In the debut bout for the Baltimore’s men’s team, the Harm City Homicide gave Pioneer Valley’s Dirty Dozen a first-half scare before succumbing to endurance and penalty trouble in the final ten minutes, 100 to 67. Both teams came into the bout fielding a short roster of nine skaters.
Man Rayge and Sin Diesel of the Homicide warm up before the bout. Photo credit: Cynical Scribe
The 40 minute bout kicked off with Homicide captain Virginia Slim picking up a grand slam on the Dirty Dozen captain Dr. Spankenstein, but with Spankenstein holding lead jammer status, he was able to get 4 of his own to start the bout off at Homicide 5, Dirty Dozen 4. It was a scenario that would repeat throughout the half, with the stronger Dirty Dozen jammers almost always getting through first to claim lead jammer, but the nimbler Homicide jammers often sneaking ahead on subsequent laps. On a brutal full-length Jam 5, the first of the bout where the Dirty Dozen did not get lead jammer, Homicide’s co-captain Justice Feelgood Marshall pulled 6 points to Dr. Spankenstein’s 3, putting the Homicide up 18 to 12. Virginia Slim would extend the lead to 21-12 a couple of jams later with a 3-0 over Hellfire, but the Homicide ran into a spot of trouble with about 4 minutes to go in the half, when Dr. Spankenstein tore through a tiring Homicide defense on a power play, putting up an 11-0 jam for the home team that gave the Dirty Dozen their first lead of the bout at 26-24. Harm City finished the half strong, though, with Virginia Slim bursting out of the penalty box on the subsequent jam to nab lead jammer status in a 1-0 jam over Bazooka Joe, and with Joe in the penalty box to start the last jam of the period, Justice Feelgood Marshall was able to put up a 5-0 to send the teams to the locker rooms with the score Homicide 30, Dirty Dozen 26.
Harm City started off the second half with strong back-to-back wins — a 12-8 for Justice Feelgood Marshall over Hellfire and a 5-2 for Carpe Demon over Davy Jones — that gave the Homicide their biggest lead of the bout at 47-36. On the third jam of the period, though, there was a huge momentum swing in favor of the home team when Dr. Spankenstein again ripped though the Homicide’s defense, going through for 4 scoring laps in a jaw-dropping 19-2 jam over VIrginia Slim that put the home team back in front, 55-49. Slim would get a measure of revenge a couple of jams later, though, running up a 6-0 jam over The Rev that got the Homicide back to within just one point, putting the score at Pioneer Valley 62, Harm City 61 with about 10 minutes left in the half.
Harm City Homicide pivot Sex Ed jockeys for position with Dirty Dozen pivot Bazooka Joe. Photo credit: Cynical Scribe
Right about then, though, was when the Homicide suffered a crushing run of shorthanded jams that put the game solidly in the home team’s hands. It started inauspiciously enough, with The Rev winning a close 2-1 jam over Yosemite Slam, but Slam went into the penalty box near the end of the jam, and Hellfire put up a very quick 5-0 on the subsequent jam, calling the jam off before Slam’s penalty was over and giving the Dirty Dozen another chance to start with their jammer unopposed. With the score Dirty Dozen 69, Homicide 62 and about 8 minutes to play, the Dirty Dozen put out their most dangerous weapon, bringing Dr. Spankenstein back to the line, and once again he went for big points, with most of the Homicide blockers clearly exhausted. Slam finally got out of the penalty box during this jam, but nonstop hammering from the Dirty Dozen blockers caused him to pick up a fresh 4 minors before getting through the pack, sending him back to the penalty box. At the end of that 2 minute jam, Spankenstein had put up a back-breaking 16-0 jam, and on top of that Hellfire was able to drop another unopposed 5-0 before Yosemite Slam got back out of the box, finally claimed lead jammer and ended a brutal series for the visitors. In those 4 jams, the Dirty Dozen had gone on a 28-1 run, putting the score at Dirty Dozen 90, Homicide 62. With only 4 minutes left on the clock, there wouldn’t be any time for Homicide to attempt to recover. The final score was Dirty Dozen 100, Harm City Homicide 67.
Pioneer Valley’s Dr. Spankenstein ruled nearly all jammer stat categories, putting up an amazing 53 points in just 6 jams, notching 8.8 points per jam and running up a jammer point differential of +40. Meanwhile, Justice Feelgood Marshall led the scoring for Harm City, ringing up 42 points on 8 jams. Pioneer Valley’s Hellfire was most successful in attaining lead jammer status, getting it on 4 of his 6 jams for a 66%. The Dirty Dozen picked up 58 minors and 4 majors, while the Homicide was charged with 52 minors and 2 majors. Pioneer Valley controlled the lead jammer battle, taking it on 13 jams against just 4 for the Homicide. In the 22 jams of the bout, there were 5 with no lead jammer.
Pioneer Valley’s victory puts them at 1-1 in 40 minute bouts, with a loss to the New York Shock Exchange in May. Harm City Homicide makes their home debut on Sunday, October 14th in Baltimore, when they face off in a 20 minute halftime exhibition bout against the Shock Exchange during the Charm City Roller Girls’ championship doubleheader.
(Note: this game was played as part of a doubleheader with Pioneer Valley’s female team, Western Mass Destruction, going up against a Northeast combination team of Connecticut Rollergirls, Gotham Girls Roller Derby, Charm City Roller Girls and Suburbia Roller Derby playing as the Tri-Skate Collision Coalition. The Collision Coalition held a big 51-11 lead after the first half, but WMD came back strong in the second half, narrowing the score to as close as 59-40 before the Collision Coalition regained their rhythm and held on to win, 74-55. Your humble reporter feels bad for not giving that one a full recap treatment, but saw very little of it due to strategizing between halves and recovering afterwards.)