6-4 jam against Dodgy Manoeuvres straight after. The action rolled on, with the score staying close. The fifth jam saw Lula Fortune cop an ill-placed can opener in the face, with a grand slam by Kissy shortly after closing the gap for the Salties to 29-33. In the 12th jam the crowd got more than they bargained for when Mr Hot Rod crashed into Or Elsie, sending her to the ground. The tension climbed as the Salties kicked into gear, and in the 16th jam, Hell Grazer got back to back majors. Coconut Rough used it to her advantage, getting a rand slam and taking the Salties to a 44-38 lead. MDC continued to struggle, not able to put any points on the board as D’Juana Fightme popped out 10 points and Pistola was sent to the box for clockwise blocking. Half time saw the Salties with a solid lead of 59-38.

After the break, the Salties took a blow when Canon Wonderful hurt her knee in the first jam. As the half rolled on, the Salties did everything they could do to retain their lead, the score only rising in tiny jumps. Jam 7 brought the heat back into the bout with Pistola slipping through to take lead jammer status before skating an epic double grand slam plus one for an 11 point jam. Wasting no time, Bellie scored a double grand slam of her own, taking the score to 68-67 and Dodgy pushed it over the edge in the next jam, busting it to 68-72. Another blow for the Salties in the 10th jam as Canon Wonderful was ejected, but that didn’t stop them from fighting and the score remained nail-bitingly close. With 2:15 remaining, raw Dog skated a double grand slam for the MDC, sliding them to a 23 point lead.

Salties fought hard to catch up, but to no avail, the MDC winning the bout 86-103. The crowd was absolutely deafening as the girls skated round to shake hands, both teams exhausted from the brilliant battle that was the 3rd place final.