Bout Report: Glasgow Roller Girls Season Two Intraleague Final: Death Stars vs Bad Omens

After battling through the qualifying bouts, the Death Stars and the Bad Omens faced each other in the Season Two final on the 12th of November, just as they had in Season One. The Death Stars were the clear underdogs, having been beaten by the Bad Omens in every face off over both seasons, so it was up to them to topple the champions and make history.

Of course, first there has to be the skateout, featuring the Psychopants delivery cart and Corvid for the Bad Omens, and, of course, a personal appearance from Lord Vader and his honour guard for the Death Stars.

Period 1

The bout started with an almost immediate blow to the Death Stars' chances, however, with jammer Marshall Lawless (42) off to the sin-bin in the very first jam! With the Omens slowing the pack to a standstill, jammer Meg 4 Mercy (4) garnered 2 Grand Slam passes, and a final partial pass, despite tenacious blocking by Death Stars' Wild Oates (3), Mistress Malicious (99) and Whisky Galore (11). 

With only one jam spent, the score was already:

00 Death Stars : 13 Bad Omens

Malky Traz and Mazzy Chaos put an end to Meg's scoring.
The Death Stars didn't let this initial setback phase them, however, Rogue Runner taking lead jammer in jam 2, despite last-second blocking by Lily Lethal (5). With a good lead over the Omens' Slain Austen (823.7) thanks to Mazzy Chaos (R10T) and Peggy Su-icide (14), the Death Stars only attained a pair of points, thanks to an impassible Tarcenic (41). The challengers continued their press into the third jam (VIDEO), Mistress Malicious (99) picking up an easy scoring pass before calling it. Meg 4 Mercy pulled the points back in the next jam, however, with a good lead over Marshall Lawless thanks to Marla Mayhem's blocking; knocked to the ground herself by Malky Traz (137) and Mazzy Chaos (pivot, R10T), the champions' jammer called it immediately for three points.

Keen to continue her fellow jammers' work, Slain Austen rocketed through the pack first in jam 5, but cutting track on the outside line; a track-cutting penalty and a trip to the sin-bin was not what she expected from her jammer ref. The Death Stars' Rogue Runner found it hard work to exploit the power-jam, however, the Omens' Haberbashery (88), Bashin' Berserker (83) and Chemikill Hazard (LD50, pivot) proving difficult to pass on both initial and scoring runs, limiting the challengers to a single grand-slam pass.

With Slain Austen starting from the sin-bin, the Death Stars' Mistress Malicious had a significant advantage in the next jam, (VIDEO), but failed to cleanly complete her initial pass, not achieving lead jammer status. Still the Death Stars jammer was in the lead; a fast pack and excellent blocking from pivot Marla Mayhem (13) and Lily Lethal (5) prolonged the challengers' first scoring pass for long enough that both jammers picked up points, before Slain Austen called it.
With the scores so close, it only needed one good Death Stars jam to switch the lead; and that's what Marshall Lawless gave us in jam 7, bringing home a perfect scoring pass, to edge the challengers into the lead by a single point!

21 Death Stars : 20 Bad Omens

The next jam started extremely defensively, both jammers trapped behind strong walls in the pack; the Bad Omens' Jess E Ska at the front, and the Death Stars' Rogue Runner at the back. While the Omens' jammer managed to break through her wall, thanks to DS pivot Mazzy Chaos (R10T) being sent off, the Death Stars were not so lucky. One Grand Slam scoring pass later, and the Omens called it, to swing the lead right back their way.

21 Death Stars : 25 Bad Omens

Things hadn't settled down yet, however, a similarly defensive jam 9 seeing the Death Stars' Mistress Malicious fight through to lead jammer, while Slain Austen was given a hard time by Death Stars pivot Viper (29) and Wild Oates, the latter getting herself sent off for a somewhat messy, yet effective, last-second block. Finding herself unable to break through, while Mistress Malicious was racking up grand slam passes, the Bad Omens jammer eventually passed the star to pivot and Captain Haberbashery (88mph), who faired somewhat better, for a last-second score as the jam was called.
With such a fantastic jam under their belt, the Death Stars had finally resolved the lead switching for a while, the score standing at:

35 Death Stars : 27 Bad Omens

The Champions weren't about to give up without a fight, jam 10 (VIDEO) seeing Meg 4 Mercy break through a fast Death Stars wall with the aid of Marla Mayhem to take lead jammer, but with Marshall Lawless too close behind to score. Similarly, Jess E Ska raced into lead jammer in the next jam (VIDEO), but with Rogue Runner in close pursuit. With most of the Omens at the rear of the pack, the Death Stars picked up a couple of points before the Omens called it, despite being behind on the track. Meg 4 Mercy finally grabbed some points for the Champions in jam 12, perhaps due to three of the Death Stars blockers starting in the sin-bin! This was merely whittling the score down, however; it was the 14h jam that saw the big Bad Omens fight back, Slain Austen battling through a strong 3-wall to take lead jammer, while Marshall Lawless found Bad Omens pivot Marla Mayhem too tough to handle, kept almost continuously at the rear of the pack. Slain Austen, meanwhile, showed some tremendous skill, dodging past all defence on multiple grand slam passes, bringing the lead back to the current champions at:

