One town, two teams, 40 wheels – all in a battle for glory.

The best players from the Auld Reekie Roller Girls’ league will go head to head this Saturday as the Twisted Thistles and the Cannon Belles face each other for the first time in derby history.

It’s an exciting new era for Edinburgh Roller Derby as the 2012 seasons prepares to kick off. With the increasing popularity of the sport and ever higher standards, ARRG have introduced a new set of home teams, which will play each other in a series of tournament-style bouts.

The best will make it into the Thistles and Belles to play in external bouts throughout the country and beyond. This Saturday sees these elite players go head to head.

 “We are immensely lucky to have so much talent in the ARRG league,” said Belles captain Bruise Leigh. “But these two teams have never been pitted against each other. What better way to hone our bouting skills for 2012 than to take on this fierce and formidable team?”

The original Auld Reekie team, The Twisted Thistles, have a reputation to uphold and team captain Crazylegs knows their new rivals will be no pushover.

“We’ve faced teams from Glasgow to Stuttgart, but the Belles are sure to give us a run for our money. If anything, we’ll all probably be harder on each other because we know it’ll help us get ready for next year.”

The all-female sport of Roller Derby has its origins in the US as an entertainment exhibition sport with bouts being played as far back as the 1930s. The modern revival has put an emphasis on agility and athleticism.

The sport involves teams competing on an oval track in a series of ‘jams’ – two minute periods that see teams of five players each battling to score points. During each jam, one player on each team is designated as the ‘jammer’ who scores a point for every member of the opposing team she passes.

The revival began in the early 2000s and spread quickly with the trend reaching Edinburgh in 2008, when a small group of women founded ARRG. The Edinburgh league now averages at over 80 skaters, and is run purely on the volunteer efforts of its members.

This Saturday will see bout will see the two teams face off against each other to ensure that both are skating their best heading into the 2012 season.

The Twisted Thistles take on the Cannon Belles this Saturday, 29 October 2011 at 6.30pm in Meadowbank Sports Centre.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite.