Derby Liberation Front scores when it counts most, takes home win

Derby Liberation Front scores when it counts most, takes home win

Final Score: Derby Liberation Front (2-0): 183 vs. Throttle Rockets (1-1): 173

by Jim Almy

DLF blocker Avihater (#47) takes on Throttle Rockets jammer Luna Negra (#911) in Bout 2, Season 10 of Rat City Rollergirls. Photo by John Stamets

With two minutes remaining in the bout, one jammer sat in the penalty box, the other calculated a course that would score points, break a 173 to 173 tie, and keep her team’s record unblemished. The opening match of Saturday’s second round of action for the tenth season of Rat City Rollergirls at KeyArena was a defensive tour de force between the Derby Liberation Front (DLF) and the Throttle Rockets. Both started the night undefeated. Both were going to leave everything on the track to remain that way. DLF’s Muscle Sprouts (#5280) scored the final 10 points when they were most needed, coming away with a 183-173 win over the Rockets and a 2-0 record for the early season. Edge of your seat tension eased a bit in the second bout of the night when Grave Danger and Sockit Wenches spent a low scoring half sparing against each other before Danger laid a wallop on the fading Wenches, 244-133. Not nearly as close as the tight DLF-Rocket’s game. “We got it done when we had to,” was the way DLF Coach Dan Barnett summed up his team’s performance. “This is a team that never gives up.” The Rockets must have sensed that the entire game as they built leads of 20 to 30 points but could never shake DLF, which ground away until the first half ended with them trailing by four, 103-99. Every one of those 99 points were hard earned. The Rockets built wall after wall in front of DLF jammers with blockers Parker Eyeout (#070), Khaos Theory (#13), and Panda Beer (#330) forcing Sprouts (#5280), Bam!!B (#444) and Bill F. Murray (#906) off the track or, just as often, planting them on the track. But they wouldn’t go away.

Throttle Rockets’ Parker Eyeout (#070) takes home an MVP award during Bout 2, Season 10 of Rat City Rollergirls. Photo by Jenny Evans.

Sprouts (#5280) and her blockers kept their team in the game for the first half. She scored 50 of the 99 points DLF put up. The Rockets usually reliable weapon of choice, jammer Luna Negra, who put up a 100 point effort last month, was held to 20 in the first half and 43 for the entire bout. DLF fought penalties as much as the Rockets for most of the opening period. In-your-face defense by Missile America (#321), Panda Beer (#330) and Deva StateHer (#509) led to frustrated DLF jammers drawing multiple track cutting, elbow throwing, and tripping penalties. All that led to lots of minutes in the penalty box, where jammers can only sit and watch the other team score. With 4:15 remaining the Rockets had five penalties, DLF, 17. As he typically does at halftime, Coach Barnett talked his penalty prone team back into a game they had never really given up on. “We had opportunities, we just had to go out in the second half and take advantage of them,” he said.

Rockets jammer RattleSkate (#16) had 14 points in the second half. They all came in the opening jam while DLF jammer Bam!!B (#444) sat watching from the penalty box. Down immediately 117-99 things looked like a first half repeat for the DLF. But they still wouldn’t go away. Jammers used their counterparts as blockers. Opposing jammers skated the track alone together, seeking an edge, faking a move, looking for a block. Raven Seaward (#53) opened a jam on the shoulder of DLF jammer Kimball Machine (#25). When Machine and the line moved right Seward blasted left around everybody. It was three more points, increasing the Rockets lead to 13. But, with three minutes left in the bout, DLF made the move everyone in section 127 was looking for. The place erupted.

DLF jammer Muscle Sprouts (#5280) celebrates on the track after earning lead jammer and bringing home the second victory of Season 10 for her team. Photo by James McDaniel

Muscle Sprouts (#5280), who had 84 points for the night to lead all jammers, came into the pack at full speed, cut the arc with a slicing jump, and brought the house down. DLF 172, Rockets 170. Luna Negra (#911) and Bam!!B (#444) continued their battle in the next jam, which ended with a giant pile up and the score tied 173 all. Endora Finn Rush (#42), Melons (#88), Lucinda Pack (#505) and Full Nelson (#123) blocked in the deciding jam for the DLF. Muscle Sprouts (#5280) and Luna Negra (#911) looked to break the tie in their team’s favor but Negra got caught up in the middle of the DLF blocking machine, fell and tripped another player. That sent her to the penalty box. Now the strategy of solid defense and opportunistic jamming that had dominated the entire match suddenly changed. DLF blockers joined in a casual stance, as if waiting for a bus, while Sprouts (#5280) circled the track. Each time she caught up with her blockers they busted her through. She scored the final 10 points of the bout. This second consecutive win by DLF solidifies their spot in Rat City Rollergirls home team championships on April 12 at KeyArena.

 

More info on tickets for the next bout 3/15 at KeyArena go HERE