The fifth game of the day at the 2016 International WFTDA Division 1 Playoffs Montréal featured two teams that were very familiar with each other. The Detroit Derby Girls from Detroit, Michigan, USA have faced the London Rollergirls from London, England, UK three times and have come up short each time, with the last game going 345-79 in favour of the Brits in March of this year. Detroit, however, looked strong in their upset of Sun State Roller Girls earlier today, and they were definitely looking to improve on their previous showing against the team from England. Ultimately, London was too strong and performed narrowly better against the American team than they had in March, winning 384-77.
Detroit started out strong with Jileanne Rookard earning lead jammer status and a single point in the first jam, while Lexi Lightspeed for London passed the star very quickly to Juke Boxx to minimize the damage done by Detroit. The very next jam, however, started London’s scoring climb. Master Blaster, a transfer to London from Bear City Roller Derby in Berlin, Germany, took to the line in her D1 Playoff debut. Dynamic offensive and defensive blocking from London meant Master Blaster managed 7 full scoring passes while the Detroit jammer was stuck on her initial pass. After a two minute jam, the score read 35-1. The British team continued to add to their point total unanswered for the next four jams before Racer McChaseHer, jamming for Detroit, bested Rogue Runner for lead jammer status. Detroit ran the jam long, collecting 13 points to Rogue Runner’s 4. The next jam by Racer McChaseHer was also a very successful one for Detroit, who scored 9 points, but with just over fifteen minutes played, London was winning 106-23. Still, Detroit’s defense looked strong on second passes, with London jammers having to call without finishing the pass on more jams than not. The final jam, however, saw London’s notorious ability to learn and adapt during games shine. London’s defense got the better of sophomore skater Jileanne Rookard, holding her for almost the entire jam, while their offensive blocking, combined with the feats of agility and strength of Rogue Runner, allowed the team to put up 25 points in under two minutes, making it a 204-30 lead at halftime.
The second half started poorly for Detroit; an injury for Jileanne Rookard meant that they had to switch up their jammer rotation, adding Cookie Rumble alongside Racer McChaseHer and Feta Sleaze. After the first five minutes, London had added another 39 points to their score; Detroit had added none. A timeout by Detroit calmed the team and a couple of jams later, Racer McChaseHer got the first lead jam for Detroit in the second half and won the jam 6-4. The next jam, Cookie Rumble captured Detroit’s second lead jam of the half and won 3-0, bringing the total score to 252-39. London jammers AnDracula, Lexi Lightspeed, and Master Blaster then put up a quick 59 points in three jams before Detroit won another jam with Jileanne Rookard’s return to gameplay post-injury. Rookard started the jam alone on the track with the London jammer in the box and scored 11 unanswered points for Detroit with ten minutes left in the game and the scoreboard showing 319-62 for London. In a last-ditch effort to improve on their previous performance against London, Detroit managed to pull two penalties on AnDracula, keeping her on the track for three jams in a row and getting 15 points to London’s 34 for those three jams. From there, however, London shut them down again, and the final three jams of the game would go in favour of London, with Master Blaster, Lexi Lightspeed, and Rogue Runner all getting lead jammer and sharing 17 points between them to bring the final score to 384-77 as the last jam ended.
London moves on to the semi-finals and will face either Montréal Roller Derby or the Dallas Derby Devils at 6pm tomorrow. Detroit moves into the consolation bracket, but will improve at least one spot on their ninth place seed, playing at 8pm tomorrow.
London Rollergirls (#1) 384
Detroit Derby Girls (#9) 77