The first game of the weekend was between two newcomers to the WFTDA tournament scene this year, #41-ranked Auld Reekie and #58 Dublin. This game between the top and bottom seed proved to be much closer than one might have predicted, and a tough battle to the very end.
Auld Reekie set the tone with the first six lead statuses of seven, and the ability to lock down their defense. Dublin took hold of the second half, and as jammer penalties racked up for Auld Reekie, the Irish underdogs held on for a 200-183 victory.
Both teams utilized triangle defensive formations, allowing their fourth blocker to help offensively by crashing through the other wall off the line. Dublin preferred the front, which often times was enough to pin Auld Reekie at the back and allow Dublin jammers to shoot out along the edges of the track for lead status.
However, Auld Reekie’s string of lead statuses to start the game, and an early power jam, helped them work up a 53-21 lead 10 minutes in. Dublin star passes in the following jams helped keep Auld Reekie’s scoring to a minimum, and after a couple of lead statuses for the Irish team, they closed the gap to 53-47.
Auld Reekie’s defense held strong in the next jam, and after two Dublin skaters sat in the box, their jammer joined them and let Rosie Peacock go on a scoring run, ending the jam 23-6. Dublin’s Thea was able to wipe away some of those points with their own power jam to follow, fighting through a full pack to pick up 10 points, making the score 84-71 with Auld Reekie still leading.
Power jams started to come for both sides, and, after Dublin’s Stabba pulled a cut on Rosie, Auld Reekie worked around their offense and was able to catch the jammer one by one to regain control. An effective penalty kill kept Dublin from gaining too much progress with the back to back power jams, and in two instances of late call offs by Dublin, ARRG was able to sneak by and win the jam. One more power jam for Dublin yielding nine points and four more in the last jam of the half brought the score to 97-90, putting Dublin just in reach of a game changer.
A two-minute jam to start the second half had both jammers Sasha de Buyl-Pisco and Bloody Harry take trips to the box, and with the addition of scoring from both, Dublin still inched the gap to within four points. Over the next seven jams, Dublin went on a 36-4 scoring run, taking the game lead and pulling away to 135-112.
The last quarter of the game see-sawed back and forth with Dublin inching away and Auld Reekie catching back up. Dublin’s Bloody Harry picked up a cut with Rosie Peacock on the track, but they weren’t able to earn lead status. A chaotic pack then allowed Bloody to return and pick up points as well, but by the end of two minutes Auld Reekie had brought the game within 20 points, to 146-126. Sasha ran with that momentum with another lead status, forcing Dublin to pass the star and Auld Reekie inched closer over the next few jams to bring it to a four point game with 13 minutes left.
Dublin put a stop to that with a lead status by Bloody Harry, and a few hits by Chancleta helped her add two points to their lead. Manija blazed through the pack for four points, waiting until the last minute to call it as they started to use the clock to their advantage.
Despite getting a forearm, Rosie was able to put up 14 points while Auld Reekie’s strong defense held on. Bangers and her blockers recycled around Dublin’s offense, working well to form around them and catch Thea. Thinking they had lead status, Thea tried to call off the jam but couldn’t without a lead awarded to them, and ended up with just one point. With 8:47 on the clock, Dublin called a timeout after Auld Reekie took the game lead, 160-157.
That break benefitted Dublin, who took advantage of a power jam and took the lead back, barely, with 175-172. Sasha remained in the box for the following jam, and Auld Reekie grabbed the pivot line to secure front positioning. Dublin’s Mallbruise broke up the wall in turn three to get lead status for Bloody Harry but she returned to deal with Temple of Doom and the Auld Reekie defensive force. With both jammers on track, things slowed down as jammers fought against separated tripods. ARRG passed the star pass to Jess Little, which helped end the jam. In the meantime, Dublin pushed away four points further at 179-172, with five minutes left on on the clock.
Rosie took back to back penalties but Dublin locked them down on the apex in the first one, allowing Thea to get lead status and four more points. Rosie was their most successful jammer with 101 points already, but was also the most penalty prone. They were boxed for the sixth time in the next jam for a back block, and since Dublin passed the star, the jam went a full two minutes. Both sides weren’t ready to give up this game and Auld Reekie won the jam with eight points to four, putting them within six points of Dublin.
Sasha got some momentum on the Dublin wall in the final jam and was able to push through for the last lead status. Manija got out a lap behind but by the time they got around, Sasha sat with a forearm. With under a minute left on the game clock, Dublin focused on widening the gap since they couldn’t call off the jam. Argie Bargie helped break up the pack, and after Manija scored ten points, Sasah returned to the track. After getting through on their initial pass with 30 seconds left in the jam as Manija sat, it wasn’t enough time to score enough points.
In the end, Dublin took the first upset of the weekend with a 200-183 victory, advancing to a game at 6pm EDT (11pm IST) against the winner of Game 3, No Coast versus Ohio.