BERLIN, GERMANY–The first quarter-final of Track Queens: Battle Royale was fought between two British teams who knew each other quite well–Birmingham’s Central City Rollergirls and Edinburgh’s Auld Reekie Rollergirls. CCR had got the better of Auld Reekie in their last encounter, but it was Auld Reekie who took the win this time, 160-142.
62 of CCR’s 79 first-half points came in two powerjams, and masked what was a torrid first-half performance–but in the end Auld Reekie made their dominance count limiting CCR to one lead call in the last thirteen jams to hang on for the win. Auld Reekie started at a distinct number disadvantage with an 11-skater roster for the bout, but it was CCR who found themselves quite rapidly at a numerical disadvantage on the track as they ran into early penalty problems.
Successive lead calls and hit-and-quit 4-0 jams for the Scots gave them early lead before Ciderella put up an 8-0 over Agent Dana Scurry to give ARRG a 20-0 lead with four minutes gone, and trigger a CCR time-out.
Alma Geddon then laid the hits on Lethal Sizzle to ensure ARRG carried their momentum through the break to let Kaos Moss in for another 9-0 before Tinchy Slider got CCR’s first lead call of the bout after six minutes. But Slider couldn’t make it count despite having only two ARRG blockers to beat and she was forced into a call with the jam scoreless.
Cider hit Billie Whizz inside and out as ARRG extended the lead by three, but Viv La France stole three despite not getting lead next time out to finally break CCR’s egg. Kaos Moss backblocked her way to the box right off the jammer line for Auld Reekie in the next jam, though, and Tinchy Slider put up 22 unanswered points to make it 32-25.
Admiral Attackbar skipped through a light CCR pack as Lilo & Stiches tied up Scurry to stop Auld Reekie’s slide with a 9-0. Auld Reekie continued to control proceedings as they dictated the pace of the game and kept the scoreboard ticking over with a tidy if unspectacular 17-1 run. Then Scurry looked to have got the better of Kaos Moss in two-minuter–but that jam ended 9-8 in ARRG’s favour when Scurry picked up a penalty doing battle with Moss.
Lilo then showed off some deft footwork to get lead unopposed before riding a hit with an exquisite spin for her first scoring pass to make it 70-36, and she called it with Scurry standing. Admiral Attackbar started unopposed and got four–but more importantly managed to run precious seconds off the clock as she ran out of help from the ARRG blocking contingent.
Viv La France got a rare lead call for CCR as the period clock hit two minutes–and when Kaos Moss was boxed on a fourth minor after a cut she put up her second big jam of the bout as Auld Reekie filled their box to bursting. She tied the game up at 79-79 with under a minute to play with a 40-0.
A 4-0 for Admiral Attackbar restored the ARRG lead though, and they went into the break 83-79 in front.
Auld Reekie’s penalty problems continued into the second half as CCR picked up consecutive lead calls in the opening jams and tied it up again at 83 points apiece. ARRG managed to get back to full strength before conceding the lead, and a 2-0 for Attackbar restored the advantage. Scurry gave CCR their first lead in the next jam as she got a 3-0, but Crazylegs and Kaos Moss combined in the pack and allowed Attackbar back in with a 4-0 to make it 89-86 with five minutes gone in the period.
The next five minutes were a wash until Ciderella picked up a major cut to the outside of turn one and Scurry made up for some of her earlier misdemeanours to give CCR a bout-high 114-105 lead before being boxed on a major cut as the jam clock expired. Ciderella put up ten before calling it just as Scurry was released; Auld Reekie led 115-114 with 16 minutes to go. At that point ARRG’s eleven became ten as Crazylegs fouled out.
Germaine Leer then shared a 19-14 two minute jam with Lilo & Stiches to concede a little more ground to the Scots–but Alma Geddon was then expelled on a Gross Misconduct call, leaving Auld Reekie with nine skaters for the final 12:35 of the bout.
Despite a continuous numerical disadvantage on the track as well as on the bench, Auld Reekie continued to dominate lead jam calls, and managed to run the clock and stay in control with 13 points over the next six jams to stretch their lead to 147-128.
Billie Whizz got CCR’s first lead call in ten jams, but called it at 4-0 with Attackbar on her tail. Two jams later Kaos Moss and Skinner Alive controlled Lethal Sizzle for long enough for Lilo to make the lead 28 with a 10-0 at the two-minute warning. Stitches was boxed with less than fifteen seconds left in the bout after Billie Whizz had cleared the pack–but Ciderella, Mo B Quick and Velosidy combined to hold Billie up for long enough to make the game safe.
Auld Reekie won 160-142, booking their place in the seminfinal tomorrow, and setting up a potential rematch of the biggest blowout in WFTDA sanctioned history should London triumph over Helsinki at 6.30pm today.