Adapted with permission from SouthCentralDerbyNews.com.
At ECDX’s final day, two teams who have never met before, and who were both 1-0 met. While both wanted to go home 2-0, only one would have the honor. The Tampa Bay Derby Darlins (7SC) came in as the underdog against the Boston Massacre (4E), and only just won their first ECDX game the prior day.
The whole game saw two well disciplined defensive teams scoring minimal points in fast jams, over 50 altogether. There were hardly any power jams to be seen, and the walls of both Tampa and Boston dominated the track, leaving the score at just Tampa 41 – Boston 31 at half time. The second half progressed much the same, except Boston held a marginal lead until the last few minutes. Tampa Bay rallied and managed to pull a 86-80 win.
This game started like many games at ECDX did, with players kneeling on the track. Boston lead the way with this new strategy throughout much of the game. Tampa’s Little A to sailed through the pack on the first jam to lead before the first turn, with Boston’s Claire D. Way a few strides behind her, points at 1-1. Next up Tampa’s Barbie Bont, a former Roller Jam skater, pick up 5 points as Boston’s jammer was erroneously pulled for a major. Though she was sent right back out, those few points meant a lot in this tight of a game.
Another slow start by Boston allowed Robot Unicorn Attack to take the lead, but fast packs forced a call at 0-0. Next up Little A took lead for Tampa, while blockers Leia Flat and Sasha Haughtbich formed an often seen two wall. After six jams Tampa’s Ram em Noodle took lead, and the score was only at Tampa Bay 5 – Boston 7. Boston’s Claire D. Way picked up a matched 2 points by Tampa, followed by a lead by Tampa’s Barbie Bont tying it up at 11-11.
After 10 minutes the score was still incredibly close, and amazing defensive play like Boston’s Lois Common Denominator holding Tampa’s jammer for a whole lap only produced a single point. Robot Unicorn Attack and Little A faced off and went 0-0; but a follow up by Barbie Bont expanded Tampa’s lead by one more point to 15 – 13 despite Boston’s lightning fast 3 wall. Just after 15 minutes Tampa’s Little A squared off against Robot Unicorn Attack, and picked up 10 points due to Tampa’s solid three wall and recycling holding Boston’s jammer the whole time. This was immediately followed up by Tampa’s Flirtin’ with Disaster taking a 4-0 jam, to leave it at Tampa 29 – Boston 13.
Points slowly creeped up for both teams through the rest of the first half; Boston’s Claire D. Way took 4, and it was supplemented by Lady Shatterly tacking on another 1 more, and finally Claire D. Way’s own 4 points put the score at 29 Tampa – 22 Boston. Little A and Sugar Hits went 1-1, and then a quick Boston lead by Claire D. Way gave them 1-0.
Boston continued taking the lead and closing the gap by 1 and 2 point jams, though fast packs and clean play prevented any blow out power jams. Little A rode a Boston wall out past 20 feet to snag lead and 3-0 points, leaving the score at Tampa 35 – Boston 27. The next two jams saw both teams go 0-0, before Tampa’s Barbie Bont took the lead while Lady Shatterly was stuck in a wall. The jam ended with 2-4 Boston. Last jam of the half saw Tampa’s Flirtin with Disaster take 4-0 points right through the middle of the pack, to end things at Tampa 41 – Boston 31.
The second half saw both team starting down blockers, and though Tampa’s Little A took the lead, Claire D. Way managed to steal 4 points. The first power jam of the evening saw Tampa’s Barbie Bont go to the box letting Boston pick up 13 points to Tampa’s 4, giving Boston the lead for the first time in the game, 48-45. Both teams picked up 4 each next line up, and then Boston’s Claire D. Way took 4 more to her bench next jam, followed by Sugar Hits taking 1-0. Ram em Noodle gave Tampa 3 points, and the next jam was 0-0. A quick kneeling start with solid walls let Tampa’s Barbie Bont take the lead and 3-2, leaving us at Tampa 55 – Boston 59 after almost 10 minutes.
Tampa’s Flirtin with Disaster got stuck in a serious Boston wall while they took the lead racking up 9 points before calling it off, and then Boston picking up 1 more next jam. Barbie Bont leapt the apex for the lead, and the start of Tampa’s climb back on top to take points 4-0, only for Boston to reply with their own 4 next jam. Little A replied with 4 points back for Tampa on the next line up, and Barbie Bont leapt across that apex again for 3 points to put the score at Tampa 66 – Boston 73. The next jam saw both jammers engage and take down each other off the line, but going 1-1.
With less than 10 minutes left in the game Little A lined up against Ivana Shankabitch. Shank took the lead and bled off nearly a minute of time with fast packs and jammer action, leading to 0-0 points. Barbie Bont and Claire D. Way went head to head for 0-0, but then a full two minute power jam saw Tampa only pick up 5 points due to incredibly fast pack control by Boston, and Little A picking up 1 more point in the next jam to leave the score at an incredibly close Tampa 73 – Boston 74.
With less than 5 minutes left, Tampa’s Sasha Haughtbich leaped the apex to go 4-0 on points and retake the lead for Tampa, but Claire D. Way took her own 3-1 jam next to leave things still at one point difference, Tampa 78 – Boston 77. The second to last jam saw Little A take a fast lead while Ivana Shankabitch was held by a solid Tampa 3 wall. Tampa tried to draw things out as long as possible, and the jam ended 6-3 in Tampa’s favor. A time out forced one last jam which saw Barbie Bont take lead for Tampa and call it off just as the game ended, Tampa winning 86-80.