Sunday, May 4, 2014

Philly Blocks Morristown’s Party

In the most exciting home rink bout of the season to date, the Morristown-based NJRD (New Jersey Roller Derby) All Stars faced the visiting Philly Block Party last night. The Block Party is a powerful team that last year rolled over the top of the All Stars, defeating them 290-166. In October the Philadelphia team delivered Morristown’s other league, the Jerzey Derby Brigade, an even more convincing defeat of 349-101. This year the All Stars knew what they were up against, but hoped that a year of additional experience would enable them to pull off an upset.

The opening jams indicated those hopes were well placed. Maulin Rouge scored 3 points for Morristown on the first jam and Miss USAHole added to them despite being knocked down by Block Party blockers. Philly’s Quazi Mojo scored in the 4th jam but All Star Shannani-Gunz scored on the 5th. Penalties and power jams favored Morristown throughout the first half. Philly blocking was aggressive and strong, but the NJRD proved tactically adept, creating no-pack situations to help their jammers through while cooperatively blocking opponents. Philly was able to accumulate points, with jammers ZZ Top Heavy, Goldy, and Quazi Mojo especially prominent, but the NJRD maintained an edge, At half-time the score stood 89-50 in favor of Morristown.

The Block Party has a history of comebacks in the second half, and when the whistle blew they strove to make history repeat. They were aided in this regard by a greater depth of skaters than the NJRD, allowing them to rotate fresh (or refreshed) skaters onto the track. Philly began to chip away at the NJRD lead though the team suffered a setback when Goldy, one of Philly’s big gun jammers, went down hard and was out of the game while EMTs checked her for concussion. Both teams added points against stiff blocking. Philly's break came when Goldy – OK and back on the track – picked up 28 points in a single power jam, closing the gap to 11 points. Holden Killfield, jamming for Philly, then added 7; she took her team over the top in her next jam, giving Philly a 5 point lead. Shannani-Gunz and Miss USAHole took back the lead for the All Stars.  Morristown was ahead 121-119 with 8 minutes remaining in the bout. The lead teetered back and forth with Morristown ahead by 1 point at 3 minutes. Goldy and Holden Killfield recaptured and then solidified a lead in the final jams, giving the Philly Block Party the win 140-130.

If there is any good news for the All Stars in this, it is that the issue was in doubt to the final minute – a very different type of bout from the one last year.

For Philly – Damage Doll as blocker, Holden Killfield as jammer
For NJRD – Pixie Bust as blocker, Maulin Rouge as jammer

 Marilyn might have been happier as a derby girl

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