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Showtime on wheels as skaters do battle
Nic Ellis/The West Australian Showtime on wheels as skaters do battle

Fire it up! Fire it up! Fire it up!

The war chant rang out through the change rooms as women from all walks of life - mothers, professionals, students - strapped on padding and helmets and scrawled numbers on to bare skin with markers.

Skulls, fishnets and leopard print knickers complemented tattoos, face paint and tongue-in-cheek names - Dame Edna Haemorrhage, Freyda Nuffin and Annie Thingoes.

Picture gallery | Soundslide: Wheelin' Women

The Mistresses of Mayhem and the Bloody Sundaes mustered the courage for a ferocious battle in front of their biggest crowd yet on Saturday night.

After little more than two years, Perth Roller Derby has grown at a phenomenal rate, with tickets to the bout selling out well in advance to a 700-strong audience.

There are already whispers of a need for future expansion, as those who missed out scrambled to find last-minute tickets online.

Colourful spectators crowded the area immediately surrounding the track, known as the "suicide zone". Organisers warned that they sat there at their own risk.

Falls were frequent, and though the women are trained in safe landings, there was no barrier to stop them slamming skates-first into onlookers if they lost control.

Plaster casts did not deter a few training casualties from lending moral support. The game involves two teams of five women made up of "blockers" and "jammers". The jammers start behind the pack and score points by getting through the opposing blockers, who use their "booty" to try and stop them.

In a tight bout, the Mistresses came out on top, winning 140-139 in the final jam.

Shouts of jubilation rang out through the dome as the teammates hugged and tended their bruises.

Mother of three Kelly-Anne Obank, aka Dirty K.O., has been involved for two years and says the sport helped her "re-find" herself.

"It puts things into perspective, it's not all about being a mother and being a wife, it's OK to have something for me and be a bit selfish," she said.

"The girls can do what they want to do and wear what they want to wear - they can be that other personality."

Roller derby thrills and spills at