Brisbane beat Gladstone Haul Stars at roller derby

HOMETOWN pride was on the line when the Gladstone roller derby Haul Stars team took on arch-rivals Brisbane Switch Hitters at the PCYC complex.

Unfortunately for the local team, it went down in an epic struggle 170-167 with Haul Star's Anthony 'Doctor Proctor' Proctor receiving the MVP.

One of Gladstone's stars, Lainey McPhee, played a crucial role for the GRD side in a physical encounter in front of a crowd that was in party mode. The contest left players hot underneath vast amounts of protection around an oval-shaped playing arena.

For those not familiar with the sport, McPhee explained the rules.

"It involves two jammers, one from each team and they are the people with the stars on their heads and they have to get through the pack which is made up of four skaters from each team and each member of the opposing team, their passes are worth a point," McPhee said of the five players per team sport.

There are two 30-minute halves and these are broken into jams that can last up to two minutes at a time.

Even though there is a physical element to the sport and McPhee acknowledged there is a serious side, she also said that the game had a light-hearted side to it.

"We have serious competitions but we like to think of it as more of fun where we are not playing for sheep stations," McPhee added.

She was introduced to the sport over three years ago rather by accident than with the intention to play.

"I went to the first game with my dance partner purely because there was a rockabilly band at half time, but then just fell in love with the sport and joined up that next week," McPhee said.

Fellow Haul Star player Mary Bolling said the sport is unique.

"It's one of the few sports where offence and defence work at the same time," she said.

Brisbane's MVP was 'His Roliness' Cameron De Lilly.