FEASTERVILLE, PA–When the first WFTDA-sanctioned whistles of the seventh annual East Coast (Derby) Extravaganza blew, a Gotham win seemed like a foregone conclusion. In a handful of jams Texas were able to show some of the recent form that carried them to big wins over Rocky Mountain and Minnesota, but after the first five minutes a comfortable Gotham win was never in doubt.
The last time these teams met it was Polly Gone, late of Gotham Girls, who was most effective in the pack for the Texecutioners, repeatedly sending her new home crowd wild with a series of big takeouts of Gotham jammers. While more big hits from her, as well as flashy jamming from Olivia Shootin’ John and Hauss the Boss got the crowd on their feet, it was Gotham’s veterans in the pack and with the star who dominated proceedings. Gotham finished 313-66 winners after restricting Texas’ scoring almost exclusively to a handful of jams at the start of either half.
The first few jams made it look like Texas might be in a position to run a Gotham team missing Sexy Slaydie relatively close. Olivia Shootin’ John wriggled through for the first lead call, running some quick jammer D on Bonnie Thunders on her way through the pack to make the lead call safe–but it wasn’t enough to get any points on the board. Fifi Nomenon took a less subtle approach in jam two and bludgeoned her way past Fisti Cuffs to makes it 2/2 for Texas–and put the Texecutioners first two points on the board with an outside-line twirl around Fisti before calling it as Suzy Hotrod bore down on the pack.
Bonita Applebomb led the pack charge to control Sarah Hipel for 90 seconds in jam three as Bonnie put up a 9-0 jam to give Gotham the lead–but Texas did a great job of limiting the damage as Bonnie was recycled repeatedly on her first scoring pass. Four for OSJ followed as Vicious Van Go Go took the star for the first time.
Violet Knockout and Sweet Sherry Pie combined to force a cut on Fifi Nomenon to let Suzy Hotrod blow Gotham into a 39-6 lead as OMG WTF and Mick Swagger repeatedly punched holes in the static Texas defence to let her through for points. Things got even worse for Texas when Suzy’s last points went up just as Fifi was sent directly back to the box for another cut.
Bonnie finished off that powerjam as Gotham switched to a much more passive offensive, putting up 15 more before Fifi was released. By the time Fifi escaped from Ana Bollocks’ clutches and forced the call, Gotham led 58-6.
Gotham racked up points as Texas increasingly tried to disengage to let their jammers push Gotham walls out of play and draw out of play penalties. While it served to limit the damage from Gotham’s run of lead calls, it didn’t give them enough room to manoeuvre and add to their score.
At the half-way point of the half, Texas put their first points in ten minutes on the board as Vicious and Fifi both hit the box. That full-length jam left Gotham with an 85-18 lead.
The next jam, too, ran the duration as both Claire and Hauss were boxed within seconds of each other. Both teams formed strong four walls and trapped the returning jammers–and Claire just got the better of things after a prolonged first pass for both ran out the jam and left Gotham in a 98-21 lead.
27 Gotham points later, Hyper Lynx forced a cut on OSJ–her first penalty of the bout–and Bonnie put up a 23-0 in the ensuing power jam. Texas reviewed that call after the jam and took three minutes to compose themselves, but the break didn’t pay any dividends. Hit-and-quit jams for Gotham closed out the period as they held Texas scoreless and took a 179-21 lead into halftime.
Texas opened the second half with their first hit-and-quit 4-0 jam of the bout as OSJ had enough of a lead over Bonnie for them to disengage utterly, forcing a no-pack just as OSJ squirmed through the Gotham wall. Texas continued to gain ground over the next two jams as Gotham’s blockers followed each other to the box–but Vicious opened Gotham’s second half account in the fourth jam.
Hauss the Boss stopped Gotham restoring their 158-point half-time lead with a quick 4-0 as Gotham blockers queued for the box and Texas stayed clean. Sarah Hipel then put together Texas’ first non-penalty-assisted multiple-scoring-pass jam of the bout to make it 186-48. That jam saw Texas’ blockers run into their own penalty problems though–and that let Suzy and Bonnie restore order to the Gotham ranks.
Quickly enough, though, Gotham’s line-ups were again being dictated by the box queue. At one point they were forced into starting with OMG WTF as a one-woman pack–but her one-one-one defence on Hauss the Boss, combined with Bonnie’s footwork and power, limited the Texas jammer to a single pass. In the next jam, OSJ made it 203-60 as Polly Gone pummelled Suzy.
Ana Bollocks finally forced a cut on a Texas jammer on the fourth time of trying a nudge out and jump back manoeuvre midway through the period. Bonnie and Vicious tag-teamed that powerjam to take Gotham past their half-time margin. Hipel stumbled following a hit from Mick Swagger after returning from the box and was sent out on another cut. She returned to play just as Suzy made the margin 200 and the bout entered its final ten minutes.
The final few jams capped a dominant and workmanlike performance for the Gotham Girls. The final jam featured the one break from that pattern as Claire D Way went for a big apex jump to steal the last few points and make the lead 250–but she failed to stick the landing before calling the jam from the floor after the period clock expired with Gotham leading 313-66.
Gotham plays Atlanta tomorrow; Texas will play Philly.