Heartland North East Bout Day 2 – Cambridge Edge Oxford, Wolves Howl Past Rebellion

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Updated: April 4, 2014
FeaturedImage - 2014-03-22-Heartland-North-East-CRBvsORD1
Cambridge RollerBillies won the first ever Oxbridge roller derby bout, but were pushed all the way by Oxford Roller Derby, while Wolverhampton Honour Rollers opened their season with a victory over Rebellion Roller Derby.
by Andy Harris. Photography by Tom Garnett.

RRD vs WHR
The opening bout saw Rebellion Roller Derby and Wolverhampton Honour Rollers meet for the first time. Wolves had a learning experience during their first Heartland Series but this year, they exploded out of the blocks with a 25 point Caztastrophe powerjam immediately opening up a healthy lead. Wolves followed a strict Caztastrophe, Psychopathey, Miss Thunderkiss rotation throughout the game but it proved effective early on, as they maintained their early lead, trading single passes with Rebellion. The Rebels fielded a host of new players and took their time to find a rhythm, struggling to chip away at the Wolves lead until a 30 point Inky Minx powerjam turned the game around, turning a 33-47 deficit into a 67-49 lead.

Wolves showed they were made of stronger stuff. In OppressHer, they had the standout blocker of the first half, ably supported by Twisted Firecarter, and they mixed steady single passes with a 17 point Thunderkiss powerjam. Rebellion notched an additional 20 point jam from Ayan Nee and the teams went into the break with Rebellion leading 91-80.

The second half started well again for Wolves, with opening Psychopathey and Thunderkiss powerjams for 15 and 20 points, overturning the deficit within the opening three jams. This was a crucial thrust, and coincided with a series of Rebellion jammer penalties. Dew Drop Her, in particular, repeatedly made trips to the box and Wolves capitalised on the extra jammer track time. Extending their lead to a 35 and then to a 46 point gap, it looked like they would close out the win until Lulu Bloodlust’s 13 point penultimate jam set up a massive last jam powerjam from Inky Minx. She relentlessly clocked up a series of grand slams and looked like she might single handedly snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but a vital check from OppressHer did enough to restrict Inky to a 34 point haul. Wolves took the victory 196-184.

RRD vs WHR

The second bout saw the first Roller Derby bout between hosts Cambridge and Oxford in their 800 year history, so both teams were under extra pressure to take the victory. Oxford were also looking to recover from their opening defeat to Nottingham Roller Girls and kickstart their Heartland campaign. Both teams sprang out of the traps strongly, but Cambridge’s jammers proved the more consistent with a solid regular rotation of Hermaphrodite, Schindler’s Lisp and Betty Banshee, scoring single passes and calling it quits. Oxford’s first half was marred by jammer penalties, but the Blues were putting in a far more physical performance than we have seen from them in the past, with Ali Von Damage brought back into the rotation and taking the fight to Cambridge. Despite this, Oxford only managed 3 scoring jams in the first 16 jams as Cambridge built a solid 46-21 lead.

However, Oxford began to find form as Cambridge’s jammers found their own penalty troubles. Powerjams from Iguana Thump and French Revolution and some single passes from Von Damage hauled Oxford back into the game and caused a lead change by jam 20, Oxford edging into a 60-50 point lead. Cambridge have declared themselves a second half team and looked comparatively sluggish against an Oxford team with their tails up, but some quick fours from Lisp, Hermaphrodite and Dilemma Emma nudged Cambridge into the lead, only for an 8 point BA Douglas jam to send Oxford into the break with a 68-66 point lead.

The second half proved equally tight, with both teams going toe to toe. Oxford’s pack were well marshalled by Stormy Waters and Maths Destruction with Frenchie proving her double threat credentials, while Cambridge’s Bare Thrills and Test Monkey brought their A game. Three 15 point Hermaphrodite powerjams racked up Cambridge’s points but Oxford matched then with a 14 point BA Douglas jam and a whopping 25 point Ali Von Damage powerjam put Oxford into a 115-104 lead.

Bench Manager Creep Nugget called a Cambridge timeout, which seemed to settle the RollerBillies and they upped their game, tightening walls, cutting out jammer penalties and forcing errors in the opposition. In the last 10 jams, Cambridge restricted Oxford to 17 points, 14 from an Iguana Thump powerjam, while scoring in every jam themselves, including 10 point jams from Lisp and Hermaphrodite. Hermaphrodite’s 23 point penultimate jam put more of a sheen on the score as Cambridge ran out 211-132 winners, but Oxford did themselves proud with an immense performance. Cambridge remain unbeaten and top the division

The next North East bout will be held on Saturday 17th May at Wolverhampton and will feature Rebellion vs Nottingham Roller Girls and Wolves vs Vendetta Vixens.