Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nailbiting Action at Sold-Out Season Opener

Houston Roller Derby promised exciting flat-track thrills at its season opener bout, and the league delivered with an intense four-point Brawlers win against the Bayou City Bosses coupled with a blowout victory for the Psych Ward Sirens against Baton Rouge, La.'s Red Stick Roller Derby All-Stars team.

The Sirens played first for the sell-out crowd that filled Kick's Indoor Soccer and Gym on Saturday night. The team established a 26:7 lead against Red Stick by the end of the fourth jam thanks to high scoring jammers Jekyll and Heidi and Mistilla The Killa. Red Stick struggled, unable to keep top jammers Wicket Sweet, BrandAid and Mistilla from scoring for the rest of the first half, which ended at 128:19 in the home team's favor.

According to Examiner reporter Phil Arnold, Red Stick tied the Sirens in the first jam of the second half, and took a 4-2 score in the second jam with Tricky La Rouge jamming. Tricky La Rouge gained a 3-0 score in a later jam, and Zarathrustya narrowed the point deficit further with a 5-0 jam. Turbo Tyke performed the highest-scoring jam of the night for Red Stick with seven points. But the Louisiana team's efforts were not enough to close in on the Sirens' more-than 100 point lead, which grew steadily throughout the second half. The final score ended with the Sirens winning 205 to 51.

The Sirens bout included impressive jamming by rookie Wicked Sweet, who garnered 36 points for her team throughout the game against Red Stick. This season, the Sirens retained the highest number of veteran skaters in comparison to the other two Houston home teams, adding five new skaters to their team roster.

Home teams The Brawlers and The Bayou City Bosses took the track next for what would become an intensely close game that had fans of both teams on the edges of their seats. A four-point jam by Speed-O and a five-point jam by Miss Lead, both Brawlers, contributed to the team securing a 22-6 lead against the Bosses by the end of the ninth jam. The Bosses countered with an 8-0 jam by Baby Face Assassin and a 9-0 jam by Bobituary, giving the team a slim lead over the Brawlers at 27-25.

The score see-sawed yet again as high scoring from Speed-O and Miss Lead brought them the lead at 37-27. A handful of impressive jams by Bobituary and Baby Face Assassin brought points to the Bosses and none to the Brawlers, helping the Bosses scratch their way back to the top at 49:38. Brawlers jammer Tammityville Horror narrowed that lead with a nine-point jam, leaving Bosses a slim lead at 49:47 at the end of the first half.

The two teams continued to edge up on each other throughout the second half of the game, with the Bosses holding onto their lead until a 10-8 jam by The Prosecutor of The Brawlers tipped things to their favor at 64:63. As Bobituary of the Bosses and Miss Lead of the Brawlers traded high-scoring jams, the teams tied at 77:77 by the end of the 12th jam. A 4-0 jam by Speed-O gave a momentary lead to the Brawlers, only to be erased by Bosses jammer Beverly Kills' subsequent 9-3 jam, leaving the teams tied yet again at 90 points each. In the following three jams, the Brawlers climbed their way to a 95:91 lead.

With only eight seconds left in the bout, Bosses Captain Rebel Ann called a timeout to ensure one more jam. Beverly Kills and Speed-O lined up against each other. As Bosses jammer Beverly Kills was sent to the box for a major penalty, Speed-O achieved lead jammer status for the Brawlers following a difficult first pass through the pack, and ended the jam without scoring in order to maintain her team's four-point lead and win at 95:91.

In addition to providing some close-scoring flat track derby intensity, the home team bout also provided a surprise when rookie Bosses jammer Cynder Hell Yeah got lead jammer status in opposition to veteran jammer and crowd favorite Speed-O. Speed-O overtook Cynder during their first lap out of the pack, prompting her to call the jam off before either could score any points. Cynder is one of seven rookie skaters to be added to the Bosses this season. The Brawlers have six new skaters on their team roster.


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