Victorian Roller Derby League (#1 Vancouver) vs. London Rollergirls (#1 Montréal)
Both the teams in the bronze medal match faced narrow losses Sunday night.
The London Rollergirls from London, England were edged out by Gotham Girls Roller Derby from New York, New York in the quest for gold, while Victorian Roller Derby League from Melbourne, Australia overcame a huge deficit to take the lead in the last quarter of their game only to have victory snatched away in the final jam against the Rose City Rollers from Portland, Oregon.
Having been in the same situation year, both teams knew that recovering from those dashed dreams is the key to success in the third-place match up. London has never been successful in this game despite the team’s now three-year history in making it to this match.
Victoria, for the second year in a row, bested its commonwealth compatriots to take home third place, 198-108.
Lady Trample, a Victoria skater, said of the match,
We had an awesome cheer last night and decided we wouldn’t be defeated by the loss. We reset and committed to bring our best game to today.
London led after the first jam, 3-0. This was the only time in the game the team was ahead as Victoria came alive the next jam.
Christy Demons lapped the pack twice before Lexi Lightspeed managed to pass the star to Pivot Juke Boxx. Juke Boxx snuck through to grab a quick four points before Christy Demons could call it off, leaving the score 8-7 for Victoria.
From there, Victoria went on a 38-0 run across the next five jams before Rogue Runner went 9-0 with Giles in the box wearing the star for Victoria. With 15 minutes gone, Victoria led 46-16.
At this point, London started utilizing star passes more with Juke Boxx, Stef Mainey and Kid Block all seeing time with the Jammer cover. Rogue Runner was the only starting Jammer who had any consistent success in the first period against the likes of Mick Swagger, Serelson and Screw Barrymore. Despite the change in strategy, Victoria’s lead still grew.
At the half, the Australians led 95-33, and 13 of London’s points were scored by Pivots.
The second half saw London become more desperate. The team adjusted its jam starts, committing to more offense off the line and trying different formations looking for success. Rogue Runner, again, was the only consistently successful Jammer for London, but Trisha Smackanawa, Master Blaster and Lexi Lightspeed all managed to pick up lead at least once for their team.
The switch to offense demonstrated just how masterful Victoria’s defense could be when pressed. Lorrae Evans and Bicepsual adapted and flowed around hits from London Blockers Die Die and Arocha to maintain command of the London Jammers.
Midway through the half, with Victoria up 130-47, the Australians failed to field a Jammer. There was a palpable gasp in the crowd as London fans realized the opportunity for a comeback.
Valiant jamming by Trisha Smackanawa and Stef Mainey invigorated the team, and London topped Victoria 34-22 over the next five minutes, bringing the score to 152-81 with just over 10 minutes left. London then scored another 37 points to Victoria’s 19 in the final six minutes of gameplay.
Victoria’s lead was too great, however. The Australians took the game, 198-108.
Victorian Roller Derby League (#2) 198
London Rollergirls (#5) 108