BALLWIN, MO — When New York and Portland first met five months ago at Spring Roll, the NYSE rolled to a comfortable win at 270-82. In Saturday afternoon’s meeting in a MRDA championship-tournament quarterfinal, Portland put up something of a tougher fight that included a impressive 51-4 comeback run in the second half — but once again, it was New York getting out with a solid triple-digit win, 226-103.
New York’s win sets up a rubber match with St. Louis in the 11am Sunday semifinal — the teams have split their season series so far. Portland heads to the consolation round against Mass Malestrom at 5pm.
After the high-speed, hard-hitting brutality of the MRDA tournament’s opening two bouts, the Portland / New York game started out looking much more like WFTDA-style derby, with very slow scrum starts and plenty of anchoring. Portland took the first four lead jammer calls but could only translate those frames into a 11-0 advantage over five minutes.
NYSE erased all of that on the fifth jam as their blockers Abe Drinkin, Harm’s Way and Shoots and Splatters severely banged up Twin Cities transfer Bustin Morenose, who gamely rose to his feet multiple times before the jam was finally called on injury — but not before Jonathan R had rolled up 25-0 on multiple untouched passes. That made it 25-11, and the game’s first power jam was in NYSE’s favor next, leaving it 40-11 going into an official timeout with 20:25 left in the first half.
Portland did a solid job of surviving a rough patch of back to back 4-2 packs favoring NYSE, as New York could only take 4-0 out of each. With the penalty boxes empty and the score 48-14, Portland’s Don Juan the Deviskater took lead but barely cut track on the end of what was shaping up to be a 4-0 response; instead, New York got another huge power jam to Ladies Knight. That 23-0 made it 71-14, and a game that started out looking promising for Portland was quickly turning into a rout.
New York managed to keep Portland frozen at 14 points for approximately ten minutes — when Don Juan the Deviskater managed to steal 3-0 in a bang-bang call off against Jonathan R, the score was 93-17 favoring NYSE with 7:45 in the half.
Facing a 4-2 pack disadvantage there, NYSE called their first timeout — and successfully so, with solid blocking from Ace of Skates helping force back to back 0-0 jams that ended with NYSE getting out of the penalty hole. The score still stood at 93-17 with 5:20 in the half, and New York followed up that with excellent jammer defense to kill more blocker penalty time as Jonathan R carefully worked Don Juan the Deviskater back into the the pack from nearly half the track length away.
That jam pushed NYSE’s total into triple digits at 109-17; on the final, full-length jam of the half, their lead hit triple digits as well at 135-29.
Once again, Portland started the half strong, taking lead on the first six jams of the half and getting considerably more offense going with the help of two New York jammer penalties and a series of very light 2-2 packs. That moved the scoreboard to 139-67 and had New York looking a little off balance.
On a grueling full-length jam with 22 minutes left on the clock, Bustin Morenose battled his way past tough blocking from Jonathan R while the Portland crew battered NYSE jammer Sammy Dangerfield into a star pass to Ladies Knight — that shrank the gap even further to 139-80.
However, that jam ended in much confusion as Sammy ended up boxed as jammer due to an illegal star pass and Bustin was in on a back block, and that was the end of Portland’s big run. After a lengthy official timeout, the followup began with both jammers starting from the box but Sammy scooped 17-0 to blunt much of Portland’s momentum. It was 155-80 with 18 minutes to play.
That one got followed up by a rare and crowd-pleasing turn with the star by Bane-ana, who used some impressive footwork to run up a 14-0 power jam of his own, putting it at 169-80 with approximately a quarter of game time left.
New York continued to put out some of their second-string jammers, giving time to Shoots and Splatters and Abe Drinkin with the star, but with their defense game getting locked in, they finally got all of their halftime lead back with about 5:30 left to play at 197-90. Portland would not score again until the final jam of the game, managing to get over 100 points on a final score of 226-103.