19 August 2012

A8otF Games 10-11 (3rd place and Championship bouts)

Game 10: Maine vs. Shoreline [photos from this bout]

The battle for third place was the fourth bout in two days for both teams (holy numbers, Batman!), so fatigue was irrelevant and everything came down to skill and experience. Things looked pretty well-matched for the first few jams -- Shoreline scored first, Maine answered with more points, Shoreline took back the lead, Maine took a few jams to get it again. By halfway through the first period, though, Maine's extra years of bouting gave them the edge, and they took off. By the end of the first half, they led 56-11.

Maine only allowed Shoreline to get lead jammer in four jams in the second half, which rather limited Shorelines' ability to score and let Maine walk away with an easy 105-30 win. In a display of derby sisterhood, the final jam saw Maine's jammer slow up, take Shoreline's jammer's hand, and do a sort of joint victory lap before calling off the jam. It was beautiful, and I wish we'd been able to get a picture of it.

With that, Shoreline finished fourth overall, and Maine claimed bronze. Next up: the championship bout!

Game 11: Rock Coast vs. Pioneer Valley [photos from this bout]

The buzz in the arena before this bout seemed to be one of surprise that Rock Coast had advanced as far as they had, and the conviction that Pioneer Valley, a more experienced league, would probably win.

Rock Coast ignored all of that, and just did what they do best... which is, apparently, leaving other teams in their dust. The scores were never so far apart that a solid, well-utilized power jam couldn't have caused a lead change, but Rock Coast never gave Pioneer Valley the chance. Between teamwork, backwards blocking, and pack control, Rock Coast held the lead for the entire bout.

After the 4-0 first jam, Rock Coast never let Pioneer Valley get fewer than ten points behind, and by halftime their lead was a stable 61-33. Pioneer Valley had a brief rally in the middle of the second half, advancing their score by 29 points over several jams while holding Rock Coast steady, but they were still 22 points short of a tie game by the time Rock Coast scored again, and by then it was too late. The best Pioneer Valley could do was keep Rock Coast from scoring in the last two jams, but the price was not being able to score any points for themselves, either. At the final whistle, the score was 94-71, and Rock Coast skated their victory lap as the first Champions of the All 8 On The Floor Tournament, with Pioneer Valley taking silver.

Congratulations to all of the teams who participated, another huge thank you to Worcester Roller Derby for hosting the tournament, and we hope to see everyone again next year!