The finale to the Derby Ink Invitational was the matchup everyone in the building was hoping to see: The star power of the Derby Mercs against a Shove City team that had some power players of their own. It was apparent from the first whistle that both of these teams wanted it, and both were capable of getting itâ€”and boy, did they go after it.
Shove City drew first blood on a 2-0 by Ed McMahon, with the Mercsâ€™ B.Stang returning serve two jams later with a 3-0. After a neutral jam, Quadzilla broke out with Bruise Springsteen pivoting after him from a half-lap behind, but Quad spent a bit too long going for the last point in the pack, allowing Bruise to sneak in under the gun with an apex jump at the rear to steal 2 points back. This put the early 1st quarter score at 8-5 Derby Mercs.
During the next jam, confusion reigned as infield personnel started pointing at a seemingly empty turn 3 as the pack began to roll back around to turn 1. The jam was called off once the officials realized why: Short Bus had been hit out of the track, slipping under the rail so quickly that many didnâ€™t realize it until he popped back up to his skates after taking a moment to regather himself. He was okay and ready to resume play.
After the disappearing act by the Derby Mercs, Shove City began one of their own via the penalty box. Due to a 2-minute too many men on the track penalty and a lot of contact fouls around it, Shove City surrendered a 22-1 run, with almost half of those points coming from the penalty box. The only thing able to stop the Derby Mercs from scoring more was the 1st quarter break, where they found themselves ahead 30-6.
Shove opened the 2nd with better play, stealing a 2-1 jam win from the Mercs with smart pivoting by Ed McMayhem and a spectacular inside spin by Rollomite to pick up a 3-0. But Shoveâ€™s penalty troubles came back to hit them, and hit them hard. A full box gave the Mercs 7 points in two jams, and a jammer penalty in the next jam let Magnum P.I.M.P. go on a 20-0 rampage to break the game open for the Mercs. Shove City lost The Hammer Jammer to a foul out and lost the quarter, suddenly finding themselves down 79-20 at halftime.
As the 2nd half unfolded, the Derby Mercs seemed to be in control of proceedingsâ€”though Shove City had a few things to say about that. After the Mercs opened with a B.Stang 9-4, Rollomite and Ed McMayhem took 6 points back to temporarily take the lead for the quarter. Ed also scored in the other two jams of the period, including a clear 2-0 win from the pivot position.
But the score was going against Shove City more than it was going for them, and when Ed was ejected at the end of the 3rd for use of abusive language, their pivot/jammer rotation began to fall apart. The last score for Shove was a 4-0 early in the 4th by Rollomite, who landed them with a big apex jump and his buddy Quadzilla hot on his tail.
Quad sealed the deal with a late 14-0 jam win, and a few minutes later, the Derby Mercs found themselves winning the menâ€™s division of the Derby Ink Invitational, defeating Shove City 147-41. The Mercs were awarded the winnersâ€™ check of $8,000, while the Philadelphia men took home a well-earned $2,000 runners-up prize.