EUGENE, OR — In the first intraleague bout of Emerald Cityâ€™s season, the Flat Track Furies were looking to get back on track after going winless last season, while the Church of Sk8in were looking to march their way back to the championship after taking runner-up last season. Both teams had many new skaters in pivotal roles. In a very defensive-minded game that featured only two double-digit jams, the Church of Sk8in was able to get the final lead change and hold on tight for a 100-87 win.
The Furies came out looking strong. Boneyard Brawler (14 points for the bout), Terrin Skirtz (team leader with 35 points), and Medusa Harm (26 points) all picked up the lead jammer signal for the Furies in the first three jams and mounted an early 10-0 lead. Church was able to slice that lead to 10-8 with a pair of 4-0 jams from Betty Aim Fire (21 points) and Sick Town-transfer Jala Pain Yo (22 points). Once again, though, the Furies jammer trio picked up a lead jammer hat trick to extend the lead to 23-10 with eighteen minutes to go in the half.
Behind offensive blocking from captain Killin Sicilian, Pow Wow, and Bomb M. Erica, Church gained lead jammer status on the next six jams to take the lead, 38-29. 21 of those points came from veteran Joy Toy, who led all scorers with 36 points for the bout.
The Furies were able to grab the lead back over the final seven jams of the first half. Fury Frankie Facebreaker, jammer eater and one of the most intimidating skaters in derby, was able to single-handedly hold jammers at the front of the pack for laps at a time. This allowed her jamming teammates to snatch lead jammer seven-straight jams putting the halftime score at 54-44 Furies.
Tragedy struck on the first jam of the second half. Lead jammer Jala Pain Yo for Church was racing to catch up with rookie Fury jammer Tatty Munster. As she overtook Tatty, she delivered a legal hit that sent Tatty flying into the crash zone. The impact of her fall gave her a concussion. She attempted to get up but went back down and had to be carried off on a stretcher. She has since been released from the hospital and is doing okay.
Various Furies told me after the bout that seeing their teammate leave on a stretcher understandably took the wind out of their sails. Church of Sk8in was able to take a 66-60 lead ten minutes into the second half after Betty Aim Fire picked up a 9-0 jam, Churchâ€™s fourth jam in a row as lead jammer. At this point, Churchâ€™s bench was exuding confidence. Joy Toy picked up lead and posted three more points to extend Churchâ€™s lead to 69-60.
Medusa Harm, on the next jam, scored her own 3-0 jam for the Furies to pull within six. Joy Toy and Pow Wow were able to give Church their biggest lead as they outscored the Furies 14-0 on the next two jams to put the score at 83-63 with 15 minutes to go.
At this point, the Furies burned a time out to regroup. This seemed to calm them down as they picked up lead on the next five jams, yet their ability to capitalize on this was nominal due to the badgering blocking of Churchâ€™s Jala Pain Yo. The Furies were only able to cut the lead to 90-77. Jala, who led all skaters with an astounding 47 attacks on jammers (plus 12 assists to her jammers), was not content with just blocking though. On the next jam, she donned the star for a 4-0 jam to push the lead back up to seventeen. On the next two frames, Medusa Harm for the Furies and Pow Wow for Church exchanged 4-0 jams to keep the margin at seventeen. With three minutes to go, Terrin Skirtz was able to grab lead for the Furies but had Joy Toy hot on her tail. Joy Toy picked up two points to Skirtzâ€™s one to put the score at 100-82 going into the final jam.
Frankie Facebreaker took the jammer line for the Furies against Churchâ€™s Jala Pain Yo. Jala almost immediately picked up a major, giving Furies the power jam they needed if they hoped to win. But Church was able to keep the pack at a sufficient speed to keep from hemorrhaging points. In the end, Frankie was only able to score five points, and Church was victorious 100-87.
The Furies are now 0-1 for the season and next skate March 31st against an opponent yet to be determined. Churchâ€™s next match up is against the Andromedolls in an intraleague bout March 31st.