Monday, June 10, 2013

Quedalles Vs. HDG Allstar

Paris RollerGirls Quedalles (173-155) Hérault Derby Girls All-Stars
June 9th, 2013 / Le Crès 
IT'S A WIN! We FOUGHT for it, didn't give up despite the lead of our opponents, NARROWED the score gap little by little and REVERSED the advantage at the second period.
Everything could happen until the VERY LAST jam, which was full of twists and changes, at the image of the whole game.

4th jam. Kill Belle scores the first 4 points, with already a loose gap of 23 points! An unfortunate powerjam in favor of HDG...
As soon as the first minutes, elbows and high blocks are flying. Of course the first blow goes to team mate Billie Frechette who has been collecting bad hits to the nose throughout the season. Bad luck!
5th jam. My turn to have a try at jamming. I take the lead, the other jammer is hot on my heels, I make her skate around a bit, for fun and for the show, trying to neutralize the tension I was sensing in the atmosphere. I must say that I spent the whole game trying to adapt to the mood of the game without success.
17th jam. We finally challenge the lead, being only 1 point behind thanks to Thelma Track. We are neck and neck for three jams after which the HDG distance us again, and the first period finishes with a score of 55 to 72.

BREAK. Let's refocus, their lead is short. We can make it. We are calm and clean. We need more solid and lasting walls. We need to be more reactive. We need to check the inside more closely. We need to keep on tiring them. We need powerjams to catch up the score. We should make them cut more. Let's go back to work!

1st jam. I open the bal. Powerjam. For us. The greatest resuming present to get us back in the saddle. We make the most of it, the pack does a great job in changing attack tactics at each pass. We're catching up, it's a tie: 74-74, Back to square one. THE GAME STARTS NOW. Trend reversal on the 5th jam when the HDG get the lead back thanks to a powerjam. The jammers endure several penalties on both sides, for extra suspense!
11th jam. After a good bunch of jams during which we were stuck at 80 points, Crapule makes the most of a powerjam to gain points despite a weak ankle. +23. Hardly 15 min left! From that point, we are more determined than ever. It will take us only a couple of jams (and powerjams) to get the lead back and widen the gap.
16th jam. 143-117 for us. 9 min left. Tic-toc. We are starting to believe it, but nothing is set yet. Proof: They are getting closer with a powerjam: 159-140! One more single big mistake at our expense would cost us the victory. Let's be clean and maintain the scores. No suicidal tendencies, only teamwork. We're almost there... 2.30 min left!
20th jam. I take the jammer pantie for what-seemed-to-be the last jam, secure the lead, score the points and call. With only a dozen seconds remaining I should probably have gone for an extra pass to avoid the bonus jam that followed. Note for next time. 161-144.
LAST JAM. Thelma 'swollen-lip' Track Vs. Kick Her Bell on the jammer line. Thelma takes the lead in front of a frenzied audience! Opposing blocker kicks her out and goes further back to make her lose time. Thelma strategically waits for her to be out of play and go back on the track. Bad timing of calls and she is treated to a cutting penalty. Hardly had she sat in the box that KHB takes her place for a cutting. No more lead jammer, 2 full min to hold on. And we DO!

The four whistle blows. We are technically still in front. We have won.
A few LOOONG minutes of total silence for the refs to debrief.
The VICTORY is announced.

MVP Awards: Congrats to Martine Painkiller (HDG, #17) and Sally Broyeur (PRG, #72)!
The MEMYSELFANDI stocktaking:
Am not really o.k. with my teamwork: still not perfectly in phase with the Quedalle packs, especially for the starts. It takes time to get used to different gameplays. Yet there were some interesting strategic understandings, with Rumble Roses and Sailor Blood amongst other starts!
Am quite o.k. with my skating. Yet I tripped a lot (at each jam) on skates dragging in the pack... Made me miss a good bunch of occasions!
Am VERY o.k. with not having got a single penalty! :)

Despite a mitigated gameplay, our strength was in our unity and our composure, which enabled us to hold on and manage the pressure until the last jam.


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