Auld Reekie Roller Girls (#1) vs. Dublin Roller Derby (#16)
The opening game of the 2017 International WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs and Championships Pittsburgh highlighted the multinational growth and increased athleticism of the WFTDA’s competitive circuit. After a hard-fought competition with dizzying lead changes, Dublin Roller Derby (#16) of Dublin, Ireland, pulled off a 17 point upset against the Auld Reekie Roller Girls of Edinburgh, U.K. (#1)
In the first half, Auld Reekie’s solid defense and strong jammers allowed them to hold a stable but narrow lead as they navigated Dublin’s coordinated sweeping offense and star passes. Dublin’s jammers started to pick up a streak of lead jammer statuses with less than 15 minutes left in the first half, but Auld Reekie’s uncompromising defensive walls and robust jammer rotation allowed them to stay ahead. In the final jams of the first half, the tables started to turn and Dublin was able to take advantage of Auld Reekie’s jammer and blocker penalties to reduce the spread to 7 points.
The second half saw penalties and power jams against Auld Reekie start to tip the competition in Dublin’s favor. The first jam of the half, a power jam for Bloody Harry, evened the score to 108-108. The struggle for lead control continued as the game progressed, while Auld Reekie worked on cleaning up their gameplay with jammer Rosie Peacock earning the Scots’ score back upon returning from the penalty box.
Twenty minutes into the second half, Dublin’s stealthy offensive strategies shifted the game. Pivot Stabba took a star pass on a power jam and in scoring 18 points, took the lead. The game ended the way it had been played, with a hard fought back-and-forth determined by strategic advantage. Dublin’s agile jammers utilized their footwork to exploit the holes in their opponent’s walls, but Auld Reekie’s staunch defense and muscular jammers kept the lead always within a pass’ worth of points. It wasn’t until the final few jams that Dublin was able to capitalize Auld Reekie’s jammers made pivotal technical errors and Dublin was able to pull away with a 17 point upset.
Dublin moves on to play No Coast Derby Girls at 6 p.m. Eastern Time in Game 9. Auld Reekie will play the losing team of the Oklahoma Victory Dolls (#5) vs. Naptown Roller Derby (#12) game tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
Auld Reekie Roller Girls (Seed #1, WFTDA #41) 183
Dublin Roller Derby (Seed #16, WFTDA #58) 200