PORTLAND, OR – With floor conditions troubling both teams in the initial minutes of play, both teams seemed to find their ground relatively rapidly in the first period. Jammer penalties took a solid hold through the middle of the first period of play, but lead jammer statuses were the main determiner of scoring abilities, and both teams used those to repeatedly trade game lead through the first half of play.
By the time the second half rolled around, Charlottesville had widened their differential to a point at which they seemed like they might not be beatable. But roller derby isn’t a game where very many differentials are invulnerable, and Brandywine proved as much by quietly adding in points and pushing deliberately up, minimizing the effect of jammer penalties. By the final jam, Brandywine had strategically used their time-outs and official review enough to hand themselves the space to take the final jammer lead and walk themselves into a comfortable 5 point lead by the end of the game to win 205-200.
Visibly struggling with the sports court conditions – with planking laid on icy concrete and then sports court laid on top of that, the result was things like a spectacular spin fall at the back of the pack. The teams seemed to rapidly get used to the floor conditions throughout the game, with play seeming to operate as per usual by the time the final minutes of the first period wore down.
The game started with Buenos D. Ass, who took an easy lead and exited the jam with 1-0, handing Brandywine lead. This started a thread of lead calls that held Charlottesville scoreless until Charlottesville’s River Styx Phoenix, busted the streak and used Buenos’ penalty at that point to claim lead off a powerjam. Styx scored 25-0, taking the teams to a single point game at 26-25.
This started Charlottesville’s own string of leads, as Boom! Shake The Room took lead immediately and added 14-0, taking their team to 39-26 and forcing a solid lead change in the team’s favor just a little past the 8-minute mark into the game. Even after an extended time-out break, River Styx wasn’t about to relinquish Charlottesville’s newly claimed lead, and added a quiet 5-0, further extending their lead.
Lurz Lemon, who hadn’t seen a lot of jams by this point, reclaimed the lead for Brandywine with 17 minutes left in the half but had to call it rapidly, leaving the jam scoreless. Raggedy Aneurysm grabbed the following lead status and with 14mins remaining in the half, Brandywine had earned a lead change, 58-53.
Immediately following, a penalty swap and then an apex leap after a track return from Brandywine that resulted in another penalty gifted Charlottesville the ability to take further points and return the lead to their side of the scoreboard. But the jammer penalty to-and-fro wasn’t about to stop, and Raggedy Aneurysm took the lead for Brandywine, while Charlottesville spent time in the box.
With a 20-0 jam, and 3 minutes remaining, Charlottesville took an expansive lead, at 103-72. During an 18-0 run for Charlottesville’s Machete, the hits started to get serious from Brandywine in the final scoring pass, prompting an immediate Official Review. From that point, Charlottesville held Brandywine unscoring up through to the half-time whistle, and left the track with 128-72.
The return from the half started solidly in Brandywine’s favor, as they claimed lead in the first three jams and added a respectable 19 points to their score, to 142-92. When Charlottesville reclaimed lead, the jammer penalty trouble they’d been having in the first resurfaced to stymie their chances of adding further points. Although by the time Brandywine pushed up over the 100 point mark, Charlottesville had taken their points to just past the 150 point mark.
By the end of the third game quarter, the lead that Charlottesville had managed to give themselves had narrowed to 174-147, but was still holding firm. By this point, both teams were showing the wear of play, but run-backs and reformation in front weren’t seeming to be affected. The usual rotating three-walls, with limited offensive plays were in effect.
With 10 minutes remaining, Brandywine had managed to inch the points up to 178-172, with only a 6 point differential. At that point, Brandywine’s Lurz Lemon fouled out of the game, leaving the team down a jammer. And Charlottesville’s Boom! sprinted into lead jammer status, pushing the differential back up a further 10 unreplied points. Tense lead and points trading commenced between the teams, till Brandywine took the last of their team time-outs at the 5:30 remaining and Charlottesville’s Stonewallup earned two back-to-back penalties, spending the majority of jam 16 in the box while Buenos gathered 5-0 and called the jam to start the next on a powerstart.
So with just 3 minutes remaining in the game, Brandywine took 4-1 with plausibly only one remaining jam, score at 197-191. Machete then earned a quick lead for Charlottesville, but after being run back the visibly worn jammers emerged with 4-3, and Charlottesville pushed to 200, with 200-195 as Brandywine took their official review as a team time-out, handing themselves a full minute of game time to squeeze in more points with.
In the final jam, Raggedy Aneurysm took lead for Brandywine, and 10-0 cruised her into the final seconds of play and a final score of 205-200. This now means that Brandywine goes on to play for 1st place D2 tournament exit, on Sunday, while Charlottesville presses on to play for 3rd position against the loser of the next game, at noon today.
Be sure to return to 2016 WFTDA Champs Central for more recaps and score updates.