July 23, 2012

RCRD Roller Derby Final 2012

Saturday was the intraleague final for Richter City Roller Derby, a much awaited clash between one of the original teams, Smash Malice, and relative new kids on the block Comic Slams. It was Slams second season as a team, and their second time in the grand final bout, a highly anticipated rematch against the champions of the last two years.

Much like last year, and earlier in the season, the match up between Slams and Malice offered an excitingly close bout, an almost constant fight for lead, which both teams managed to snatch from the other several times each half. Malice started off strong with an immediate power jam, racking up a quick bucketful of points in the first dozen jams thanks to a few deft moves by core Malice jammers Skandal Lass, Tuff Bikkies and Orange Ruffie.  Slams grabbed a point here and there throughout those jams, until a couple of power jams about twenty minutes into the game put the cobalt and silver superheroines in the lead. Ella Kazam, who I felt was last season's star jammer for Slams wasn't featured as heavily this year, after playing only a part season due to injury, but was more than adequately supporting this years stars J'Knee Dodgem, Anna Pave-U'Ova, and the unexpectedly awesome petite seeming relative newcomer to Richter City, Volcanic Ash.

The half time scores were 99 to 76 to Smash Malice. We were left with an awkward display from the Wellington Bike Polo Club.  Yes, polo played from a bicycle.  The men in the group I was sitting with were intrigued with the idea, and could see the attraction, the women not so keen.  As I've felt  the last year or so, it seemed there was little interest in the half time entertainment from the audience who remained in their seats.

The second half started out with fresh ambition from both teams in getting to lead jammer position, and it was barely three minutes into the half when Jem Molition, a solid well skilled blocker for Smash Malice, went down to an ankle injury after a tussle with Comic Slams jammer Anna Pave-U'Ova.  Malice appeared to tease Slams over the next series of jams, seemingly letting Slams close the score gap, before widening it again.  With just under ten minutes on the clock there was 12 points in it, and Orange Ruffie got sent to the bin, leaving J'Knee Dodgem to rack up a 29 point jam, bringing parts of the crowd to their feet screaming in support for the underdogs.  I don't think I have ever heard the Wellington derby crowd yell so much, and it barely abated until the end of the final jam.  What a final jam it was too. I may add, a storybook finish some might say?  Malice started with two blockers in the bin, and Scarface Clawdia jamming up against Scary Maclary still in the bin from the last jam.  Before Face got through the pack, a Slams blocker was sent off to join the other, leaving veterans Ma Whero Mischief, Suffer Jet, and Evilicious Diva to keep Face in check.  A big slam from Jet sent Face out of bounds, and some well placed backwards skating meant Face had to
re-enter the play almost half the track back, giving Scary enough time to get out of the penalty box.  While Scary didn't manage to score any more points for Comic Slams, Scarface Clawdia managed some, but not
quite enough to get Smash Malice the win.

Final score was 156-144 to Comic Slams, the new champions!

This was the last public roller derby bout for the year in Wellington, but on the 25th August, The Swamp City Roller Rats (Palmerston North) are hosting NZ's first ever tournament.  Check their Facebook to be in the know when tickets go on sale.

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