Track Queens: Gent Shocks Leeds, 202-147

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BERLIN, GERMANY — The second bout of the day saw the 10-seeded Gent Go Go Roller Girls, the only Belgian team in the tournament, upset 7-seeded Leeds Roller Dolls and will get the chance to take on tournament hosts and second seeds Berlin in the final quarterfinal tonight.

For much of the first period it looked almost certain to go with seed as Leeds dominated lead jam calls and points scoring, but they threw away a 58-point lead with a second-half jammer-penalty inspired meltdown to lose 202-147.

Leeds edged the opening encounters, holding a 15-8 lead with eight minutes gone when the game sprang into life–Iola Roller was boxed after a natural grand slam, but was followed to the box by FallWafal on a major forearm call after she was passed the star during the first scoring pass of the powerjam.

The aftermath of that passage of play left Leeds with a 35-11 lead. They edged the next few jams too, controlling lead jam calls and keeping Gent off the scoreboard. At the halfway point in the period Olga Volt hit the box for Gent and Fuzzin Boots made the scoreboard a fairly accurate reflection of Leeds’ general dominance, with a 58-11 lead.

Cecee repeatedly made her presence felt in the Leeds packs as the Roller Dolls continued to dominate, managing to mostly shut down Gent’s scoring even when lead jam calls went against them.

Gent did finish the period on a high–a 7-0 for Olga Volt over a tiring Fuzzin Boots was their biggest jam of the bout so far, and left Leeds with an 82-31 lead at the half.

A 9-0 for Feral Fairy featuring a classy apex jump opened the second period’s scoring for Leeds, but when Cecee was boxed on a major forearm in jam two of the period, FallWafal had a chance to pull Gent back into contention but Ripunzel and Bruise ‘Em Banshee caused her some serious issues and limited her to 10-0 and kept the lead over 50.

Two jams later Feral Fairy cut her way to the box for Leeds and Gent had another chance to get back into it. PussyPit ducked, weaved and dodged her way through three Leeds blockers and did bring the Belgians right back into the game–with seven minutes gone in the second period the gap was down to 27, with Leeds holding a suddenly precarious 100-73 lead.

Another jammer penalty for Leeds saw Cecee go the box on a forearm, and Martacus shrugged off a 0-point pass midway through a 25-0 to cut that lead to two points with 21:09 on the clock.

Guts and Glory shared 8 points with Iola Roller next time out before cutting her way to the box–and that let her push Gent into a 127-104 lead.

At that point their packs started to gain cohesion and they began to hold consistently hold Leeds’ jammers from the whistle at the back of the pack, and actually put points on the board with the Leeds jammers on the track.

Martacus let Leeds back in though with a major forearm–Iola Roller cut the deficit to 142-124 before tangling with a downed Gent blocker and finding herself on her way to the box to release Martacus just as the jam expired.

Olga Volt then showed determination and great discipline to take the full Leeds pack apart after lining up unopposed and make the Gent lead 31 with 11:35 left to play.

The next two jams were a wash with four points apiece, but then FalWafal picked up a minor backblock and found herself on the way to the box on an accumulation of minors. Feral Fairy tustled with Gent’s Sandra Buttblock on the powerjam and came off worse–whn that jam expired Gent still led by 23.

Ripunzel looked to be having better luck with Gent’s blockers as she lined up to finish off the powerjam, but a major backblock call put paid to her hopes of bringing the game back. FelWafal patiently pushed her way through the pack on that powerjam, leaving Gent with a 174-141 lead with under five minutes left.

With just over two minutes on the clock Feral Fairy backblocked her way to the box for Leeds, and any hopes they had of preventing an upset were extinguished as she could only watch Guts’N Glory make the lead 49 in a full two-minute jam.

Martacus struggled for long enough for Feral Fairy to get out of the box in the final jam–but got lead regardless, and put up two scoring passes for good measure to leave Gent 202-147 winners.

Gent progress to a quarterfinal against Berlin at 8.30pm CET tonight; Leeds progress to the consolation bracket tomorrow.

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