|Fightin' Torque and Jess E Ska neck and neck in the pack.|
15 Death Stars : 01 Hell's BellesNot to be out-done, the Belles showed that they could fight just as hard, Slain Austen triumphing over Mistress Malicious in their rematch, to score a single pass in jam 6. This seemed to be the signal for a Belles resurgence, with Meg 4 Mercy (4) (VIDEO) managing a single scoring pass in the next jam, despite not taking lead jammer (the Death Stars' Sykes (360°) did, and called the jam immediately), and Fightin' Torque (531) doing likewise in jam 8, to bring the scores level at:
15 Death Stars : 15 Hell's Belleswith more than half of the period still to play.
|Slain Austen pulls ahead of Wild Oates, |
thanks to pack advantage
Meg 4 Mercy did a little less well in her next rematch against Sykes (VIDEO); the two jammers proved equally matched this time around, and the jam was called no-score.
Obviously, however, the current scoring trend was starting to worry the Death Stars, and they called a time-out for bench manager Knuckles to dispense wisdom.
On return, however, things didn't seem to have changed much, Fightin' Torque still managing a full scoring pass ahead of Mistress Malicious in jam 11 to put the score at:
15 Death Stars : 31 Hell's BellesThings started to slip by the very next jam, however, Death Stars jammer Marshall Lawless (42) managing a dead-heat through the pack against Slain Austen, calling it for a no-score.
And then we reached the 13th jam of the period (VIDEO), pitting relatively new jammer Rogue Runner (210) against the Belles' Meg 4 Mercy. The Death Stars took the knee into the jam while Sister Grimm was in the penalty box for the Belles, the advantage proving too much for the Hell's Belles jammer, who eventually managed to get herself sent off herself, just as Sister Grimm reentered the track. With the Death Stars taking Belles' pivot Lola Bruises (96) as a goat, Rogue Runner almost effortlessly picked up a whole 15 points in a single power jam.
30 Death Stars : 31 Hell's Belles
A single jam had almost completely reversed all the good work the Hell's Belles had put into their lead. It would be hard not to be demoralised by this turn of events, and it certainly seemed as if the Death Stars had regained the advantage, the next 4 jams showing Marshall Lawless and Rogue Runner (VIDEO) both scoring for the dark side of the force (with Mistress Malicious proving equally matched with Slain Austen in the next episode of their shared jams (VIDEO)), bringing the score, with just one jam left in the first period, to
50 Death Stars : 31 Hell's Belles
With their last chance to change the momentum of the bout ahead of half-time ahead of them, the Belles played experienced Slain Austen against the Death Stars' new star Rogue Runner in jam 18 (VIDEO). Both jammers found the pack unforgiving, but it was Rogue Runner who slipped around the inside of the Belles' Sister Grimm (57) to take lead jammer. Indeed, the difficulty of the pack caused Slain Austen to eventually make her second trip to the sin-bin, handing the Death Stars a power-jam. Despite Lola Bruises (96) and Sister Grimm making things as hard as possible for Rogue Runner, a pack numbers advantage for the Death Stars made it easy for the lead team to repeatedly put them out of play, allowing their jammer through. With a final haul of 15 points before Slain returned to the track, the first period ended with the score:
65 Death Stars : 31 Hell's Belles-
65 Death Stars : 33 Hell's BellesThe next two jams saw the teams trading points: Mistress Malicious picking up a full scoring pass ahead of a throughly trapped Slain Austen (the Death Stars jammer could have comfortably tried for a second, but didn't bother), only for Meg 4 Mercy to pick up another 2 points for the Belles in jam 3.
So, with the points differential back to what it was at the start of the period, it was Marshall Lawless for the Death Stars against Fightin' Torque for the Hell's Belles in the fourth jam of the period (VIDEO). Marshall Lawless powered through the pack, shrugging off a block from Lola Bruises to take lead jammer... while Fightin' Torque found an increasingly fast pack hard to escape from. With Sister Grimm, and then pivot Lola Bruises both sent to the sin-bin, the numbers were against the Belles; the Death Stars picked up 14 points in grand-slam passes before Torque escaped from the pack, Marshall Lawless immediately calling it.
83 Death Stars : 35 Hell's Belles
|Slain Austen jinking.|
83 Death Stars : 54 Hell's Belles
The Death Stars weren't about to let their lead evaporate just like that, however. The very next jam (VIDEO) saw a bit of help from pivot Viper (29) propel the Death Stars' Rogue Runner into lead jammer status, ahead of Fightin' Torque, who was given significant trouble by Jess E Ska (31) and Viper. Enough for a pass and a bit of scoring, the Death Stars not being in any rush to pick up tons of points.
This attitude was made more obvious in jam 8, Marshall Lawless picking up a scoring pass' worth of points ahead of the Belles' Slain Austen, but happy to let her opponent skate around the track a bit before calling the jam. The trend of Death Stars dominance continued for the next nine jams, the Belles barely seeing a scoring opportunity. Most dramatically, a repeat of period 1 saw the recurring rematch between Mistress Malicious and Slain Austen in jam 11 (VIDEO) become a power-jam, the Hell's Belles jammer finding herself in the sin-bin for the second time in the bout.
|Marshall Lawless, behind an amazing cooperative|
Death Stars block.
Only Fightin' Torque managed to score any points at all, escaping from a Death Stars wall at the very climax of the 16th jam (VIDEO) to grab three points. The Death Stars were barely dismayed by this, however, Wild Oates (VIDEO) still managing to pick up a full scoring pass in the next jam, despite half of the Death Stars blockers sitting in the sin-bin, bringing the score to:
138 Death Stars : 57 Hell's BellesFinally, with minutes left in the bout, the Hell's Belles managed to get their skate together (VIDEO). After another slow Death Stars start, pivot Mistress Malicious apparently reluctant to come and play with the others, it was Meg 4 Mercy who slipped around the outside line, and into lead jammer status, despite the numbers advantage to the Death Stars. Still, with the pack kept exceptionally fast, the Belles' jammer only had time for a single pass before Sykes caught her up, The Death Stars pivot proving an almost impossible challenge at the head of the pack.
It was never going to be enough to win the bout, but maybe it was enough to retain the Belles' honour, the final score standing at:
Despite the look of the scores, both teams played an exceptionally good game, with the first period particularly filled with close-run jams. If anything, the Death Stars benefited slightly more often from a pack numerical advantage, with several of their skaters obviously trying to avoid penalties and stay out of the sin-bin.
The result, however, means that the Death Stars go forward to the season final, fighting out with the Bad Omens as they did last season.
Acknowledgements and Disclaimers.
Thanks also to the creator of the bout programme, and to announcers Helliverance and the other guy (who's never mentioned in the bout programme).
The video and photographs used in this report are all taken by me on a Sony A580 with the kit lens, and no flash. A playlist of video and album of photos from which they are drawn are at:
Picasa Web Album: https://picasaweb.google.com/102032801144714237554/GRGIntraleagueSeason2DeathStarsVsHellSBelles?authuser=0&feat=directlink
(Also shared on Google+, and a copy on Facebook)
Professional photography for GRG is handled by the excellent Dave McAleavy, who has a website for his bout photos.
This bout report, and all media therein are licensed CC-BY (Creative Commons : Attribution), which means that they are completely free to reuse and remix as long as I am given a credit as the author. You don't have to ask permission first as long as you do that.
As always, this report, and any inaccuracies within it, are purely my own. All corrections and comments are gratefully received.