On Saturday, November 16th, all four Boston Derby Dames home teams showed off tremendous skill and teamwork in an intense double header at the Shriners Auditorium in Wilmington. The first bout featured the Cosmonaughties (undefeated this season) against last season’s Fez Cup winners, the Wicked Pissahs. In the second bout, the Arkham Horrors, in their first ever BDD playoffs, faced off against the more experienced Nutcrackers.
Although the evening’s first bout ended with the Cosmos hanging onto their undefeated position by a healthy point margin, the Pissahs made the Cosmos fight to maintain their top spot, and every jam was exciting for the raucous and loyal Cosmo and Pissah fans. The game opened with a huge jam for the Pissahs, with Bad Person racking up 33 points while Jackie K.O. was held back by the Pissah pack before being sent to the penalty box. A run of penalties ended the jam with only two Pissahs and one Cosmo blocker on the track and Bad Person on the way to the box herself. Elle L. Cool Jam won back 23 points for the Cosmos on her power jam, but for the next several jams the teams traded lead jammers and kept the score low and the Pissahs in the lead. With blockers in the box on both sides, the Cosmo and Pissah packs had to work extra hard. Pissahs Maully O’ffender and Knuckle Sammy, as well as Cosmos Vixen TaHitCha and Space Invader, showed what two well-coordinated blockers can do to slow down a jammer.
In the fifth jam, Cosmo HardCore and Pissah Stevie Nixher both picked up penalties and returned to the track to fight for the full two minutes. HardCore earned 15 for the Cosmos, and Nixher (down a toe stop by mid-jam) gained eight for the Pissahs. The Cosmos pulled ahead after that, with Elle L. Cool Jam, Artoo Detoonate, HardCore, and Jackie K.O. all contributing to the lead. Artoo Detoonate was able to capitalize on a power jam, putting up 27 points for science and solidifying the Cosmo lead. A subsequent run of eight lead jammers in a row for the Pissahs– with The Gun Show, Bad Person, and Knuckle Sammy each taking several leads and putting up points– was unable to close the gap due to tough Cosmo defense and fast chases by Cosmo jammers. The Cosmos were able to end the Pissah streak by taking lead jammer in the last three jams and ending the half in the lead.
In the second half, the Cosmos took the lead jammer in twenty out of twenty-five jams. But Pissah packs were strong and the Cosmos were forced to build their lead slowly. Cosmo jammers struggled against the strong Pissah defense and would find themselves being chased by speedy Pissah jammers. A particularly strong Pissah blocking performance was represented by Neurotic Tendency, Ubee Trounced, Estrogeena Davis, and the Pissah MVP Annie Malistick. However, penalties ate away at the Pissah walls, and with frequently fewer than four Pissah blockers on the track, the Cosmo packs were able to play defense and offense, getting their jammers out faster than their out-numbered competition. Cosmo blockers Vixen, K.O., and Cosmo MVP Tears for Phearsome, made the job of the Cosmo jammers easier. Even a late-game twenty eight point power jam by Bad Person (who earned three out of the Pissah’s four second half lead jammers) couldn’t stop the Cosmo momentum, and the bout ended 289 to 134 in favor of the Space Brain.
The second bout pitted the Arkham Horrors against the Nutcrackers. The Nuts had experience on their side, but the Horrors had been picking up momentum through their first season together, and the teams that came to the track were closely matched. The first half saw the Nuts take lead jammer ten times to the Horrors’ nine. The Horrors put up more points due to early power jams by MC SlamHer, Flyin’ King, and Wanda Herchu. When both jammers were on the track, the jams were short, hard-fought, and low-scoring, with several exciting jammer chases forcing 0-0 call-offs. The ninth jam saw Flyin’ King and Belle Air Bomber facing two very tight walls. They emerged from their initial passes at nearly identical times, but with Belle earning lead jammer, and had to race each other back to the pack to grab four points each before Belle called it off.
Tough blocking on both sides made for a very difficult half for the jammers, with Nutcrackers Maya Mangleyou and Planitz Collide, and Horrors Crazy Dukes and America Ferocious (Arkham’s MVP for the night) making opposing jammers fight for every point. The tenth jam saw the Nuts close the point gap considerably as Nutcracker MVP Haddie Collider put up 33 points, and MC SlamHer struggled against a wall of Nuts while missing a toe stop. This brought the Nuts’ score from 24 to 57 against the Horrors’ 65. And then, towards the end of the first half, the Nutcrackers were able to turn the score around. With Crazy Dukes starting in the box, Maya Mangleyou was able to capitalize on a power jam in favor of the Nuts. Mandoline Slicer, Mystic RIPher and Dottie Danger were able to neutralize Dukes once she returned to the track, which allowed the Nuts to score a 34-0 jam, and take the lead 113-112. Another 19-point power jam by Dr. Pepper Spray against a formidably Horror-ific wall put the Nuts ahead 132-114 at the half.
The Horrors started the second half strong with tough walls and hard hits. When America Ferocious and Captain Hook were able to draw a track cut on the Nuts’ jammer in the third jam, Arkham’s Little Buckaroo put the Horrors back in the lead with a 25-point power jam. The score remained tight, and after Flyin’ King and Dottie Danger finished trading power jams, the score was tied 176-176. The Horrors were able to pull ahead again slowly, taking the lead in eight of the last 12 jams. A number of Nutcracker blocker penalties meant the Nuts were often outnumbered, with only pairs of solitary dancers facing off against walls of four working for the Ancient One.
Still, Nutcracker defense did not give in easily. Crown Joules and Mystic RIPher were able to slow down Flyin’ King on her final power jam, with well-coordinated partner blocking, and Maya Mangleyou did some impressive blocking and jamming as she had throughout the game. The Horrors were admirably cohesive and, despite having only played together since this spring, worked together with unity. They were able to use their pack advantages to hold back the Nuts’ strong jammers while getting their own jammers the lead, which resulted in a final score of 236-211 in favor of the Horrors, and a spot in the Home Team Championship bout against the undefeated Cosmonaughties.
Written by Sarah Courtney (Wild Boardom)
Photos © Joe Medolo 2013