Heartland West Bout Day 6 – Severn Qualify For Finals Day, Oxford in Pole for Second!

Updated: September 12, 2013

Severn Roller Torrent became the first team to qualify for the Heartland Series Finals Day, while Oxford Roller Derby remain in pole position for the second spot.

by Jo Field. Photography by Sarah Bennett

In the first bout of Bout Day 6, Wolverhampton Honour Rollers took on Oxford Roller Derby in Gloucestershire, putting up a great fight, and showing us all they should definitely not be underestimated. Prior to this bout, Oxford were sitting in third place on the Western table, with Wolves in sixth. A win was desperately needed for both teams at this point in the tournament, as both were relying on wins from their remaining games to help them to qualify for the finals.

Oxford led the first jam, taking the score to 18-4, but Wolves quickly countered with a power jam in their favour, taking advantage of a full Oxford penalty box and calling the jam before the Oxford jammer could return. They proceeded to rack up the points, with Jenny Wrench and Tornado Tink, whipping their way around the track, opening up a 46-22 lead. Oxford’s French Revolution then showed us what she was made of, earning lead jammer status and hustling her way through the Wolves pack to close the gap on the scoreboard. Some great defensive play from Wolves, particularly Twisted Fire Carter, kept them ahead of the game, and in the lead.

Oxford jammer Mazza Kiss’d leapt through the Wolves pack in the following jam while Celtic Tiger kept recycling the determined Wolves jammer, Caztastrophie. Although Oxford had a full penalty box, they still managed to force a lead change 62-50. Both teams continued to fight hard, their effective defensive work and recycling keeping the score tight but, with only ten minutes left to go in the first half, Oxford stepped up a gear, taking lead jammer status in five of the next six jams – their deep walls and quick recycling really paying off as they stretched their lead to 115-75 by the end of the first half.

The second half saw both teams increase their points on the board, the scores reaching 132-111 to in Oxford by the tenth jam. A full penalty box for both teams, and then a power jam for Wolves after B.A.Douglas was sent off for cutting allowed the tenacious Wolves to close the gap to a nailbiting 136-131. It seemed that Wolves were going to keep punishing Oxford and take the lead from them, but Oxford held on and kept themselves ahead by earning lead jammer status repeatedly, and cleverly calling off each jam before the Wolves jammers could score.

An unfortunate seventh penalty saw Twisted Fire Carter ejected from the game in the seventeenth jam with the score standing at 152-136 to Oxford. A 30 point power jam by Mazza Kiss’d then took
the game out of Wolves’ reach. Tight defensive play, lead jammer status, and clever call offs further helped Oxford to increase their lead, and the bout ended 199-139 to Oxford Roller Derby. This win takes Oxford halfway to qualifying for the Finals – they will need to defeat the so far undefeated Severn Roller Torrent in their next bout at home on 20th October to guarantee their qualification, otherwise they will need to rely on having a better point differential than Milton Keynes or Wiltshire to get them through.

In the day’s second bout, host Severn Roller Torrent took on the Vendetta Vixens. Severn were predicted to win with a convincing score line, the Vixens having so far been defeated in two out of their three previous Heartland Series bouts, but Vixens were still in with a shout of qualification, if they won both remaining games. Both teams obviously trained hard in the run up to this bout, with the aim to make the other dig deep for every single point scored – and the Vixens definitely upped their game to make this a tough match up for Severn.

Severn opened by earning lead jammer in the first three jams, taking the score to 13-0, with a Jedi Mistress and Thunderkat double team being particularly effective in holding back the Vixens jammers. Severn kept the Vixens from making a mark on the scoreboard until the fourth jam, where Oktavia Rain was able to capitalise on Voodoo Ray being sent to the box for cutting, and evened up the score, 19-17 to the Vixens.

Following this, both teams pushed hard to earn their lead jammer status – often both jammers leaving the pack closely together, and the points differential therefore remained tight at 38-37. During this time, the hustly Vicki Vale and the agile Scarlett Shadow often found themselves pitched against each other as opposing jammers, but Severn were finally able to break ahead in the eleventh jam with a Buccaneer Betty Fear power jam after Lucy Go-Lightly was punished for cutting. Some skillful and well-timed edge work from Fear to take the inside line past the solid Vixens wall helped Severn increase their lead to 63-37.

The first half continued with numerous power jams for both teams. A buoyant Miss G Vous showed us her solid blocking skills for the Vixens, and gave out multiple hard and unexpected hits to punish the Severn jammers time and again, while some well-timed bridging and positional blocking by Severn’s Miss Havislam, and the persistent Beatrix Got’er hampered the Vixens jammers on a number of scoring passes. However, the use of fluid dynamic walls, and quick recycling worked in Severn’s favour during the final ten minutes of the half, enabled Severn to go into the break leading 116-44.

The Vixens came back to the track in the second half with renewed energy, pulling the score back to 136:96 after numerous power jams in their favour. Some tight walls by Harriet and Miss G Vous proved difficult for Severn to break through, and with the penalty box filling with Severn jammers time and again, the score for the Vixens increased quickly while Severn’s score remained almost static. A skating out of bounds penalty called against Scarlett Shadow almost ended Severn’s lead, with the Vixens fighting to bring the score to a tantalising 139-129 with just a few minutes left on the clock.

The atmosphere in the crowd at this point was immense, with thunderous chants being shouted for both teams, but Severn were finally able to pull further ahead once again with two power jams in their favour – both Thunderkat and Buccaneer Betty Fear respectively skating hard, fast (and cleanly!) to ensure they could end the bout with a victory. Final score 194-137 to Severn Roller Torrent. The result of this bout means that Severn Roller Torrent are the first team to qualify for Finals Day – if they are able to defeat Oxford in their final bout on 20th October, it means they will finish as Western Division Champions.

Severn Roller Torrent

What a day it was! We had a fab time hosting the Heartland Series 2013. Thank you to all the NSOs, Refs, announcers, First Aid people, photographers, helpers and all the fans who came out the see the action.

Vendetta Vixens

We had an amazing day yesterday. Thankyou as always to the refs, nsos and everyone that made it happen. And the crowd for cheering their lungs out. Final score 194 – 137. Well done and Thankyou Severn Roller Torrent for an awesome bout.

Oxford Roller Derby

We had fun yesterday playing Wolverhampton Honour Rollers! Score: ORD 199 – Wolves 139. And in October, we’ll play the fearless Severn Roller Torrent on home turf! Will ORD go to the Heartland Series finals?

Wolverhampton Honour Rollers

Was brill fun!!