The streets of
last were crowded with goblins,
vampires, and other costumed revelers getting in their hijinks before Hurricane
Sandy arrives tomorrow and lingers to dampen Halloween proper. The real mayhem,
however, was inside: the NJRD (New
Jersey Roller Derby), Morristown
newest team, took on the Hartford Wailers
in a bout that was rough-and-tumble even by the usual standards of derby. I
didn’t attend NJRD’s previous
away-game in Hartford (ending in a Hartford win), but was told by one team
member that it, too, had been particularly raucous; so, both teams were primed
for last night’s rematch.
In its very first match last April against the JSRG (Jersey Shore Roller Girls), the NJRD had shown itself to be spirited but lacking a depth of experienced skaters. That since has been corrected by honing its own talent and also by picking up skaters with experience from other teams (e.g. Maulin Rouge and Naughty Nessa). Even with team captain and key skater Pixie Bust on the sidelines with a knee injury, the NJRD had effective jammers and blockers to spare.
The bout began with #44 Maulin Rouge picking up the first points for
Maulin continued to be a major asset throughout the bout. A series of lead jammer
positions built up a lead for the NJRD early in the first half. #10 Miss
USAHole at one point slipped past the lead jammer to pick up 4 points for Morristown. Nevertheless,
through fierce blocking restrained the NJRD score while their own jammers
(notably Diesel N’Gin and Monkey Brains) consistently won points of their own. Aided
by well-timed power jams Hartford
briefly nudged one point ahead. The first half ended with a negligible 96/95
lead for Morristown.
The pre-game and halftime band from The School of Rock was particularly good, and the Halloween costume contest was pleasant fun.
Usually, the intensity picks up in the second half, but in this case there was not more it could increase. In both halves, hits by both sides were as hard and aggressive as in any bout I’ve seen. All the skaters (special note to #12 Gunz, Miss USAHole, and Bloody Shannonigans) deserve credit for getting back on their skates after being taken down hard, and sometimes till go on to score points in the jam. Blockers piled up on several occasions. Effective blocking by both sides prevented a series of alternating power jams from delivering a commanding lead to either team. However,
Morristown blocking kept Hartford from taking full advantage of few
timely power jams, and the NJRD built
up a point lead. The whistle blew with a final score of 237/195, win for NJRD.
It was a bruising and exciting bout. Perhaps on the next rematch, I’ll make the trek to
(Note: for derby terminology and rules, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T8izdlc-dY )