37 Death Stars : 47 Bad Omens

While Meg 4 Mercy effortlessly took lead jammer in the very next bout (VIDEO), she didn't have any time to score, with Rogue Runner right behind her. Trying to engage, the Bad Omens jammer misjudged a block slightly, ending up in the sin-bin instead. Picking up multiple scoring passes as the pack was held stationary by her teammates, Rogue Runner eventually made a mistake, a back-block sending her to the sin-bin, and freeing her opponent.
The Omens jammer had barely enough time to complete her first scoring pass before the jam was called, allowing the power-jam to continue into the next jam (VIDEO). Jess E Ska was up for the champions, making fast work of her initial pass, and her first scoring pass, despite the efforts of Wild Oates. Her second scoring pass went badly wrong, starting with a collision with Death Stars pivot Sykes, sending her to the ground, and the jammer to the sin-bin for a back-block major.
With a bit of help from Whisky Galore and Wild Oates pushing the Omens out of the way, a returning Rogue Runner quickly began restoring the challengers' points differential, despite the Omens making her work for every pass. In the end, the pair of jams ended with the Death Stars favour,  reversing the lead once more:

65 Death Stars : 61 Bad Omens

With the Bad Omens depleted on track, Slain Austen cougaring off, the challengers had the advantage again going into what could be the final jam of the bout (VIDEO). Nevertheless, neither jammer escaped the pack quickly, with Chemikill Hazard holding back the Death Stars' Mistress Malicious near single handledly at the front of the pack for a whole minute, before Mazzy Chaos managed to break her control. Meg 4 Mercy had less friends in the pack, however, and looked increasingly desperate as the challengers began picking up grand slam passes. A star pass to pivot Marla Mayhem solved that, the new jammer easily escaping the pack and forcing the Death Stars to call the jam, with the score:

79 Death Stars : 61 Bad Omens

Despite the period timer being clearly at zero, it looked like a further jam was about to start, but it was quickly stopped after some confused looks from the referees (VIDEO), leaving the score unchanged as we entered half-time.

With all apparently well with his favoured team, Lord Vader found the time to pose for publicity photos during half time,

while the Death Stars themselves discovered that they have a fan-club amongst the spectators.


Period 2

The Death Stars re-entered the second period aggressively, determined to push their advantage (VIDEO), although with mixed success, the Omens' Slain Austen scoring in the second jam, while Mistress Malicious pushed the points differential pack the challengers' way the next jam. The teams were closely matched, however, Meg 4 Mercy taking lead jammer in jam 4, with sparse packs on both sides (Rogue Runner cougaring off for the Death Stars, and two Bad Omens blockers in the sin-bin already), and Lily Lethal (until a forearm block sent her to the sin-bin), and Chemikill Hazard proving too much for the Death Stars' Marshall Lawless. Once again, Mistress Malicious pushed the challengers' lead back to quo in the very next jam.
Marla Mayhem earning that Best Blocker award.

With the Omens taking a knee for a change in the sixth jam, to exploit a slight pack advantage (VIDEO), it was Meg 4 Mercy who took lead jammer, working her way past pivot Whisky Galore at the front. With half a track's lead, a little help from Lily Lethal, and a last-second lean of the hips, the Omens picked up a complete scoring pass, calling it just before the Death Stars' Rogue Runner began her own. Of course, as previously, the Death Stars restored their advantage in the next jam, Marshall Lawless picking up her own scoring pass against Slain Austen in jam 7.

The Death Stars' enthusiasm for taking the knee close to the jam line was finally curtailed in jam 8, Mistress Malicious' attempts to pass the 2-wall of Chemikill Hazard and Marla Mayhem resulting in an back-block minor sending her off to the sin-bin. The Omens' Jess E Ska still had to complete her initial pass to make use of the power-jam; Whisky Galore and Sykes were perhaps a little too determined to stop her, both picking up trips to the sin-bin themselves in close succession. With only two Death Stars on the track, this was now an easy scoring opportunity for the champions, 14 points starting to narrow the points differential for the first time in the period.

With the Omens now taking the knee to exploit the sparse pack, (VIDEO), the next jam was a predictable success, Meg 4 Mercy fighting her way quickly past Wild Oates and Mistress Malicious, while Rogue Runner was unable to pass the pack stacked against her. A single scoring pass, and the scores were potentially just a jam away from switching lead once more...

94 Death Stars : 90 Bad Omens

…but it wasn't to be, the next 4 jams seeing the two teams alternate scoring passes almost like clockwork, despite the Bad Omens taking the knee into each one.

