LOS ANGELES, CA–The Rose City Rollers took on Angel City Derby Girls in a Sunday midday hangover game, having played the Los Angeles Derby Dolls on the banked track the night prior. The two teams entered having finished their 2012 Western Regionals match-up at 194-147, in Rose’s favor â€“ a closer-than-expected finish at the time. This time Angel City entered with an undefeated 7-0, for the 2013 season thus far, to close on a 250-204 win, despite Rose using lead jammer grabs to create persistent point inching from the start of the second half.
Missing from this game were two Rose City blocking powerhouses from Western Regionals–Joyride and Mel Mangles. However, key blockers Mercy and Belle Starr entered fresh, having sat out the LADD game. And heavily featured jammers for this game, Scald Eagle, Mutch Mayhem and Lickerâ€™nâ€™Split took on mainly blocking roles the night before. Home team Angel City was down an injured Sarah Lang, and out-of-town Krissy Krash.
The bout was characterised by solid packs and engaged and rapid speed regulation, with packs alternating between racing and slowing to the point of moving backwards according to game play (particularly in response to powerjam-switching). Also notable were the high level of penalties on both sides–5 players finishing the game on 6, and one 7th called just at the last whistle.
First lead of the game went to Cris Dobbins, but Scald Eagle forced Cris to call, catching her up before she could score, and setting a trend for the game. Starting the next jam on a 4-2 blocker advantage, Rose jammer Mutch Mayhem grabbed a quick lead, scoring two passes before Chica Go Lightning could finally break the pack, and handing Rose a 10-0 lead. Rose grabbed 2 points in the next jam, and defensive jamming from Cris Dobbins in the following fed Mutch Mayhem to blockers Soledad, Rachel Rotten and Laci Knight, who gave Cris the space to take lead and 5 points. Scald and Mutch, who alternated jamming for the first 6 jams, then brought in 9 and 3 points, bringing Rose to 22-5 at 7 minutes into the first half.
Rose then introduced Licker*N*Split to jam. Unfortunately most most of her first two jams were spent watching from the penalty box for first a low block then an immediate back block, after bouncing out Cris into a powerjam. First Cris and then Chica used this time to add on 15 and then 19 unanswered points, as Angel City held on to Licker even upon her track return. It was at that point that the game lead was decided, as Angel City steadily widened the point differential through the first half. And Licker only returned to the track as a blocker after two further penalty-troubled jams at jams 12 and 13.
In the final stunning jam of the first half, a hotly contested cut by Scald Eagle and low block upon re-entry handed Chica Go Lightning a long powerjam to take 29-0, and end the half at 152-67 to Angel City.
The second half started with Scald and two Rose City blockers still in the box, handing a low-resistance powerjam to Angel Cityâ€™s Cris Dobbins who took full advantage, 20-0.
Rose City repeated their first half jammer starting pattern with Scald Eagle and Mutch Mayhem jamming until jam 5, then alternating evenly between them, and fresh-to-the-jammer-panty French Tickler until the final 5 jams of the game, when Scald Eagle jammed all but one.
Angel City’s second half was low scoring, punctuated by occasional powerjams, while Rose doggedly crept points up, decreasing the differential. Then, at jams 9 and 10, just after Angel City hit the double century, first Rose’s Tickler, then Scald, put up 15 and 19 unreplied points respectively while Angel City struggled with penalties. Score sat at 200-131, and Rose looked suddenly able to fight back. A jam 14 to 20 series of lead grabs and calls helped Rose to determinedly add on points, bringing them up to 187-217, but the lead that Angel City had set in the first half was just too wide to be conquered.
By the final two jams of the game, Scald Eagle penalty box bounce-out for Cris on her second pass, handed Angel City exactly what they needed for an emphatic win. And even Scaldâ€™s third pass return in the last jam couldn’t stop Chica from tallying up a welcome 23 points for the jubilant home audience, ending the game at 250-204, to Angel City.
Angel City loses Ref Julius Pleasar after this fitting game, as he moves to Portland, OR, and makes Rose City his new home.
Next, the Angel City Derby Girls play â€˜May the Fourth Be With Youâ€™, this Saturday, against Jet City and Rat City, in Everett, WA. And Rose City play the Victorian Roller Derby League, in Portland, OR, on May 17.