In a weekend full of upsets, no two teams provided bigger surprises than #16 Dublin and #12 Naptown. Dublin’s unexpected victory over top-seeded Auld Reekie and dramatic one-point win over #9 No Coast have been the big story in Pittsburgh, while Naptown’s larger margins over #5 Oklahoma and #4 Jet City caused slightly less nail-biting but were no less impressive. The matchup between these two teams did not disappoint, with Dublin fending off a late rally from Naptown to pull off a 161-158 upset.
Dublin put the first points on the board, with Dashing Trudy Snow taking an early lead and four points before being blasted outside by the opposing defense. Naptown’s Maiden America picked up a low block early in the next jam, but their defense proved immovable to Dublin’s Bloody Harry while Maiden served their time. Maiden made quick work of their initial pass after exiting the box and apex jumped their way to an 18-point jam which gave Naptown an early lead.
A track cut on Naptown’s Nuck L. Sammie’s initial pass gave Dashing Trudy Snow an opportunity to pick up lead status and nine points with it, calling off the jam before Nuck could pick up any points. Bloody Harry followed that up with a swift eight, retaking the lead for Dublin at 25-21.
Dublin picked up lead jammer eight jams in a row and kept Naptown scoreless for seven of them. Dublin’s Bloody Harry pushed past a pair of Naptown blockers to pick up lead jammer before picking up a multiplayer penalty. A star pass from Scorpiopathic to Cherry-oto-Fire proved productive in the meantime, as Cherry picked up five on their first pass and another three on an apex jump. Bloody Harry added 13 after returning to the track, giving Dublin a 57-33 lead over Naptown. Penalty trouble for Dublin’s jammers allowed Naptown to improve their position with some high-scoring jams from Maiden America and Scorpiopathic, cutting Dublin’s lead to seven.
Naptown was plagued by penalty trouble through much of the game, and Dublin capitalized with a 16-3 run over the next five jams before a back block called to Bloody Harry put Scorpiopathic on a 10-point power jam, calling it and ending the half before Bloody Harry was released. At the half, Dublin led Naptown 85-75.
The second period started with a series of low-scoring jams that saw Maiden America, Scorpiopathic, and Cherry-oto-Fire slowly chipping away at Dublin’s advantage, holding them scoreless for five straight jams that eventually saw Naptown take the lead, 89-87. A misconduct call on Maiden America gave Bloody Harry the opportunity they needed to take the lead back for Dublin, however, sailing past the pack on one foot along the inside line and picking up ten points before calling off the jam.
Dublin’s defense held Naptown scoreless for five more jams as Trudy, Thea, and Harry re-extended Dublin’s lead. A track cut from Maiden America and a premature star stash from Thea kicked off a two-minute jam that ended in a 14-8 advantage for Dublin, putting the score at 136-109 with just over eight minutes left in the game.
Penalties to Bloody Harry and Thea meant it was Naptown’s turn to hold Dublin scoreless across multiple jams, and they seized on the opportunity, putting up 19 more points, putting them within eight points of Dublin with 4:30 left on the clock. After four consecutive lead calls for Naptown, Dublin called a timeout. Both teams’ blockers got into penalty trouble as Bloody Harry ran the clock on a 16-9 jam against Naptown pivot Bruisey Ricardo. With sixteen seconds remaining on the period clock, Naptown used their Official Review as their final timeout of the game, with the score sitting at 156-144 in favor of Dublin.
Naptown started the final jam of the game on a power start, with Bloody Harry in the box on a multiplayer block. With both packs racing, Cherry-oto-Fire picked up lead status and 14 points before heading to the box on a multiplayer block of her own. Bloody Harry added five more as the jam clock expired and Dublin managed to hold on for a 161-158 victory.
Naptown played Boston for a Championship berth at 10am EDT, while Dublin took on Paris at Noon.