TORONTO, ON — Two of the tournament’s nearest neighbours started off the action on day two. Ireland were hoping that they could continue the way they started in their demolition of Argentina on day one, while England were looking to start their campaign with a good win to bolster their ranking hopes for the next round. Ireland kept it close for the first half, but England pulled away in the second to solidly take the game 199-64.
The game was also another that saw players from the same home leagues going head to head — Ireland’s captain Sinister Mary Clarence and blocker Bad Faith both skate for London Rollergirls, along with more than half of Team England.
Juicy Luicy started with the star for England, against Ireland’s Zola Blood, and got lead jammer by turn two after a strong rugby start from the English. Juicy then dropped five points as Zola was stuck behind Raw Heidi at the front, and another fourteen as Zola was repeatedly recycled, but got boxed on a major back block. England then filled their box as the jam closed, leaving the teams five-on-two for the start of jam two. Ireland only managed to get five on the board before Juicy was released, but picked up another four before Juicy could complete her initial pass.
10 points for Rogue Runner restored England’s 19-point lead, but at the expense of penalties for the Dalai Harmer and Stefanie Mainey, leaving Ireland with another pack advantage. Missy Rascal grabbed lead despite the pack advantage, but neither team got points on the board as Missy Rascal was boxed — leaving England with only two blockers on the track again. Kamikaze Kitten then kept Ireland’s Jessica Rammit under control before Stefanie Mainey was sprung from the box and immeadiately forced Jessica into a major cut. Missy escaped and scored 10 points. Rogue then added 4 for England, leaving the scores at 49-9 with a little over ten minutes gone.
Another Ireland powerjam then saw them pull 10 points back as Juicy Lucy was boxed for a major back block — but Lucy managed to steal two at the death as she escaped. The next jam saw England’s Jack Attack boxed, but failing to enter properly, extending her penalty time. Good defence work by Kamikaze Kitten and Raw Heidi helped limit the damage to six points, leaving the score at 55-35 England with four minutes left in the half as England called a timeout in an attempt to stem their flow of penalties.
It didn’t work, though, as the next jam saw Rogue Runner boxed on her scoring pass for a fourth minor, and Ireland further narrowed the gap. A very slow start and solid defence from Stefanie Mainey let Jack Attack put her first points on the board for the half in the final jam of the first half, leaving the scores at England 66, Ireland 46 as the half came to a close.
Jack Attack and Phantom Jemerald opened the second half. Jack eventually got lead, but was forced into a call after puting four points on the board. In the next jam Jessica Rammit got stuck behind Raw Heidi and Kamikaze Kitten as Rogue Runner broke through. Jessica was boxed on a major cut — but saw the call reversed while she was on the way to the box after the call was overruled. England’s penalty troubles and strong defence continued to be the dominant story until Wile E Peyote was boxed for Ireland, letting Missy Rascal stretch her team’s lead to 98-46. England then took advantage of a pack advantage to hold Ireland’s pack and jammer almost at a standstill, letting Jack Attack score 5 at speed, but got seriously held up on her second pass, restricting her to 10 points.
It was nearly ten minutes into the half when Ireland finally got their first points of the half on the board, again exploiting penalty troubles for England’s jammers to let Jemerald rack up 10 points.
But that didn’t presage an Ireland comeback. England’s dominance of the second period continued, with Jack Attack, Rogue Runner, Juicy Luicy and Missy Rascal all chipping away and extending England’s lead. In the end it finished 199-64 with England shaking off their first-half penalty blues to take the second half by a much more impressive 133-18.
Ireland finishes 1-1 in Group D; 0-1 Argentina faces 1-0 England at 1:30pm Friday.