Providence Championship Bout: Mob Squad 82, Old Money Honeys 81

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Providence’s third championship bout proved to be one of the greatest nip-and-tuck derby bouts ever, with the Mob Squad and the 2006 PRD champions, the Old Money Honeys, trading comebacks and momentum shifts from the beginning of the first period to the final jam of the last. In the end, the bout was decided by just one point in the final instant of an intense and controversial last jam, with the Mob Squad claiming victory over the Old Money Honeys, 82 to 81.

Throughout a back-and-forth first period, neither team was able to establish more than a 5 point lead, with the Old Money Honeys riding strong jamming from Jailbait Jenny, Craisy Dukes and Cleo Patronize against a similarly effective combo of the Godmother, Baby Fighterfly and Dasilva Bullet battling for the Mob Squad. At the end of a first period that featured five lead changes, the Old Money Honeys were hanging onto an extremely slim lead at 30 to 28. While the Honeys lost the lead on the first jam of the second half on a 5-0 grand slam jam for the Mob Squad’s Dasilva Bullet over Craisy Dukes, the Honeys would get back in front on the third jam of the period when Dukes turned the tables on Bullet with a quick 4-0. That brought the score to Old Money Honeys 35, Mob Squad 34. That lead would stand for only a few more jams, but then, with the score Old Money Honeys 40, Mob Squad 36, the Mob Squad’s Dasilva Bullet dropped a crucial 9-0 jam on Craisy Dukes when Dukes took a mid-jam trip to the penalty box. It appeared for a little while as if that would be the turning point of the bout, as the Honeys stalled out at 40 points for three more jams while the Mob Squad built on their lead. With about 7 minutes left in the period, the Mob Squad was sitting on the biggest lead of the bout at 56-40. Though the Old Money Honey crew was definitely looking a bit fatigued at this point, they clearly sensed the game was dangerously close to slipping away, and got lead jammer three times in row to put together an inspired series of jams to close out the half — first, a 9-2 for Craisy Dukes over Rhode Kill, followed by a 3-0 for Cleo Patronize over Dasilva Bullet and finally a closely contested 2-2 between Mob Squad member Baby Fighterfly and Old Money Honey Craisy Dukes. The second period ended almost as close as the first, with the Mob Squad hanging onto a 60 to 54 lead over the Old Money Honeys.

For the first 12 minutes of the final period, the margin hung right around a nail-biting five points — while the Mob Squad would occasionally push it out to around 10 points, the Old Money Honeys would always come back with an answer that got them back to within striking distance. The strike finally came with about 8 minutes left to play, when the Mob Squad’s jammer The Godmother went to the penalty box during a jam against Bloody Cianci. Though clearly reaching the end of her endurance, Cianci reached deep to take advantage of her power play, running up a 7-0 jam over the Godmother that finally gave the Old Money Honeys back the lead at 75-70. Having spent the majority of that jam in the penalty box, though, the Godmother was fresh enough to score a quick 4-0 against Jailbird Jenny on the following jam, making it a one-point game at Old Money Honeys 75, Mob Squad 74. As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, the Mob Squad’s Dasilva Bullet picked up lead on the next jam but fell down in the process of passing the Honeys’ rearmost blocker, causing her to frantically call off the jam before Honeys jammer Cleo Patronize could reach the pack for her own scoring, and that knotted up the score at 75 with just about 4 minutes to play. The next jam went 3-1 for the Godmother over the reliable Craisy Dukes, giving the Mob Squad a narrow 78-76 lead with barely enough time for one last full jam.

Dasilva Bullet went to the jammer line for the Mob Squad against Cleo Patronize for the Old Money Honeys in front of a nearly hysterical audience to try and wrap up the win. Bullet managed to get through first and claim lead jammer, and it looked like the Mob Squad had the game in their pocket, but before Bullet could get around to start her scoring pass, she was sent to the penalty box. Cleo Patronize, realizing that victory was suddenly back within the Honey’s grasp, battled tenaciously against a relentless Mob Squad defense until she was finally able to break through the pack, picking up 5 points. The Mob Squad’s defense had held Cleo back for a long time, though, and almost immediately afterwards Dasilva Bullet’s minute in the penalty box was up. She burst out of the box and managed to battle her way through the Honeys for 4 points, but took a tumble as she broke the pack, and wildly motioned for the jam to be called off as she hit the deck. Although she was no longer actually lead jammer, having lost the status when sent to the penalty box, the period time had run out at the same moment — and the Mob Squad won an instant classic in the final moment, 82 to 81, becoming the 2007 Providence Roller Derby champions.

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