DALLAS, TX – The first half was a close battle with Dallas Derby Devils taking game lead and emerging on top over Philly Roller Derby by the time the period whistle blew, 84-81. But then Philly Roller Derby came out strong and clearly determined not to let the first half slide, from the locker room after the half-time break to take the game, 241-114.
When the first whistle went, Philly Roller Derby’s perennial jammer V-Diva shot out of the pack to take the first lead of the game and establish the very first game lead at the same time with a 3-0 addition on the board.
The second jam was perhaps a more accurate assessment of the future of the game, when Herrmann Monster took the star for Philly, against Dallas jammer Miley Virus. Play saw braced walls separate into front and back, with heavy pushing from both jammers, while the walls clumped and flattened, holding back both jammers with firm lane grips. After finally breaking through that wall, Monster made it through again, making 15 points before Miley even managed to break through for their initial pass. By the end of the jam, with 24-3 addition, the game had seemed to have crystalized in Philly’s favor.
By this point the two teams had established that they were dividing into especially heavy Philly defensive walls, with persistent and opportunist jammers, while Dallas was left a little lighter on the track due to penalties.
But then with 19 mins remaining in the period, Dallas had quietly driven their points up with convincing additions to narrow to a single point lead for Philly. So when Sparrow claimed lead ahead of Herrmann Monster, a cheer went up from the crowd. But Dallas couldn’t hold Herrmann long, though, even with two and three bridging as long as possible, and Sparrow was forced to call the jam with a breathless crowd watching her slim 3-0 addition go up on the board, and the lead change.
As the half drew closer, the two teams inched up neck and neck – widening to sometimes 10 points apart, sometimes narrowing to 5, and then finishing on a slim three-point lead at 84-81 for Dallas by the half.
Philly came back a team determined not to let Dallas get the best of them, and seemed to be prepared to do all plausible work to achieve that. They quickly took over the track, and grabbed point after point while exhausting a by now uncertain Dallas, whose openings were maximized, and jammers shut down.
The penultimate jam saw Miley Virus take lead over Devoida Mercy, scraping for what by then were clearly rankings points, because the gap had widened to an insurmountable game lead.
When the final jam happened, the lead that Sparrow Dynamic claimed over Philly’s Wolf was all but negated by Philly’s response – to skate the pack, light of Dallas skaters, as fast as possible away from Sparrow, running down the clock and leaving the game firmly in their hands. Final score went to Philly Roller Derby, 241-114.
Keep up with all the action this weekend with our recaps and score updates at Dallas Central.