MALMO, SWEDEN – The battle for bronze between the host league #4 Crime City Rollers and #3 London Roller Girls saw the momentum swing back and forth in the first half, including multiple lead changes.
The second half looked a bit different for both teams and, despite a valiant effort from Crime City, the team were not able to reclaim momentum for more than a few jams at a time. Whereas London was able to take charge of the second half and come away with the win, 181-138.
London got out to a small but early lead with a string of lead calls, although Crime City managed to get their jammers out of the pack consistently, limiting London’s scoring passes.
Both teams employed similar styles of defense which functioned well with a full contingent of blockers. For Crime City, Juicy Butther was often the last line of defense, going shoulder to shoulder with the jammers.
In the first jam, Rogue Runner broke out early to pick up 5 points. Delta Strike followed in the second jam, bringing the score up to 14-0.
The momentum then swung into Crime City’s favor, starting with a 0-0 jam led by Hanna P. After three jams of Crime City earning lead, London called a team time out.
Out of the time out AnDracula gave up a power jam to Crime City where Hanna P and Crime City took the lead for the first time this game, with 34-25 mid-jam. However, late in the jam, Hanna P was assessed a penalty – Crime City still managed to hold onto their new lead, 37-29.
The next jam saw Curly Haar earn lead and extend Crime City’s lead slightly, to 41-33. Crime City’s lead was short lived as London reclaimed the lead 47-46 in the following jam. Then Crime City responded with a lead, call and retook the lead, 52-45.
London at this point called for an official review – asking for a cut call on Crime City jammer – but the no call stood. Crime City then responded with an official review of their own, requesting a low block call on a London Blocker, which was also denied.
London used the time during those official reviews to make a slight line-up adjustment, switching Trisha Smackanawa as jammer with Rogue Runner. And London benefited from that switch with a power jam that resulted in a lead change for London, 72-52, that they would take into the half-time break. As Prince Sofia got out for lead, but on her first scoring pass picked up a back block, ending the half with a 0-0 jam and setting London up for a powerstart in the first half.
The first jam of the half saw London extend their lead slightly, to 85-63.
Immediately after, Crime City called for an official review requesting a high block against an LRG blocker, a risky move so early in the half. The risk paid off as the referees decided that the requested high block penalty would in fact be assessed. The penalty was served by Shaolyn Scarlet in that jam, but should have been assessed to Kristen Lee (who had already removed herself from play due to injury in the previous jam).
Penalty woes began to plague Crime City again, and they lost 2 blockers and their jammer to the box in the following jam. Which gave London the opportunity to push their lead to 100-70.
London then used their official review to request a low block penalty against the Crime City jammer in the previous jam. Just prior to announcing the result of the official review, Crime City’s jammer sat in the box, serving as a spoiler alert of sorts, and a low block call was indeed assessed to Crime City. London then sent Rogue Runner to the line, who had proven successful in previous power jams, and it proved to be true yet again as they added 12 points to take London’s score to 112-70.
Crime City’s penalty troubles continued over the next few jams. Rogue Runner made multiple scoring passes, as Dykestalker went to the box for a high block.
Crime City called a team timeout in response to London’s extended run, with 17:38 left on the clock. The time out did not serve to halt London’s momentum or stop Crime City’s penalties as Hanna P picked up another penalty, their fourth of the game. London continued to hold Crime City scoreless for the 4th jam in a row, with a score for 144-75.
Only a few jams later, another power jam opportunity went to Rogue Runner as Curly Haar picked up a forearm penalty while escaping the pack.
Prince Sofia then added the first points to Crime City’s score in a few jams with a 20 point jam, closing the score gap to 149-98. In response, London called a team time out. And emerging from that break, King K provided London with their fourth power jam of the half.
A few jams later, Curly Haar ran up the score for Crime City while on a double power jam and a pack advantage for the majority of the jam, and the score sat at a not inconceivably surmountable 171-126, with just under 2 minutes to play.
After a quick and tense 4-4 jam, Crime City called a team time out with only 42 seconds remaining in the game, to ensure themselves both a fresher line-up and a further jam. Out of the time out, Curly Haar took the jam line and claimed lead just ahead of Trisha Smacknawa, but even jam control wouldn’t give them enough time for the points climb they needed, the call-off ending the game with a final score of 181-138, London taking the win.
Both teams will advance to Champs and both teams exit in the same place as they were seeded: London claimed the bronze and Crime City ends the tournament in 4th place.
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