Wrap-up: Brindabelters vs. Surly Griffins 22 June 2013

It’s been a busy year for Canberra Roller Derby League - and we're only halfway through 2013! A mere two weeks after hosting the premier Canberra event, Skate-turion, CRDL presented its third bout of the home season, a grudge match between the Brindabelters and the Surly Griffins.

The Belters had received the Wooden Spoon in 2010 and 2011, before crawling their way to third place against the Griffs in last year's grand final, and then managing a close win in this season's opening bout against the Red Bellied Black Hearts, 136-134. The Griffs' first game this season was against 2012 champions the Black 'n' Blue Belles, where the Belles took a win of 243-136. The Belters were obviously keen to stay on top; but the Griffs wanted revenge! Each team was also showcasing the talents of their new recruits following a recent intake, with Lady Collider joining the Griffs and Tori Smack and Boudica taking to the track for the Belters.

The bout started with Shaggle Frock for the Belters, and Harlot O'Scara for the Griffs, on the jam line; wasting no time about it, Harlot attained lead jammer status and called the jam off before Shaggle could amend the score differential, 3-0. The second jam saw things quickly go south for the Griffs however, as ambitious Griffs jammer Penergy! drew a false start major and was sent to the bin, giving the Belters a power jam and thus a lead of 23-3. The Belters maintained this modest lead for much of the first half, as each team's jammers played quite conservatively by "hitting it and quitting it": reaching the pack and fighting for handful a of points, then calling the jam off before the opposition jammer reached it. The binning of Griff jammer Ginger Nutcase meant that Freudian Slit picked up another power jam, and by half-time the score was 89-49.

Coming back from half-time with more ferocity than ever, the Griffs levelled up their blocking intensity, with some exceptional terminating by veteran AnneThrax, Louiville Slugga, and recent transfer Skanky Pants. Belters jammer Berry Bad got trapped by defensive Griff packs while Penergy! accrued several "grand slams": lapping the opposition jammer in the pack. The Belters struggled to defend several power jams, as jammers Pink Mist and Berry Bad accrued bin time, and jammers Penergy! and Harlot used these opportunities to narrow the gap, tying at 101 all. Another jam by Harlot saw the Griffs lead for the first time since the first jam, at 105-101, but shortly enough the two teams tied again at 108 points. Griffs jammer Canuckles got sent to the bin but strong blocking by the Griffs pack meant Freud acquired only ten points during the power jam.

With less than fifteen minutes left on the clock, Belters' jammer Shaggle Frock went to the bin, only to play musical chairs with Penergy! - although the Belters retained a lead of 148-119. The final jam saw Harlot for the Griffs up against Miss D Meaner for the Belters: both jammers conscious of the need to stay out of the bin to avoid a final points hemorrhage! A strategic pass of the star by Harlot to Rainbow Spite saw Spitey sail around the Belters pack, but it was not enough to close the gap. The game finished to the Belters, 172-141.