MRDWC Bowl: Finland Cracks Ireland, 232-163

The Bowl was contested by Finland and Ireland as proceedings began drawing to a close on the final day in Birmingham’s Futsal arena. The Finns took the win after leading from the start, but the Irish made it a contest throughout as they refused to let the Finns get away. It finished 232-163, with Finland taking ninth place in the tournament and Irish tenth, just behind Argentina and Scotland who took a joint seventh after losing their final games earlier.

Finland drew first blood jumping out to a 19-4 lead with three consecutive lead jammer calls before Ireland were able to to take advantage of some Finnish penalty trouble to start pulling the score back. A powerjam for Finland when Lt. Damn was boxed put a stop to the comeback as Ireland ran into their own penalty issues, Lt. Damn returning to the box on a cut shortly after he left and Finland stretching their lead to 43-8.

Kenny Superpowers stretched the lead by ten points before Ireland got a jammer back on the track. Finland continued to earn the bulk of the lead calls and gradually stretch their lead bit by bit while both teams struggled to keep players on the track. Ireland’s Electrixz Avin’U earned their first lead in a while at the 16 minute mark when iPlay4Keeps took out and recycled Kenny Superpowers but it was a brief respite only as Finland came straight back with another 5-0 jam and took the score to 82-15. Persistent dynamic walls from Finland’s Tenu and Karttunen stifled AbNorman, and Ireland’s defence struggled to handle the speed of Superpowers and Wesley Crusher.

Ireland had a chance to get back into it when Cpt. Blockvious was boxed with the star with 10 mins to go in the first half, and AbNorman lapped Finland’s two-blocker pack for a 20 point jam to being the score to 95-37. A last-ditch takedown of the Finnish jammer from Wallbang’er got Lt. Damn out for lead and four more points for Ireland and Electrixz picked up 4 more past Finland’s lone blocker. The Irish fans began to get louder as Finland’s penalty woes continued with another box trip for jammer Cpt. Blockvious, and AbNorman duly racked up 19 points before calling the jam with Blockvious standing. Lt. Damn took advantage of the solo start to pick up lead jammer and another 15 points as Blockvious returned to the box for a low block shortly after leaving it. With five minutes left in the half the score was a Dirty Marty pleasing 97-79 and Ireland were very much feeling that the comeback was on. Both teams’ jammers cut track in the next jam to swap places in the box but Ireland’s wall seemed to have finally got their packwork going and iPlay4Keeps, Wallbang’er and Mick Dastardly made Kenny Superpowers work very hard for his 14 points while AbNorman sat in the box. Wesley Crusher began the final jam of the period solo and put up 24 unanswered points, assisted ably by Tenu and Kekkonen, to reinflate Finland’s lead at the half to 135-88.

Finland began the second half with two lead jammer calls, Karttunen doing just enough to deny AbNorman lead in the second jam but Ireland’s defence holding Capt. Blockvious for long enough for him to nick four points from the jam before Blockvious could call it. Points were more or less even in the first ten minutes of the half, Ireland finally breaking the 100 point mark with 23 mins remaining and the score at 147-100.

After a brief interlude while the medics attended to Block Lobster Lt. Damn squirmed through a light pack for lead jammer, picking up the easiest four points he’d ever scored as the Finland pack left the inside line wide open. Both teams continued to trade lead jammer calls and 4-0 jams, the score sitting at 158-108 with 17:30 on the clock. A rare 5-on-5 jam at the 15 minute mark resulted in an unusually crowded pack and both jammers cutting track within seconds of each other, scoring 8 points each on their return to the track. The 5-on-5 was immediately followed by a 2-on-2 with three blockers starting in the box per team.

Ireland ran into some penalty trouble as Lt. Damn was boxed as jammer for skating out of bounds along with two of his teammates, and Cpt. Blockvious put up 15 points on the reduced Ireland pack. Crusher recorded another 10 with no reply in the following jam and the score stood at 191-130 with 9 minutes to play. Another powerjam for Finland followed and Kenny Superpowers duly increased Finland’s lead by 15 points. Ireland got a break and 10 free points shortly afterwards as Cpt Blockvious went to the box on a high block. With five minutes to play the score was 211-147. Electrixz reliably picked up lead for Ireland in a number of the final jams but was only ever able to put 4 points on the board before the Finland jammer was in a scoring position. Finland finished strongly with a 15-0 jam and the game ended 232-163.

00 Karttunen // 1111 Ior Block // 1701 Wesley Crusher // 19 Tenu // 1928 Cliche Guevara // 383 Jesari Essayah // 42 Cpt. Blockvious // 4C1D Acidic Ferrett // 4I Urpo Kekkonen // 51 Puto // 55 Kenny SuperPowers // 86 Bukkake Randelin // 8BIT Wario // 99 Tapani Kansa’n’Roses

1000 El-Ahrairah // 117 Justin Ballsdeep //45 Abnorman // 4T2 Lt. Damn // 51 Brennan // 7 Wallbang’er // 75 E.Roll Flynn // 8008 Eddy Knievel // 82 Mick Dastardly // 9 iPlay4Keeps // 904 Rave N’BustHer // 981 Cuban Whistle Crisis // B52 Block Lobster // F34R Electrixz Avin’U