Thanks to Linda LuMardy for this awesome round-up of the Wheeled Cats' first Intra-league bout.
THERE was a nail-biting finish in Wakey Wheeled Cats’ first intra-league roller derby bout but it was Alley Cats who triumphed 108-101 thanks to a tactical display against their Stray Cats rivals.
Skaters from the Wakefield club were joined by guest skaters from Lincolnshire Bombers Roller Girls and Liverpool Roller Birds to form two evenly-matched teams in the clash at Dewsbury Sports Centre.
It was the Alleys who took the lead from the first jam, but the Strays fought hard, almost getting back on to level terms several times in the first period and at one point clawing back 11 points in a single jam.
But strong game play from Alley jammers Wheelie, Invincibeel and Exacutie, and tactical play from pivots Bruise and Fu had the Alleys 50-36 up by the 12th jam.
The next two jams proved crucial for the Strays, with Daneurysm and Snarles keeping persistent Alley jammer Soaps at bay long enough for Stray Jewel to get lead jammer, who called off the jam before the Alleys were able to score.
Stray jammer Pandora brought the team’s points up to 56 in the next jam, just trailing to the Alleys’ 58.
However, in the final jam of the first period the Alleys were back on form as fierce blocking stopped Strays jammer Sophierce in her tracks, allowing Alley’s Soaps to take lead jammer status and make the half-time score 62-56.
Both teams picked up their game in the second half, which saw much more tactical play but more time in the penalty box as skaters fought their way to get ahead.
Lots of falls resulted in a messy first jam, with trips to the penalty box for Stray Cats Alabama, Pandora, Daneurysm, Snarles and Sophierce within the first four jams.
This allowed the Alleys to gain a 15-point advantage – the majority of which were picked up in the second jam thanks to strong tactical calls by pivot Fu and excellent blocking by Whipcrash, who kept jammer Pandora at bay.
But the tide turned and the Alleys started the seventh jam with three players in the penalty box, Wheelie, Purr Evil and Invincibeel, and Stray jammer Dia took full advantage to claw back points.
Clever tactics got the Alleys back on track in the next jam, with lead jammer Feline calling off the jam before Stray’s Pandora had the chance to score and as the game entered its final quarter Alleys led 92-78.
The tenth jam saw both teams employing tactical play and Alley jammer Exacutie found the going difficult with Stray Cats jammer, Pandora, inhabiting the box for a full minute, pivot LuMardy keeping the pace fast and stray blockers Mallory and Snarles using big hits to keep Exacutie back.
When back on the track, a determined Pandora bagged nine points for Strays, pushing her own team member to the floor to help reduce the deficit to 103-91.
The gap was closed further still in the 13th jam, blocker Mallory stopping Alley jammer Wheelie from scoring, and the game remained in the balance at 103-101 going into the penultimate jam.
However, Alleys regained the initiative thanks to Purr Evil’s haul of five points despite strong blocking from Daneurysm and LuMardy.
Despite Strays speeding-up the pack under pivot Edd Hunter in the final jam, Invincibeel fought through to gain lead jammer status, seizing the all-important ability to call off the jam, with Pandora ready to score, and thus clinch victory for her team.
Visit www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk to watch a video of clips from the bout.