World Cup: New Zealand Holds Off Scotland, 124-111

TORONTO, ON – In their first game of the Roller Derby World Cup, Scotland put together a series of comebacks on New Zealand, but could never actually take the lead. In the end they came up just a minute short of the victory, as New Zealand hung on to win 124-111.

NZ’s Evil K’Neevil took lead and two natural grand slams in the course of an opening 12-0; worse for Scotland, their own leadoff jammer Blazin’ Phoenix was boxed at the very end of that jam, and New Zealand’s Fia Fasi Oe? ran through a spread-out Scotland pack for 10 more. Four minutes into the game, New Zealand was up 22-0.

Scotland got their first lead jammer on the third frame, though, with Marla Mayhem taking advantage of a 4-2 pack advantage to take 4-0. They kept pace on the next as Poison Pixie waited a bit too long to call jam 5 with lead for New Zealand, letting Scotland’s Clincially Wasted catch up and equalize that one at 4-4, and Marshall Lawless grabbed 3-0 to keep Scotland’s mini-rally going at 26-11.

After a scoreless frame, New Zealand finally got some momentum back with back to back 4-and-outs — after which there would be a lengthy play stoppage for technical difficulty when the scoreboard suddenly stopped working. On the return, New Zealand led 34-11 with 8:30 to play in the first, and pushed it all the way to 55-11 after two more.

Scotland got a desparately needed big powerjam in the last 5 minutes of the half, as a tired but determined Marshall Lawless had a lot of track available when New Zealand completely filled their penalty box. New Zealand was completely out of position on the outside corner on three of her many passes, and she ran up a huge 30-0 that changed an impending New Zealand rout to a one-jam game at 51-44. After a timeout, though, NZ came back strong with back to back wins to get back 20 of those points; at the break, New Zealand led Scotland 71-44.

Marla Mayhem picked up 15-0 on a Scotland powerjam to open the second half and Marshall Lawless started adding more on the other side of the powerjam before getting boxed herself; that jam went 9-5 to Scotland and once again it was a one-jam game at 76-68 New Zealand with 15 minutes to play. NZ put a little more space between them in the next few jams, and then, with the score 89-73, Scotland completely filled their box and left Minnie Riot the only blocker on the floor for a few minutes. New Zealand jumped on the opportunity, as Miss Metal Militia got a 20-0 and made it 109-73 with just under 10 minutes to play.

But Scotland kept coming, narrowing the score to 117-93 going into the last 5 minutes; New Zealand called their second of two timeouts with 4:35 left on the clock. Scotland’s Marshall Lawless got a key lead jam call there and some timely blocking from Danger Mouth and Crazy Legs gave her time to pick up 4-0. With three minutes to play, Scotland was just 20 points away at 117-97 … but they couldn’t quite seal the deal. New Zealand’s defense kept Scotland off the board for the next two, making it 124-97 with 44 seconds left on the clock, and New Zealand smartly killed about 20 seconds of the clock before the jammers were released on the last frame.

Those 20 seconds proved to be key, though. Even though New Zealand lost their jammer early in the final jam, Scotland’s Marshall Lawless had no choice but to take risks to make up the 27-point deficit in the little time remaining. She got through three scoring passes to make it 124-111, but the risks eventually caught up with her as she cut track at the end of the third, and game time expired as she made her way to the penalty box.

New Zealand went 1-1 in Group C after taking an enormous 377-8 loss to Team USA on Thursday; Scotland will play Team USA at 12:40 Friday.