DES MOINES, IA–Omaha got the better of DC in the closest and most controversial playoff fight so far; DC thought they’d taken a two-point win at 179-177, but an OTO after the final whistles saw five more points go up for Omaha and break DC hearts.
There was no hint of the tears to follow at the start of day two. Omaha’s Ima Firestarter was dancing on the sidelines and the team had a cheering section that was surprisingly raucous given the 10am start time.
Jersey Jill scored first for DC, before Frightmare added 9 points in the jam two as Skateaway Fae got held up in the pack. Rady Ruck put Omaha on the board next time out though, leaving things at 11-4.
A few jams later, both Midlife Crashes and Jersey Jill were having trouble in the pack when Crashes picked up a track cut. The Daisy Mayhem / Sharon Misery combo did continue to cause Jill some trouble–but not much. She put up 20 and called it with Crashes standing.
Skater: Jams / Lead / Points
Midlife Crashes: 13 / 1 / 70
Rady Ruck: 12 / 3 / 41
Mae Kit Rain: 12 / 3 / 39
Skateaway Fae: 12 / 2 / 32
Lenore Gore: 10 / 5 / 59
Jersey Jill: 17 / 8 / 58
Frightmare: 14 / 8 / 34
Sharp Shredder: 5 / 2 / 18
Dual Hitizen: 3 / 2 / 10
Full stats courtesy of WFTDA.
When Lenore got sucked back into the pack after a lead call and Ruck got out to force the call-off, that Omaha cheering section came to life, and the team responded. Skateaway Fae, Lady Ruck and Mae Kit Rain each grabbed a handful of points as the intensity increased, with Omaha’s hunger for the win evident in almost every hit.
A Jersey Jill back-block gave Omaha a power jam and further enlivened the crowd–and despite Ridinâ€™ Dirty, Bruisehilda, Velocityraptor and Dual Hitizen limiting the damage as the penalty ran down, with DC’s packs looking noticeably more together than in previous games, Crashes made it a one-point game with Omaha trailing 43-42.
Dual Hitizen’s first turn with the star extended the lead a little before Dâ€™naille Inya Coffin did a number on Frightmare to let Skateaway Faye make the most of a lead call–and that effected the game’s first lead change, with Omaha now leading 58-54.
The teams traded jammer penalties as the game stayed within a pass-worth of points before Omaha started to struggle again, failing to get lead calls and getting penalties as they pushed harder. With a DC pack advantage, Lenore jumped through for a quick lead as Bruisehilda and Hitizen went to work on Mae Kit Rain as Lenore put up ten quick points, and rubbed it in with an apex jump for fifteen as Mae tried to play defence and a final three to make the jam 18-0 before Mae forced the call with DC leading 97-68.
Shredder got the better of Crashes in her first jam since taking a hit to the face earlier and she left DC leading 106-68 when the much-needed interval came.
While DC started the second period strongly, Omaha slowly but surely began to narrow the gap as DC’s blockers filled the box. DC began to play with as much of an eye on the clock as the scoreboard from early on in the second period, quieting the Omaha crowd with clock-management plays and conservative calls.
Omaha nickle-and-dimed as DC tried to hang on, and with three minutes remaining the gap was suddenly in single digits–DC led 166-158.
In the second to last jam, with only one blocker in support, DC’s Frightmare struggled. She passed the star to Badass Maggie in an effort to salvage things but Maggie took a big fall almost immediately, and the jam was whistled dead for injury with Omaha scoring–and finally leading, 173-171.
Maggie returned to her bench and Skateaway Faye lined up against Dual Hitizen for the last jam. It was a small pack with 3 Omaha blockers to DCâ€™s 2. Dual snuck up the inside line for lead and the pack started racing. Dual got one pass and Faye followed, but Dual kept going, hitting the pack and calling the jam as Faye entered.The crowd couldn’t see clearly what points were signalled and everyone looked at the scoreboard anxiously, waiting for the update. It ticked up to 179-177, with DC leading.
DC huddled. Omaha looked disappointed, hopefully waving fingers at the scoreboard as the refs and NSO reviewed the paperwork. Their mental powers seemed to work as one point ticked up for Omaha–179-178. DC dared to dream.
But it wasn’t to be; in the final reckoning, moments later, four more went up for Omaha–and they took the win, 182-179, courtesy of missed points from the penultimate jam.