HVDD's Molly Morbids vs. Junction City B-Train. Photo: Chris Bojanower
Having already logged something like 24 hours of driving this week during a quick jaunt to Zion, the drive down south to Spanish Fork on Saturday seemed like nothing. After all, from the central point of Salt Lake City, anything is accessible (even booze). But for the ladies of the Junction City Roller Dolls, traveling all the way from Davis County to take on the Molly Morbids of the Happy Valley Derby Darlins league, there had to have been some serious cooler-packing.
As the suicide seating at the foot of the track filled up around us, my SLC friends debated which team to root for. As members of the Wasatch Roller Derby league, we've all shared scrimmages with girls from both teams. It was going to be a tense battle for sure, as potential loyalties were on the line. Adding to the drama, the overhead lights inside The Hive would periodically shut off, leaving only the strobe of camera flashes and emergency fluorescents. Roller derby meets rave.
Junction City built a strong defense from the start, relying on starting jammer Pickle’s speed and agility to get through the pack unassisted, and letting blockers focus on HVDD’s Cookie. Suddenly, I was hungry. Early in the game, Happy Valley lost a jammer to a major track cut, leaving Pickle to score a 30-point power jam while her team exercised precision pack control. With that, Junction City began racking up their lead over the Darlins. Major penalties like back blocks and track cuts sent players from both teams into the “Sin Bin” over and over again in the first half.
Only a few jams before the halftime whistle blew, Happy Valley rallied vengeance and began slamming into Junction’s jammers with no mercy, even causing Malibu Harpy to do a sick barrel roll across the track. Powerhouse blockers like Triple LeXXX made sure to bulldoze holes in the pack, and Happy Valley ended the half taking lead jammer position twice in a row, bringing the score to a reasonable 49-80.
After a hula hoop competition and the return of half the crowd smelling like smoke, HVDD came back to the track ready to stamp down the competition. However, Junction wouldn’t give up the lead without a fight. They continued to employ tough defense against Happy Valley, trapping players behind a solid wall of Hannah Bull and Slayer Cake. The tension in the Hive picked up. In the last minutes of the game, JCRD almost clinched another power jam until their jammer got sent to the box, letting Bloody 2-Shoes out to score twenty points for Happy Valley. It wasn’t enough, though, to catch up. Junction City sealed the game with a score of 170-112.
Now relinquishing their undefeated title, Happy Valley will take their fury and vengeance to the Star Spangled Beatdown on July 7. Junction City will play next in Davis County against the Choice City Rebels of Fort Collins, Colorado on August 23. You can keep up with both teams via their websites at happyvalleyderbydarlins.com and junctioncityrollerdolls.com or follow them on Facebook.
Check out more photos of the bout by Chris Bojanower here.