Roller Derby World Cup – England gives Canada the Royal treatment in Semi-Finals

Roller Derby World Cup – England gives Canada the Royal treatment in Semi-Finals Photo by Danforth Johnson

DALLAS, TX – The first jam gave us the phrase that was indicative of how the rest of the game would play out: jammer penalties. After three in the first minute and thirty seconds of gameplay that jam ended at 0-0, but then the next ten minutes were slow going. After that, England pulled away with the help of power jams, but by the half Canada had closed up the gap with some of their own. After Canada continued their run in the second half, with Konichiwow leading their defense, Mainey and many of her London teammates hung on with demoralizing packs and forced Canada on more penalties.

England took the win, and now moves onto the Final game, 156-112, and play Team USA at 7pm. Canada plays Australia for 3rd place at 5pm. (The final was formerly at 5pm, but World Cup organizers have since added the 3rd place game.)

In the first jam, England’s Rogue Runner quickly received a track cut, but was followed by Canadian Sarah Hipel to the box. Both packs clung tightly to opposing jammers, recycling them again and again and Rogue was quickly forced on another penalty. After all was said and done in that jam, neither jammer was able to score.

Next, Canada’s Mel-E-Juana got lead jammer over Kami, but England’s Kid Block and Hellvetica Black helped spring Kami from the pack, keeping Mel to just 4 game points. England got their first points when Kim Janna went to the box on a forearm, but her blockers kept Lexi Lightspeed to just one solo grand slam, ending the jam to England’s advantage, 5-4. Mainey then donned the star, and added another grand slam to England’s lead.

Scoring paused for a while, despite Canadian Evada Peron going to the box on a block with the head, but fellow compatriots Smack Daddy and KonichiWOW contained Kami for an effective penalty kill. It didn’t help that the English blockers were struggling with penalties as well. With a quarter of the game gone, Lexi started picking up the momentum again and a power jam put them at 34-4. Following that, Mel got lead against Mainey who immediately passed the star to Shaolynn Huynh, but it did not force off the call. Shaolynn smashed into the Canadian wall and picked up 4 to Mel’s 8.

Three back and forth power jams, and hail mary apex jump by Hipel later, Canada was just 20 points behind England 50-30. The rest of the half contained more power jams than regular jams, but the score stayed low with perma-pivot KonichiWOW’s recycling and teamwork with Chasing Amy, and Demanda Lashing taking a starring role. Mainey continued playing nearly every other jam, either blocking or jamming, and had lots of support by fellow Londoner Kristen Lee, and Lorrae Evans. At the half England held a modest lead at 82-53.

The second half started out much cleaner, and teams traded leads and small amounts of points for a while. After about six minutes, England sat at almost the same lead gap, 89-64. Then in a moment of deja vu, Mel got out with lead and Mainey immediately passed the star to Shaolynn, who followed Mel back to the pack with a forceful entry, but this time that pack encounter landed her in the box on a backblock. Mel settled with two grand slams and called the jam off for a power start, and a 15-point game differential.

Next Kim Janna’s jammer panty fell to the inside of the track, which caused a confused Mainey let her go right by, but without lead. Shaolynn earned that lead status, but went back to the box on a cut. Canada rushed the tough England packs and with under 20 minutes left and another three points by Hipel, it was abruptly a nine point game at 94-85, still in England’s favor.

That was as close as it would get though, and two jams later, one of which included a full box and only KonichiWOW on the track for Canada, England had a 48 point lead, at 138-90 with 13 minutes left. Canada worked up their points in small increments, but they couldn’t keep their jammers out of the box. With a last jam power jam, Canada would have had to score 43 points to win, but after a star pass to Harvey who struggled to get out of the pack, England won the semi-final 156-112. They play Team USA in the Final game of the 2014 Roller Derby World Cup.

Aerial shot from the Dallas Convention Center Arena by Danforth Johnson

Aerial shot from the Dallas Convention Center Arena by Danforth Johnson

Written by