Monday, September 26, 2011

Newcastle Dockyard Dames vs Adeladies bout review

After seeing the Fort Smashleys defeat the Harbour Hellcats the week before in their intraleague bout, it was time to head up to Newcastle again to watch Newcastle's Dockyard Dames take on the Adeladies. This time round my team mate Lauren came with me. She'd never seen either team bout before, I've seen Newcastle bout before but not the Adeladies. I knew Newcastle were good but I heard the Adeladies were pretty good too so I hoping for a good bout and oh boy was it that and more.

There was a mini bout before the main bout. It was NRDL's Star Riots which was their B-team take on CCRG's The Valkyries. I'd never seen CCRG bout before but I recognised  a lot of the players from the Riots from the bout the week before. It started off fairly evenly in the first few jams then the Star Riots really ran riot (pardon the pun). The Valkyries started clawing back the deficit in the second half but it was too little too late as the Star Riots skated away 102 - 27 victors. I had Suzy Pow sitting in front of me for most of the bout so it was good to pick up on some more rules listening to her. I was really impressed by Newcastle's captain Broken Arrow. She was absolutely amazing that night. Not only was she a beast of a blocker she was also organising her pack really well when she was on the track. There must be something in the water up in Newcastle, they breed blockers that amaze and scare the hell out of me at the same time :) Special mention has to go to CCRG's Kiki Kick Arse Chaos she was sneaking sips of beer when she could, you've gotta love derby :D

By the time the skaters came out for their warm up the place was already buzzing. There were people there at a bout for the first time, the regulars and lots of skaters from other leagues. It was a great turn out. The warm up ranged from just skating to practising moves and added to the excitement of waiting for the whistle to start the bout.

The first few jams started off fairly tame as both sides appeared to be sizing each other out. Then the bout exploded into life when Suzy Pow and Adelaide's Kit Cat Krunch lined up on the jammer line. Adelaide's defence was a brick wall on wheels, whenever Suzy tried getting passed she more often than not fell from the heavy hits she received. I think Adelaide did their homework on Suzy especially GoGo Fiasco who gave Suzy a torrid time. Kit Cat on the other hand was killing it and managed to score a 18 - 0 jam to give Adelaide an early 22 - 3 lead. That was also the last jam that I saw Suzy jam, no idea if it was a tactical decision but it suprised me a little since I'm used to seeing her as jammer in bouts. 

Newcastle weren't going to take this lying down, DangeRass picked up a 7-0 jam over Coconut Rough. Godjilla played a smart jam using various tactics to help DangeRass out and she was leading from the front of the pack and did so for a quite a few of the first few jams. I'm not sure how often she plays from the front, most times I've seen her bout she's been a wrecking ball at the back of the pack. 

Defcon Dani had a power jam and the no pack tactics at the start of the jam from her blockers helped her score a 14 - 0 jam which allowed the Dames to hit the lead for the first time with the score at 37 - 32. The crowd were getting behind the Dames but then Kit Cat struck again. With a power jam she scored a 10 - 0 jam. In her next jam she was hitting Hippy Hardarse from the start and causing major havoc as she scored a 7 - 0 jam to take the score out to 49 - 37. In Kit Cat's next jam she smashed Babycakes on her way to scoring a 4 - 0 jam. I don't think anyone forgot Kit Cat that night, she hurt the Dames not just on the track but on the scoreboard too whenever she was jamming.

The Dames fought back with Hippy scoring 12 points in her jam while Adelaide had a blocker and jammer in the penalty box but then she too got sent to the penalty box. Godjilla found herself in the penalty box for the third time in the first half and I was starting to get worried she'd end up getting expelled from the bout for clocking up too many majors.

But Jilla more than made up for it when she got back on the track and absolutely smashed She-Ra, she was not expecting it all. I almost jumped out of my seat, it's great seeing one of your skating idols at their best. Although I hope she hasn't got a thing for opposition players wearing the number 33 because she also hammered Moe Skeeto who wears 33. 33 is my derby number so now I'm a little worried!

The first half ended 63 - 51 to the Adeladies. This bout was absolutely crazy, the jams were played at break neck speed with the blockers skating at a pace you'd expect from jammers. There were hits galore but there was also lots of trips to the penalty box for both sides, one of the more common majors was for cutting the track.

Half time was quite funny and cute. There was a KISS tribute type band performing for the crowd. To my left and the row in front of me there were a few kids who stuck their program out to any skater who went past in the hope of getting an autograph. It just reminds me of Whip It. It's cool to see kids wanting to get skaters autographs. I have to mention Adelaide's Vaderella. I've read and heard about her but never got to see her bout. I know she's a big deal in Aussie roller derby circles and when it was half time she joined in and danced around but when it came to her players warming up before the second half she was all business, getting them to do various drills. I didn't speak to her but there's an air about her that demands respect.

The start to the second half was all Newcastle, starting with Godjilla who smacked out Kit Cat and allowed Babycakes to score a 3 - 2 jam. The Dames went with the tactic of trying to score quick, fast jams to cut back the deficit and it worked with Babycakes, DangeRass, Brigand Strong and Hippy all scoring quick points which allowed the Dames to the hit the lead again 78 - 76.

Hippy was getting nice and low and weaving through the pack with her great agility. For me the unsung hero for Newcastle was Dino La Rouge, she was playing like a pivot at the front of the pack and more often than not stopped the Adelaide jammers from getting through. Despite Vaderella calling a time out to try and stop Newcastle's momentum, the Dames were still scoring points with DangeRass scoring a 12 - 0 jam and taking the score out to 103 - 76. By this stage there was no full compliment of blockers and jammers for the jams as both sides kept getting players sent to the penalty box. Both sides looked knackered from the physical encounter, my throat was getting sore from cheering and screaming. 

The bout then turned on its head again. I'm believing that the Dames are going to go on and win it but then the trips to the penalty box started costing them. Adelaide started clawing back with the score going 116 - 102, 116 - 111, 119 - 111, then with 45 seconds left this is the score

Number 298 and Kit Cat are pulling off a miracle and bring Adelaide back into the bout. The crowd is almost in a frenzy and the tension in the air is so thick you can't breathe. It's down to the last jam, both sides have a blocker in the bin when Babycakes lines up for the Dames and Tricksy Belt'em lines up for Adelaide. Babycakes gets lead jammer and gets past a few Adelaide blockers and calls off the jam. We're all celebrating thinking the Dames won when Mal the commentator tells us to hang on because there's some Newcastle players in the penalty box so ghost points apply. Vaderella is holding three fingers up to indicate three points for Adelaide with a smile on her face. After an official time out to check the scoring it's announced by Major Puddles that Adelaide won 122 - 121. It's pandemonium by this stage some people don't know what's going on, some are just stunned that Newcastle went from winning the bout to losing it by a point, and the Adelaide supporters are celebrating like crazy!

That was the most intense and nerve wracking bout I've ever been to, I was completely stuffed by the end of it and I didn't even bout. I can't even imagine how the players felt by the end of it. Watching bouts like these makes me even more determined to get out there. These are the kind of night's I think most derby folk dream about. I caught up with Cass and some of my friend's from WSR at the end of the bout and we all had pretty much the same reaction. I won't be forgetting this night anytime soon. The Dames more than held their own and the Adeladies were absolutely amazing. I'll definately be keeping a look out for them.

I saw the cutest thing just before I left. There was a little girl who was getting autographs from players then she went up to Godjilla and got so shy she almost cried. Jilla went on her knees and gave her an autograph. Don't worry kiddo I know where you're coming from, I wasn't much better when I met Jilla for the first time last month :D

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