by Dylan Powell - posted 12:18 pm, January 19, 2016
The Bombshell Battalion, the B Team for Alliston, Ontario’s Renegade Derby Dames, finished their about against Queen City Roller Girls Queen’s Court on a 88-39 run to skate off with a 181-158 victory on Sunday. The bout marked the first time QCRG hosted another league this season, and also marked the league debuts for TeKill’Ya Sunrise, Mortu Mary, Schmitty Schmitty Bang Bang and QCRG’s first graduated Jr league skater Veggy Cowgirl.
The Queen’s Court, made up of 1st and 2nd year league skaters, got out to solid lead in the first half going on a 29-0 run to capitalize on the Battalions jammer penalties. Pushing that lead to 32 points at 60-28 would be the most comfortable margin for either team in the game, and the Battalion slowly chipped away at that lead to pull to 20 at the end of the first half 99-79. With a jammer penalty differential of 4/1 and a lead jam favouring Queen’s Court 14/26, the Battalion were lucky to be down just 20 at half.
The second half started off tense and saw a tight bout. Only 35 total points were scored through the first 11 jams of the half and the Queen’s Court held a 119-94 advantage with just under 20 minutes left. The Queen’s Court collapse would begin in the 12th jam as CurlySlew for the Battalion grabbed lead and 9 points on TeKill’Ya Sunrise – pulling the bout within 16 points. After Double Barryl Cheryl grabbed lead and 4 points for the Queen’s Court to respond, the Battalion managed a 20-0 score on a jam that would have fans searching for their WFTDA rule books.
Queen’s Court jammer Raspoutine had her jammer star cover fall off as she made her way through her initial pass and as she skated around to pick it back up and put it on her head the Queen’s Court blockers couldn’t make sense of the chaos. Raspoutine would pass all Battalion blockers, but was still held up until she star passed to Sigourney Cleaver. This finally forced a call off, but not before the Refs scored 15-4 points for the Battalion and then corrected that to 20-0. Tie game.
The Court responded with a 14-2 run to build their lead back up before TeKill’Ya Sunrise grabbed two jammer penalties in the same jam and the Battalion went 18-0 to take the lead for the first time since the 3rd jam of the bout. The Court would again respond pulling the lead down to 2, before their jammer MegaLO-MEINia was called on a track cut and Battalion jammer Laya Down capitalized with a back breaking 22-0 jam. They pulled that lead down to 14 heading into the final jam, and Battalion jammer CurlySlew was called for a penalty in that jam, but it was too late.
Fans got a close and exciting game. 19 of the games 53 jams were called off before either team could score 4 points, with 10 of those either 0-0 or 0-1 jammer races. The penalty advantage the Court held in the first half swung the other way in the 2nd and the Battalion did a better job of capitalizing on those mistakes – the Court were 51/34 on powerjams while the Battalion went 55/4. Perhaps the most impressive stats of the game are the 2nd half stats for all of the Battalion jammers. They ran a 3 jammer rotation for the entire bout, there was no drop off and consistency throughout, and they managed to play more disciplined in the 2nd half. CurlySlew led them in that second half scoring 48 points on 6/9 lead jams and going +32 in the half taking only one penalty after taking 3 in the first half.
The inexperience of the Queen’s Court skaters showed throughout parts of the bout, but for the most part these skaters looked at home playing against experienced skaters from Renegade Derby Dames which included Amazon and Bad “D”Cisions from their 2015 A Travel Team and some skaters from surrounding leagues. The debut of Veggy Cowgirl in the adult league was special. She held her own going 4/4 in points on 3 jams with 1 lead and as a blocker she did an amazing job tracking the opposing jammer and drew a couple track cut calls. TeKill’Ya Sunrise also had a strong start in the first half in her debut before running out of steam. This bout for the Court saw 7 of their skaters playing their 3rd bout in 8 days – the 7 Dollies rookies on the roster – and the second half collapse makes a bit more sense thinking about how their legs most likely felt like cement.
Skating through the fatigue Double Barryl Cheryl kept up her solid start to 2016 grabbing 7/9 lead jam statuses in the game and going 35/2 on points for the best +/- in the bout. The move to jam her more in the 2nd half pulled her out of the blocking core though and the strong game her and Veggy were having blocking in the first half didn’t carry over. Erin Go Braless and Raspoutine had solid bouts going for 50 and 36 points, but the Battalion were able to capitalize on their inexperience at key points. The Court jammers struggled with call offs and clock management, giving up points with lead jam status or before the Battalion jammer had made their initial pass, but they also fought hard to steal points on many jams as well. The in game feel, especially in a close and aggressive bout like this, will definitely help them work through those panic moments and momentum swings. These bouts for the Queen’s Court are about bout experience and a game like this, complete with freak scenarios, back and forth lead changes and a rowdy crowd, are perfect for the development of these skaters – even if it is in a loss. For anyone interested in viewing footage of the bout you can find bout footage on the QCRG youtube channel.
The focus now moves to the next visiting Canadian team as the Lake Effect Furies B Travel Team the Subzero Sirens make their debut against the Hammer City Rollers B Team, The Hammer City Harlots, on Saturday January 23rd at Riverworks. Doors open at 1pm and first whistle is at 2pm. You can get tickets online here.