On Saturday 20 October over a thousand Canberrans donned green or purple and emerged in force to watch the Surly Griffins and Brindabelters battle it out in what would prove to be an exciting last home team bout before the grand finals. The 2012 home season had it all, nail biters and blowouts and this bout would decide who would be challenging table leaders, the Black ‘n’ Blue Belles, for first place and take home this years Darby Derby Cup.
After crowd pumping and pleasing roll-outs from both teams, Griffin Captain, Rainbow Spite and Freudian Slit for the Belters took the jammer line, both were supported by a bevy of talented blockers and everyone knew this game was on. A few jams in Green seemed the colour of the day with Griffs Spite and Dread Herring giving their team lead in the first two jams followed by a power jam in the third. The score line placed in their favour, 22-0. Bin time for the Belters jammer didn't get them down and the Belters came back with a vengeance and by the 5th jam when it was the Griff jammer’s turn to serve a minute in the bin. This created a power jam for the Belters who had sent out Shaggle Frock to take care of business and that she did, leaving the track at the end of the jam with her team now only 2 points behind. A few more hard fought jams and the scores were evened 36-36. It was from this point that the Belters started to edge ahead and by half time the score line sat at a close 71-55, to the Belters.
The intensity increased in the second half as Shaggle Frock and Aunty Aggro stepped up to the jammer line, while a key blocker Aunty Aggro has also been known to jam aggressively. The Belters were ahead in points and weren’t going to let that lead go; and the Griffs had their ‘eye on the prize’ never giving the Belter jammers an opportunity to break through the pack – with only a 16 points in it, the Griffs could taste the possibility that they would play off for that grand final trophy. The Griffins made another push, assisting their jammers to get the ever desirable call of "LEAD JAMMER" making their way past some formidable Belter’s blocker packs to gain lead, closing the points gap for the Griffs. However, the Belters remained focused and with some powerful and well timed assisting from Ova Bearing, the Belters heard the "lead jammer" call for the next four jams increasing the score to 95-68. Just when it looked like the Belters were closing the door on this win, Amykazeee donned the star and powered through for a 14 point jam for the Griffs. The score sat at 95-82 to the Belters.
Strong pack work by the Griffs and the Belters only saw small point gains for both teams for the next 8 minutes. It was in the 15th jam that the Griffs felt the pain of the refs whistle and the action reached boiling point. With a cut track major to up and coming Griff jammer, Harlot O’Scara, gave the Belters a power jam, but would they be able to capitilise on it? We saw it happen in the first half and Pink Mist didn't disappoint and was able to collect a quick 10 points before calling it off, leaving the score at 118 – 86. With Harlot still in the bin at the beginning of the next jam, formidable Shaggle Frock stepped up to line and in five laps, with a disciplined and strong pack to back her up, earned the Belters 25 points, however soon after she too found herself in the bin for a cut track major! A power jam to the Griffs and Amykazeee up to jam, the Griffs were on the attack and again started to close the gap, score 147 – 104. Only a few minutes left on the clock and it looked like the Belters might take out the game, but a back block major on the Belter’s jammer Pink Mist and the Griffs took their opportunity with a power jam, Dread Herring was able to add another 15 points to the score board!
With what looked to be the last jam of the night, the score sat at 149 – 119. Rainbow Spite and Freudian Slit were up to jam and with both teams had one blocker in the bin, the packs were even. Spite was able to slip through first and gain lead jammer status but Freudian was quick on her heels. The result was a quick four points to the Griffs before Spite called it off as Freudian hit the pack. End of jam and unofficial full time.
The final score: 149-123, a Brindabelters win!!!
An impressive win by the Belters, but unfortunately due to the table of wins, losses and point differential, the Red Bellied Black Hearts were able to stay ahead to take out second place, securing the re-match against the Belles for 2012 season champions. This leaves the Griffs and Belters to go head to head again to see who will take out third. If this game was anything to go by, come the 17th of November, we are in for one exciting action packed bout.
A special shout out to Vena Carver, who had an amazing game, but was injured during the second half. We all wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to having her back on the track.
All four teams are training hard and preparing for the grand final double header - Attack of the Flat Track Women to be held at AIS Stadium on Saturday 17 November 2012. Tickets are available now through Ticketek. Further information is available at http://canberrarollerderbyleague.com/2012-season.