This post was originally featured at Derby News Network in July 2011.
PITTSBURGH, PA — The Steel City Steel Hurtin’ ended a drought of home bouts by hosting the closely-matched Chicago Outfit Syndicate on a warm summer’s eve at Romp ‘n’ Roll in Glenshaw, PA. The bout featured three lead changes and lots of drama with Steel City eventually emerging as the battered yet happy victors, 167-114. While the second half was a hard-hitting penalty-filled affair, the first was relatively spotless and showcased two teams executing varied and creative playbooks with kneeling no-packs, glacial packs, speeding packs, and whiplash-inducing suddenly stopped packs. The Outfit’s kneeling no-packs met with mixed successes and led to many jams where the first jammer through was not awarded lead.
This was in evidence from the get-go, as the Outfit’s Lola Blow quickly made it out of the pack but without the first lead jam of the night. Steel Hurtin’ star Hurricane Heather, however, found herself stifled against a black back wall led by Smashley Destructo and Maul E. Hatchet and never made it out to call off the jam and the Syndicate took the early 10-0 lead. Steel City returned the favor with damage dahl, Friction VixXxen, and the Crippler keeping Queefer Sutherland under wraps while the Shocker struck back for a 9-0 jam.Â Queefer Sutherland and ‘snot rocket science battled a 9-9 jam with no lead as the Outfit held on to a 20-18 lead. The Shocker brought Steel City to within a point, riding J-Bomb right through the pack. Then Mean Burrito slashed through to take a 26-25 lead for Steel City while La Diabla leveled Queefer Sutherland. Two jams later, as the midway point passed, Mean Burrito somehow stayed vertical on one skate following a big hit by Smashley Destructo to open the lead up to 34-25.
Queefer Sutherland answered, however, fighting through some last-ditch blocking by the Crippler to score 9 as Smashley Destructo continued to blast Pittsburgh jammers to the outside, this time against the Shocker. The lead down to 3, Mean Burrito came up big again with a quick dash around a knelt pack for lead and then surviving several punishing trips through the pack for 16 to Sweet Mary Pain’s 8. What had been a relatively penalty-free bout began to change character with rough play sending many blockers to the box. Lola Blow fought off Ally McKill for a 4-0 against a short pack and Queefer Sutherland followed with one of her own as ‘snot rocket science found herself ejected from the game in a shocking development.
Again the lead was at 3 with momentum shifting to the Outfit and again Steel City answered, keeping their heads when faced with the loss of one of their leaders. The Crippler put a great last-second hit on Valerie Of The Dolls to keep her in the pack while the Shocker scored 9 unanswered points. Not to be outdone, Lola Blow took advantage of the first powerjam of the bout with less than 5 minutes remaining in the half as Hurricane Heather left for a track cut, followed by her teammate Athena. By the time Hurricane Heather returned to the floor, Lola Blow had scored 13 to take back the lead for the Chicago Outfit, 63-62, with less than 3 minutes in the half. But as Lola Blow had called off her successful jam, she’d been called for a penalty of her own, and Hurricane Heather toed the line solo. With a 4-2 advantage, Hurricane Heather rode that powerjam for 23 points and an 85-63 lead which led to halftime.
The physical play continued after the break with a couple penalties right off and the Shocker stretched the lead up to 16 with an 8-4 powerjam win. The Crippler kept up the pressure, forcing a wedge for Hurricane Heather to score 10 in the early part of the next jam but penalties to Friction VixXxen and J-Bomb opened up the pack for Queefer Sutherland to answer with 7. Sweet Mary Pain’s 9 and Lola Blow’s 4 on a powerjam cut the lead to 107 Steel City, 88 Outfit on a powerjam with 20 minutes to go.
But Chicago’s no-packs hurt them as Mean Burrito sprinted past and the Shocker juked around the starting 3-walls to get 7 unanswered points back. Then Mean Burrito opened up the biggest lead of the bout, scoring 14 on a powerjam which featured several suddenly stopped packs through which the spry Steel Hurtin’ jammer needed some quick thinking and quicker feet. With a quarter of the bout remaining, Pittsburgh led by 40, 128-88.
Still in a powerjam, the Shocker played caboose to Athena’s freight train in a set play to get through the pack. Athena then cleared house in the back for the Shocker’s scoring pass for 9 more points padding the lead. With 10 minutes remaining, Smashley Destructo and Gaygan led a punishing defense which exhausted the Shocker as Lola Blow skated through a light pack to get 15 back and narrow the lead to 33 points and a glimmer of hope.
But as they did throughout the night, Steel Hurtin’ avoided the devastating single jam which had hurt them in previous bouts by keeping their heads and sticking to a game plan. Hurricane Heather battled Gaygan to capture lead while damage dahl took down Sweet Mary Pain, who then went to the box. Hurricane Heather, with a powerjamming head of steam, sped towards a solid Outfit back wall when she wisely came to a stop before possibly making contact and getting called for a back block of her own. Experience kept her patient which was rewarded with 13 points as Athena and damage dahl eventually goated Margles McNasty to free her and seal the victory for the last 6 minutes. The final, 167-114 Steel Hurtin’.
Earlier in the evening, the Blitzburgh Bombers took on the Chicago Syndicate Shade Brigade. The Steel City “B” team also found itself in a tight battle. The Bombers led the defensive affair at halftime, 55-30. But with 20 minutes to go, the Shade Brigade had narrowed to within 2 at 59-57. Blitzburgh responded with the largest scoring jams of the bout and eventually won 118-71.