Sunday, March 28, 2010

CRG's First 2010 Home Bout

Saturday night ended the off-season roller derby drought in the area when the Cincinnati Rollergirls hosted their first home event of 2010. It was an exciting night in the Cincinnati Gardens with a huge crowd of 3000+ derby fans cheering on the CRG skaters! In the first bout of the evening, the Silent Lambs took on the Circle City Socialites from Indianapolis. The Lambs won easily with a final score of 112 to 30. In the second bout, the Black Sheep lost to the San Diego Derby Dolls with a final score of 108 to 129.

Silent Lambs vs. Circle City Socialites-18The Silent Lambs had a great 2010 debut against the Socialites. The Lambs clearly outclassed their opponents and were in control of the match after the first few minutes. The team was a mix of experienced CRG skaters, rookies, and experienced rookies that transferred to CRG. The Lambs obviously have been working hard as the group functioned very well as a team. They listened to each other and watched for input from the bench (Pale Rider and Ruff’n the Passer) to make some very smart plays throughout the bout. The Lambs effectively slowed the pace, made the pack fast, trapped opposing blockers, and shut down jammers at various times to keep the Socialites off balance. It was fun to watch. On the jamming side, Wheezy (see photo below) was on fire for the Lambs! She used her blockers effectively and was able to find her way through the pack easily. Bex Pistol, Miss Print, Pistol Whippin’ Wendy, Glamour Azz, and Celia Graves also wore the jammer star. On the blocking side, Geez Louise was in there as usual doing her thing. Other notables included Mirderher, Envy Miyoni, and rookie Kitten Kicker who dished out a couple hard blocks. Congrats to all the Lambs on a solid, well played bout. The downside to the bout was the injury to Shirley Temptya with less than a second to go in the bout – a bout that marked her return after being out last season with a leg injury. Get well soon, Shirley!

Silent Lambs vs. Circle City Socialites

Black Sheep vs. SD Derby Dolls-26The Black Sheep struggled a bit during their bout against the SD Derby Dolls. Near the end of the first half the Sheep were lagging behind a bit until Nuk’em came through with a 15 point jam to bring the score close. At the half CRG was ahead 72 to 61. Blocking was tough on both sides, but the Derby Dolls had clean, focused blocking that slowed the CRG jammers when their teammates couldn’t break up the coordinated blockers. K. Lethal, Hannah Ouchocinco, Sadistic Sadie (at right), and Nuk’em all wore the jammer star for the Black Sheep. The Derby Dolls also had some good jammers – especially Bonnie D. Stroir.

The second half was a see-saw battle except for the last few minutes when penalties, especially jammer penalties, really hurt the Black Sheep. Without that penalty trouble, I think the outcome would have been different. Blocking was tough on both sides. Black Sheep vs. SD Derby Dolls-3The photo at right shows a couple of the Derby Dolls about to hit Hannah. The photo below shows June With a Cleaver and Sk8 Crime blocking a Derby Doll jammer.

One thing I didn’t understand about the Black Sheep strategy was what I call the jammer/jammer cat and mouse game. I realize that jostling with the opposing jammer to get them to do something stupid may make the opposing jammer ineligible from becoming lead jammer. But if you can’t do that quickly, you eat up a lot of time when you should be scoring to regain the lead or solidify your lead. CRG has enough speedy jammers, and smart jammers, to outskate and outscore their opponents. To me that is just as exciting as the cat/mouse action.

Black Sheep vs. SD Derby Dolls-29

Black Sheep vs. SD Derby Dolls-40The event production was very good as usual. Unfortunately the sound in the Gardens isn’t good – at least the folks in the flock section were having a hard time understanding anything that Tank and Caesar were saying. That may have also been caused by the noise from the crowd. It was great to see the stands of the Gardens being filled almost to the roof with derby fans!! I hope the spectator growth continues.

As usual, the skaters took time to greet fans and sign autographs after the bout. Dianne got pictures of me with Wheezy (at right) and Pistol Whippin’ Wendy (below). Thanks to both of you for taking time for a photo. You can see all my photos from the Lambs bout here and from the Sheep bout here. Don't forget to check out the team photographers Flickr sites: Photomonkey Uno and Photomonkey Dos for some excellent photos. For more info on the team, check out the revamped Cincinnati Rollergirl website.

Black Sheep vs. SD Derby Dolls-39The next CRG home bout is only a few weeks away – April 17th when they take on the gals from St. Louis. This should be another exciting match up as Arch Rival will be looking for revenge following their loss to CRG in the North Central tournament last Fall in St. Paul. Be there to cheer on the Sheep and Lambs! Be a part of the Flock!