Sunday, September 11, 2011

They Came in Second

Women’s roller derby returned to Morristown last night, the first home bout since June. The Major Pains are Morristown’s newest derby team, joining the veteran Corporal Punishers in the Jerzey Derby Brigade. Last night was the second professional bout for the fledgling team. As the first was against the Corporal Punishers, last night was the first time against unfamiliar opponents. The visiting team was the Long Island Rock-a-Betty Bruisers of the Roller Rebels.

The initial two jams were promising enough. (For basic info on derby play and terms, see an earlier blog Wheel Appeal .) In the first, the Bruisers' formidable jammer #84 Veloce Villian slipped easily through the pack and then swung around and through twice more, picking up 10 points in two Grand Slams. The second jam was virtually a mirror-image of the first, as #187 Maggie Kyllanfall broke through and, on two passes, scored 9 points for the Pains. So far, so good.

From that point on, however, the power and experience of the Long Island team prevailed. The Bruisers quickly built a commanding lead and then expanded it relentlessly throughout the bout. It must be said that the Bruisers are an all-around impressive team. Their blockers worked very well together to create holes in the Pains defense, which their jammers (notably Veloce Villian and #6 Little Loca) readily exploited. They successfully resisted most attempts by the Pains’ defense to do the same. Long Island also incurred fewer penalties than did Morristown. All aggressive players (“aggressive” is a good word in this context) spend time in the penalty box, but the Pains had key skaters in there so often that their performance suffered. It’s really mostly a matter of experience, and the Bruisers have a lot more of it.

The final score was Bruisers, 351-16.

The Pains have good and spirited skaters including recent recruits (“fresh meat” is the preferred term) and a few veterans formerly of the Punishers – Texas Bulldoz-her, Maggie Kyllanfall, and Ginger-Ail stood out, but weren’t alone. The blocking actually got better as the bout progressed, with very effective (legal) hits delivered to jammers and opposing blockers. The raw material is there. They just need more bouts to hone working together as a new team. I’ll be there to root.

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