Bay Area residents got a taste of roller derby madness Saturday night as the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls teams laced ’em up for the league’s Double Header Coastal Clash at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.
With warm sunset sunshine coming through the old hangar bay windows, people strolled through the big space while munching on tamales, popcorn and cupcakes. To wash everything down, the beverage of choice was beer—and sometimes soda. Once the action started, people filled the elevated stands at either end of the rink.
The first game saw the San Francisco ShEvil Dead jump all over the Oakland Outlaws for a 22-0 lead. The Outlaws made a surge right before half but could not make up the difference. Final score: ShEvil Dead 178, Outlaws 71.
The second game saw similar results as the Richmond Wrecking Belles skated circles around the Berkeley Resistance. By halftime, the Wrecking Belles has a 75-point lead. After the break, the Resistance made some adjustments to their game plan and held the Wrecking Belles to just 49 points in the second half. But it wasn’t enough, and Richmond won 144-78.
Before the game, Wrecking Belles team captain Liza Machete said her team was familiar with the plays of the Berkeley Resistance because two years ago two teammates walked away from Richmond to form the Berkeley squad. The split was nothing personal, but an opportunity to increase the number of girls that could play in the league, she said. “We were at a point with our league where we were ready to expand and have a fourth team,” Machete said. “The Wrecking Belles had a lot of really strong skaters on our roster and were the team that could afford to lose the most.”
While having a smoke outside the pavilion waiting for the two games to begin, Chris Murphee of Berkeley said he came to games with a friend who wants to join the roller derby league. “I thought it was a staged event until I went and saw it a year ago,” he said. “It was clearly not staged.”
The next bout takes place July 7th, when the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls All-Stars take on the Kansas City Roller Warriors All-Stars at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond.
Click here for more information on the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls teams and their schedules.