The first menâ€™s semifinal of the Derby Ink Invitational saw Shove City of Philadelphia take on Harm City from Baltimore. Shove wasted no time defending their home track, jumping out to a fast 16-2 lead after Ed McMayhem, Rollomite, and Bruise Springsteen won the first four jams of the game.
Harm wasnâ€™t going to let them pull away so easily, coming back in a tough set of jams. Gearhead pulled out a skin-of-his-teeth 2-0 that saw him hit the deck hard. Losing the next jam 1-3, Harmâ€™s Ogden Smash came back to win a 3-0, which almost turned into a jam loss after he was checked hard into the rail and barely got back to his skates in time to call it off.
Over the next four jams, both teams held each other to only 6 points, putting the score at 25-14 with 8 minutes left in the first half. The jam-cancelling continued over the next four jams, with neither team able to make a lasting impression on the points differential, even despite a spectacular 4-point Shove City apex jump by Ed McMayhemâ€”Harm stole 2 points by the time he landed it.
With under four minutes left, Harm Cityâ€™s Sin Diesel went down in turn 2, with the entire Harm City bench up in arms over an apparent elbow to the face by Shoveâ€™s Lt. Bully. No call was made by the referees, and Sin Diesel was ejected for arguing the point. Shove City took advantage of this when play resumed, picking up 8 points with none lost to put the halftime score at 39-20 in their favor.
More Shove City points hit the board early in the second half, with their jammer rotation scoring in six straight jams, good for a 21-6 differential. With the score standing at 60-27 after six minutes, the next six minutes saw a curious sequence of no points being scored by either team. Harm City could keep a strong pivot defense up, leading to quick call-offs after their jammer broke off. There were also jams where both jammer made it into scoring position, but stiff rear blocking ended the jam.
When passing points hit the board again, it was a 1-1 jam washout between Bruise Springsteen and Truth Hurtz. Perhaps starting to feel the pressures of the ticking clock on a subsequent jam, Truth picked up lead and 2 points but pushed a little too far into the pack to grab for more, calling it off too late to prevent Shove City from stealing 3 points from behind.
At 64-30 with 5 minutes left, a grand slam by Ed McMayhem all but sealed the deal, and with Harm City not winning a jam for the rest of the game, the final whistle made it official. Shove City took the victory over Harm City, 82-34, advancing them into the menâ€™s final later this evening against the Derby Mercs/Hooligans winner.