Track Queens: Berlin Survives Gent, 167-139

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BERLIN, GERMANY — A raucous full-house were present to see the final quarter-final of Track Queens: Battle Royal–tournament hosts and second seeds Bear City Roller Derby’s Berlin Bombshells against tenth seed Go-Go Gent Roller Girls, fresh from their upset of Leeds earlier in the day. Berlin had a lead as high as 72 in the second half, but Gent tied it up in the closing minutes only for a heartbreaking jammer penalty with seconds remaining to kill their chances of a famous upset–and a 24-point powerjam meant Berlin escaped 167-139 winners.

Berlin had pushed into a 16-0 lead when Gent got their first lead call of the night to make it 16-4. Olga Volt got points for Gent in the next jam too, but on the wrong end of 9-3 with Master Blaster. Double U Jay made it three scoring jams in a row as she was on the wrong end of a 4-2 with Kata Pulta to make it 30-9 with nine minutes gone.

Jammer musical chairs followed between Berlin’s Meow and Gent’s Dame Edna Haemorrhage. Gent came off the better, finishing the jam 35-19 behind with both jammers boxed but the Gent jammer standing. She called it after a single grand slam next time out as Meow was released and Berlin’s blockers filled the box.

Berlin kept at least two in the box for much of the next four jams as Gent nibbled into their lead–successive 4-0 jams for the Belgians cut the Berlin lead to three before they finally emptied their box with 13 minutes left in the period.

A low block major on Gent’s Double U Jay ended the Gent rally, though as Meow and Blaster put them to the sword across two jams to to make it 58-33 in Berlin’s favour.

The next few jams saw Gent maintain the gap until another jammer penalty–a low block on Guts’N Glory–gave Apocalypse Meow the opportunity to push the Bombshells into a 46 point lead. Master Blaster finished off the powerjam; when it was done Berlin led 95-39 with a little over a minute left in the period. The final jam ended scoreless, leaving Berln with a 56-point cushion at the half.

16 unanswered points across the first eightminutes of the first half made that lead 72 before Apocalypse Meow was boxed, and Haemorrhage–formerly of Australia’s Perth Roller Derby– put up a 24-0 to make it 111-63 with 21:19 left.

Two jams later a major forearm for Olga Volt let Master Blaster edge Berlin closer to safety with a 24-0 jam before Meow backblocked her way to the box just as Volt was re-entering in the next jam. That meant Volt could put up a 24-0 of her own, leaving the score at 135-87 with fifteen minutes left.

Haemorrhage and Jay put up successive 4-0 jams as Berlin’s minors caught up with them to cut the Berlin lead to 40.

Pocket and PussyPit traded 4-0 jams to keep the gap at 40 before Master Blaster was boxed on a high block, and Double U Jay received some great offensive help from Whammy to make it a 25-point game as she called it with Master Blaster standing in the box.

Martacus got a quick lead and an easy four to make that gap 21 with six minutes remaining. A 4-0 for PussyPit made it 19 with Berlin hitting more penalty problems–and those problems were compounded when Master Blaster picked up a major cut.

Haemorrhage bought Gent to within 4–and would have taken the lead had it not been for Catherine Beat-Her-Bones and Agent B Fatale. That gap remained as the game entered its final jam, though the scores were briefly tied as both teams traded points in the penultimate jam. In the very last jam and with seconds left on the clock, Martacus was boxed for Gent shortly after Apocalypse Meow got lead, though–and Meow closed the bout out with Berlin escaping 167-139 winners.

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