Arriving to Manchester on Thursday morning we were greeted with sunny, mild weather, and when entering the city it was abundantly clear it is going through a period of growth. The construction sites and cranes littered the city skyline, and it’s citizens were even boasting of all the new talent moving in from neighboring cities. The message was clear: Manchester is growing and is the next big thing.
Much of this stays true for the cities’ local roller derby league: Rainy City Roller Derby. From start to finish Roller Derby Euro Cup 2018 was organized without a hitch. All the bustling from the league’s members to make it such a great event did not go unnoticed. Their home team took the number one spot, undefeated, and made quite the statement for the beginning of the WFTDA season.
All the teams invited were fierce competitors, which showed in many of the scores throughout the weekend that almost no one could have predicted. Helsinki Roller Derby All-Stars faced Crime City first, with a tough loss. That loss lead to a lot of regrouping to get through the tournament. There was no time to groan, and the next day we shifted our focus to our frenemies Kallio Rolling Rainbow All-colors and Stockholm Roller Derby All Stars. Having faced off against the pair on a regular basis, Kallio only weeks earlier, it was much clearer what the team was up against and nerves were more at ease. We also knew Stockholm was almost entirely a new team and had no idea what to expect, so we went in expecting none other than a hard battle. We managed to stay focused and fresh and took a double win that day, allowing us to rest easy knowing that we had what it takes to face a powerhouse like Rainy City’s A team the next day.
Our last game hit us like a freight train. Rainy cities’ defense was so tight that there was no denying that we were going to have to go hard on shutting them down. Unfortunately, we realized this too late and found ourselves over 100 points down by the end. It was a disappointment, however after seeing their domination over Crime City later that evening it was hard to deny that Rainy City deserved the number one spot of the tournament.
Overall the whole weekend was a success. We got to attend a brilliantly organized and staffed tournament, play some fine derby, and we learned some very valuable lessons early on in the season.
Thank you, Rainy City, it was a pleasure and we hope to attend the same tournament again next year! Hopefully with even more European D1 teams!
Helsinki – Rainy City 117-223
Helsinki – Stockholm 197-155
Helsinki – Kallio 326-142
Helsinki – Crime City 134-253
Picture by Roller Derby On Film
Text by Sara Ekholm #604
This post is also available in: Finnish