COLUMBIA, SC – In a scrappy fight for the 9th place slot, Ann Arbor Derby Dimes and Steel City Roller Derby duked it out in a highly physical contest. Ann Arbor came into the tournament seeded 9th and were looking to secure their seeding entry with this game against Steel City, even as the Steel Hurtin’ squad were keenly looking to move on up through their entry bracket placement with this game.
Eventually the weekend of play came to a close for the teams with Ann Arbor closing the docks to Steel City’s heavy delivery of points, 258-205.
Steel City opened the game with a shut out for the first two jams against Ann Arbor, pushing the score to 33-0 with two back to back double digit additions. Leann Groll and Snarkelepsy kept pushing up the point spread for Steel City in those jams until Terror Misu grabbed lead jammer in the third jam in, and gave the team a return with her own 20 point addition for Ann Arbor.
Terror Misu seemed to have really found their feet after the weekend’s experience in the tournament, showing more patience and footwork as a jammer. But it was a huge 28 point jam for Slamuel L Jackson, along with a defensive line that forced a star pass by Steel City, that pushed the game points in Ann Arbor’s favor, 72-60.
Ann Arbor did an excellent job of forcing Steel City jammer penalties later in the half, and they continued to hold lead jammer status repeatedly mostly through to the half. The Derby Dimes also had more purposeful offense movement, giving little opportunity to Steel City’s defense. Steel City became very comfortable with star passes and star stashes by half time, only slightly slowing the point deficient bleeding 144 to 115 in favor of Ann Arbor by the break.
The second half told a quite different story, as Ann Arbor seemed to lose some focus and endurance enough that they switched around the jammer rotation more than twice. Aside from the 57% lead jammer wins, Steel City tightened their play, allowing only 1 jammer penalty in the second half while Ann Arbor lost more minutes in the penalty box, both in jammers and blockers alike. Reduced offensive opportunities and power jam advantages showed the cracks in Ann Arbor’s armor.
Steel City held the Brawlstars scoreless 5 times throughout the second period – a total of 18 jams out of 21 with no forward movement in point gains – they also maintained pack speed. After two lead changes Steel City skated into consistent scoring, having sent Hurricane Heather out much more often than in the previous half. Heather scored a total of 81 points for Steel Hurtin’ and was closely followed by Leanne Groll with 69 points and Snarkolepsy at 66 points. By about the halfway mark in that second period, the score was tied between the two squads, at 193 apiece, and Steel City was able to handle the pressure just a little bit better than Ann Arbor to keep climbing.
Terror Misu ended the game with a nice showing of 71 points as the Derby Dimes’ lead scorer. Notably Dr.Maims U, Michelle O’Bombya, and Cora Slain kept to a positive differential for the Brawlstars, and were crowd favorites along with Lethal.
If MVB’s were handed out, Ada Bloodlace, The Kraken, Ally Mckill, and Raven would have a hell of a time figuring that out. Nearly all the blockers on the Steel Hurtin’ bench managed positive differentials, showing that despite Ann Arbor’s strong size and brute strength were a difficult force to face for Steel City, they were able to use wily plays and advanced footwork to out maneuver within the pack to “steel” the deal. The final score prevails at 205 to 258.