by Mark Sprain
Grave Danger jammers took the lead for the first five jams of their Rat City Rollergirls bout against the Throttle Rockets last Saturday, March 28, at the Rat’s Nest.
Shock Therapy (#1400v) scored the only eight points the TRs managed in that space. At that point the score was low, 15-8, the action was high, the stakes even higher.
Both teams have serious goals as the season nears its close. Both skated with a tinge of desperation, a ton of determination.
You can sometimes score points by getting past Throttle Rockets blocker Parker Eye Out (070) but it’s not the recommended way to spend a quiet evening as Grave Danger jammer J Killa learned here. Photo by Bob Ayers.
Grave Danger is looking at two upcoming matches to cap its season. A win over TRs, which they got 232-201, would put their record at 3-2. With two likely upcoming bouts against undefeated Derby Liberation Front (5-0) two more wins would tie them for the league lead.
Throttle Rockets, 2-2, were just looking to get above the .500 mark.
Grave Danger held the lead most of the first half, falling behind midway through and again at the close. They trailed once at 66-60 when TR jammer Xena (#5) following an opening block by Liberty Bell Ringer (#76) broke out for her first pass on the way to 22 points. One jam later both teams answered the whistle with three skaters on the track, two in the penalty box. TR jammer Missile America (#321), an aggressive, take-no-prisoners bulk of beat-down (she would eventually foul out of the bout) was sent off the track for a low block. Danger had the brief advantage of a 3-2 power jam but, 3-2, 3-3 or 5-5, Danger jammer StunHer (#316) had the additional advantage of bone-crunching blocks being thrown ahead of her by teammates Trouble Dutch (#2468), Rodger That (#789) and Cat-a-ma-ram (#10). She passed for 29 points and it was 89-69.
It got much closer as the end of the half approached. Danger jammers Daisy Duke’m (#909), J Killa (#425) and Nehi Nightmare (#48) muscled for 18 points over the final six jams, Nightmare was delayed in one by the applied recycling of TR pivot Missile America before she had a chance to do her own magic. Approaching blocker Ella Whirled (#47) Nehi slowed, looked right and coasted until Ella took the bait. That tenth of a second move in the wrong direction is all it takes and, while Ella squared quickly to recover her blocking lane, it was too late. Nehi Nightmare has after-burners. Ella Whirled got singed.
Fourteen points picked up by Shock Therapy brought the TRs back to within two, 107-105. Shock is a fast and agile skater, but will readily engage brute force if needed. Danger blockers Keri Watson (#39) and Ponyo Knees (#81), moving to block the speeding Shock, were instead treated like peanut butter as Shock spread them on the track while scoring five of those 14 points.
Xena took a quick lead in the next jam, tallied four points and called it. TRs were ahead 109-107 as the half ended.
It wasn’t the same Grave Danger team for the first five jams of the second half. A series of forearm, back blocking and cutting calls saw them starting three of those jams on the wrong end of the power ratio. In each it was two versus five when the whistle blew. After six minutes the Throttle Rockets were ahead 146-107.
Ethel Vermin scored 68 points for the Throttle Rockets in their bout last Saturday night against Grave Danger. Hard earned here as she struggles to get past Danger pivot StunHer and blockers Rodger That and Muffstache. Photo by Bob Ayers.
Penalties bothered both teams, though in the end it seemed to balance as Danger was whistled 37 times, TRs, 42.
Leading 165-154 as they entered jam 14 Throttle Rockets struggled through a power jam in the Danger’s favor, 5-2. Nehi Nightmare had little resistance on her way to scoring 18 points. Blocking began to collapse for the TRs while Grave Danger threw zeros at them behind solid line play by Tempura Tantrum (#99), Dee Cap Attack (#-1) and Muffstache (#17). The only bright spot for TRs came when jammer Ethel Vermin (#77) exploded for 20 in jam 20, closing the gap to 209-194. Nehi Nightmare and StunHer answered with runs of 9 and 14 and it was a win for the team that calls itself “Your Worst Nightmare”, 232-201.
The Throttle Rockets selected Nehi Nightmare as their Most Valuable Opponent. Nehi led all scorers with 89 points. StunHer had 73, J Killa, 36, Daisy Duke’m, 20 and Tempura Tantrum, 13.
Ella Whirled was chosen by Grave Danger as their Most Valuable Opponent. Throttle Rockets scoring was led by Ethel Vermin with 68. She was followed closely by Xena at 63. Shock Therapy had 58, Missile America, 8, and Ella Whirled, 4.