With only two Omens blockers on track, the Death Stars took a knee into jam 13 (VIDEO), undoubtedly expecting an easy jam. While Marshall Lawless did exit the pack first, despite a last second (and low) block from Lily Lethal, she also picked up enough minors to send her to the sin-bin! Despite the power-jam, Omens jammer Jess E Ska only picked up a single scoring pass, her second spent behind an impassible Death Stars wall, or on the track where pivot Viper shoulder-checked her!

Breaking the deadlock, some exceptional pivot work by Sykes in the 14th jam  saw the Omens' Meg 4 Mercy shunted behind a Death Stars wall and the Death Stars' Marshall Lawless handed a clear outside line in a single block, beautiful walling and some hammer-and-nail work from Whisky Galore, Wild Oates and Sykes keeping the Omens' jammer bouncing around on her initial pass while their own picked up a total of three grand slam passes! With that impressive performance, the Death Stars had restored their initial lead, the points now:

116 Death Stars : 99 Bad Omens

The worst luck comes in clusters. In this case (VIDEO), Slain Austen, having easily taken lead jammer, picking up a track-cut penalty on her scoring pass, and a trip to the sin-bin before Mistress Malicious had even made it out of the pack. The chance of a power-jam scoring galvanised the Death Stars blockers, however, Mazzy Chaos and pivot Viper trapping the Omens' pivot Chemikill Hazard to place their troublesome 3-wall out of play, freeing Mistress Malicious to score. The Omens weren't going quietly, forcing the challengers' jammer to pick up minors on her first and second scoring pass that sent her to the sin-bin instead, releasing Slain Austen onto the track. Barely had she returned, before she was knocked to the track by a combined block by Viper and Sykes, causing the jam to be called for injury. Luckily, it was nothing serious, and Slain Austen was not only able to make it off track, but also returned to jamming later in the period.

Still, the immediate effect of the early stop was to make the 16th jam (VIDEO) open with the power-jam still in place. The Death Stars had the pack advantage, though, and Chemikill Hazard found it nigh impossible to break through their defence, particularly that of Whisky Galore. By the time she'd finally completed her initial pass, the power-jam had ended, only enough time remaining to score a pair of points before calling it.

With Meg 4 Mercy continuing the Bad Omens resurgence into the next jam (VIDEO) for a couple more points, the champions took a knee into jam 18 (VIDEO) as well, only for the Death Stars' Mistress Malicious to take lead jammer, the Omens' Marla Mayhem getting sent off for blocking out of play to boot. A relatively easy scoring pass kept the points differential relatively safe for the challengers. A close run jam 19 (VIDEO), with lead jammer Rogue Runner only metres ahead of Slain Austen, didn't change much, both jammers scoring, to put the score at:

126 Death Stars : 111 Bad Omens

With only a few minutes on the clock (VIDEO), the Bad Omens had to continue pressing their attack to have a chance of pulling off a win. While Meg 4 Mercy took lead jammer, she was quickly outpaced by the Death Stars Mistress Malicious. Oddly, the Omens jammer was happy to waste time, coasting along until just before the challengers could score before calling the jam.
With just enough time for a final jam (VIDEO), the Bad Omens must have been praying for a power-jam, only 14 points separating the scores. If they were, the Gods were clearly fickle, as it was Slain Austen who got sent off, picking up a 4th minor for blocking with forearms. The Death Stars hardly needed the extra points, but Rogue Runner wasn't averse to good fortune, picking up a single grand slam pass against heavy opposition, to bring the unofficial final score to:

131 Death Stars : 111 Bad Omens

That wasn't the end of matters, however, with an unusually long post-bout deliberation from the referees, and the score unconfirmed.

Finally, with everyone agreed, the final score was up as:

134 Death Stars : 111 Bad Omens

ticking up to

during the high-fives.

Conclusions and Awards

This was an exceptionally close fought bout, both teams showing why they deserved to be in the final. While the Death Stars certainly earned the Championship, having the lead more often, and for longer, than the Omens, it was never a sure thing; had the final jam been a power jam in the other direction, the Bad Omens could easily have retained the Silver Helmet for another year. This can only be a good thing for the spectators and the skaters, however, and next year it could all change again; maybe even the Hell's Belles could make their way to the final!


Best Blocker
Death Stars
Whisky Galore
Bad Omens
Marla Mayhem
Best Jammer
Death Stars
Mistress Malicious
Bad Omens
Meg 4 Mercy
Death Stars
Bad Omens
Chemikill Hazard

Notes and Acknowledgements

Thanks to the Glasgow Roller Girls for an excellent game.
Thanks also to the creator of the bout programme, and to announcers Helliverance and Sven?.

The video and photographs used in this report are all taken by me on a Sony A580 with a second-hand 24-105mm Minolta AF lens, and no flash.

A playlist of video and album of photos from which they are drawn are at:
YouTube Playlist
Picasa Web Album: https://picasaweb.google.com/102032801144714237554/GlasgowRollerGirlsIntraleagueFinal12November2011DeathStarsVsBadOmens?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.

No comments: