Skate Odyssey: Berlin Buries Gent, 236-119

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GENT, BELGIUM–The last time these teams met, Gent nearly laid an upset on Berlin on their home track in the final bout of the first day of Track Queens: Battle Royal. There was to be no such drama this time–while Gent did take the lead on a couple of occasions in the first half, the Berlin Bombshells managed to do enough before halftime to effectively make the game safe. Bear City escaped the upset and secured their semifinal place, 236-119.

Gent’s Martacus took the first lead of the bout and the first points against Master Blaster–but when Resident Shevil put up the first grand slam of the bout in jam two, it was enough to push Berlin into the lead.

Master Blaster extended that lead after getting the better of Pussypit in a jam when both jammers hit the box on cut calls. Both jammers put up points too, with the biggest cheer of the day coming as Pussypit landed a huge apex jump for a scoring pass on her return from the box.

Fallwafal put up 25 unanswered points in when Master Blaster picked up her second cut in three jams to re-take the lead for Gent, 30-24. The Gent lead was 33-25 two jams later when Master Blaster got her third major in four trips out with the star–and with only two Berlin Bombshells left on the track Double U Jay made it 48-25 before being boxed herself for skating out of bounds in a bizarre incident in the infield. 15 points for Master Blaster was all Berlin got out of that powerjam–but two later she managed to do slightly better. Martacus was boxed on a cut and Blaster put up a 20-0 before calling it with Martacus standing.

The next few jams were a wash despite a run of lead calls for Berlin; Gent repeatedly stole points at the death. But the lead was nearly Gent’s again as Master Blaster got her fourth major inside the first 20 minutes–but Fallwafal picked up a backblock and a cut on the scoring pass that would have erased Berlin’s lead. Master Blaster’s fifth major swiftly followed as she cut her way to the box–but sat down for the briefest of moments, only serving to reduce Fallwafal’s penalty time.

Tequila Knockout made the Berlin lead 79-60 after lining up unopposed. Martacus picked up a high block after being sucked back into the hit by a lunging last-gasp hit from Lizzy Slaughter. Resident Shevil then put up 25 unanswered points to take Berlin to 104 with a little over five minutes left in the period.

Tequila Knockout and Master Blaster closed out the half on a high for Berlin with double-digit jams either side of a 4-0 for Gent’s Double U Jay–and with that, Berlin led 142-64 at the break.

The teams shared 9 points across the first seven jams of the second half as Berlin deliberately raced the packs and engaged jammer-on-jammer outside the engeagement zone to burn clock. That pattern continued until jam 14 of the half when Resident Shevil hit the box and gave Pussy Pit the chance put up the first double-digit jam of the period for either team. Pussy Pit only managed 4 before cutting her way to the box, though, and that left Gent 170-81 behind with 14:29 left on the clock. That was followed by a 19-0 jam for Master Blaster as Olga Volt was stuck in a full Berlin pack, having particular trouble with the diminutive Catherine Beat-Her-Bonez. Tequila Knockout continued that run when Martacus hit the box on a forearm call, and Gent’s blockers started to hit serious problems with contact and out-of-play penalties.

With the clock stopped at 10:00 for a Gent time-out and the scoreboard reading 203-81, it was becoming increasingly clear there would be no repeat of the last-jam drama from Track Queens. Gent wouldn’t lie down, but they just couldn’t keep enough skaters on the track to make a dent in the Berlin lead.

Jammer musical chair finished the bout with the jam and period clocks synchronised–and it fell to Pussy Pit and Master Blaster to skate out the bout’s final seconds. Blaster sent Pussy Pit to the box by forcing a cut–and closed out the bout 236-119 winners.

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