Smoke City Betties (58) vs. The Gore Gore Rollergirls (248)
It was a raucous crowd that greeted the Smoke City Betties and the Gore-Gore Rollergirls as they entered the track at The Hangar on Saturday night in a ToRD house league showdown. The two teams fed off this energy, storming out to high-scoring, wide-open jams (12-8 after 2) with neither team taking a firm lead. Eventually, a polished-looking Gores team settled in and began to chip away until Dust Bunny blew the game open with 9 points in the fifth jam that increased the lead to 21. The Gores never looked back from there on their way to a statement-making 248-58 victory.
As she did at the Beast of the East, Brim Stone (last year’s ToRD Award winner for top pivot) got things started at the jam line for the Gores, but instead of settling back into her role at the front of the pack, she joined (almost equally) a solid four-jammer rotation with Lunchbox, Bambi and Dust Bunny. This allowed each of them to play a more consistent role in the pack as well, and they did so to great effect. Memphis Kitty kicked things off for the Betties, but the veteran jammer, along with Pretty Peeved and Lady Scorcher in particular, ended up supplying a steady, experienced presence to the pack. That left the attack up to the rookies led by Sail Her Poon who, in a game full of rookie standouts, stood out most of all. She jammed more than any other player in the bout (taking 34% of her team’s jams), and fought with the Gores’ more experienced jammers to the end, improving as the game progressed and managing to put up decent numbers in the process (including a 2.43 points-per-jam average). Poon was backed up by a handful of other rookie jammers but the majority of the load was shouldered by Platinum Bomb and Tropic Thunder; a threesome that could certainly form the core of the Betties’ attack this season.
This refusal to give up seemed to be inherited by all the Betties, and despite the mounting point differential, never looked out of it on the track, and continued to battle jam after jam: the score didn’t reflect the spirit of the bout (acknowledged by a crowd that stayed until the end). Based on flashes of sound pack control early on, and the confidence of the young jammers, the Smoke City Betties looks like a team that knows what it has to do; now it’s just a matter of doing it. Despite also having a number of rookies in their lineup, the experience of the Gores was the difference in this one, and they ran a much smoother bout. With Brim taking on more of the jamming for the Gores, Junkie Jenny and Molly Boom stepped up and wore the stripe for the majority of jams. Lady Gagya continued her outstanding 2010 with another solid performance, and she and rookie standout Hurlin’ Wall (who was a literal wall at the back of the back) were a big part of the sometimes stifling Gores’ defense.
The team stats tell the story: the Gores’ jammers recorded a 76% lead percentage and scored 6.5 points a jam, remarkable numbers that speak to a consistent, all-around effort. ** Keep an eye on my ToRD Stats Page for updated stats all season. Visit ToRD.TV for highlights, interviews and layer9’s boutcast.
ANOTHER BUSY ROLLER DERBY WEEKEND!
It was another busy weekend for roller derby in eastern Canada with three other cities playing hosts to big bouts. In London, the Thames Fatales played their first home game of the season, hosting the Nickel City Knockouts (QCRG Buffalo) in what by all accounts was an exciting night. After Nickel City tied the game in the final jam of the bout (137-137), Thames Fatales won it in overtime 148-145 (you can watch highlights and skater interviews here). There was yet another double header in Montreal this weekend. For the third consecutive year the Boston Derby Dames sent the B-Party to take on a MTLRD home team, but for the first time, MTLRD won as La Racaille cruised to a 155-54 victory at Arena St Louis. In the other half of the double header, Les Contrabanditas continued an impressive start to 2010 with a 159-82 win over the Tri-City Thunder. And finally, in Nepean the Rideau Valley Roller Girls’ home teams built on strong performance by the Vixens in Montreal last weekend as both teams managed huge victories at home with the Slaughter Daughters defeating the Derby Debutantes (GTAR) 211-48 and the Riot Squad defeating The Rollergettes 132-31.