Burning River Slips Past NEO, 139-119

Burning River Slips Past NEO, 139-119 Photo: Ivan Grieve.

TALLMADGE, OH – Saturday night, July 14th provided the latest chapter in the ongoing battle for Northeast Ohio roller derby bragging rights between Cleveland’s Burning River Roller Girls (16NC) and the Akron-based, Northeast Ohio Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls (24NC). The battle did not disappoint the fans who gathered at the Summit County Fairgrounds – it turned out to be the closest bout these two teams have ever played with Burning River extending their winning streak over NEO by a score of 139-119.

Chicago Outfit Survives Burning River, 181-164

MILWAUKEE, WI — Heavy underdog Burning River (16NC) very nearly managed to pull a major rankings upset on a penalty-heavy Chicago Outfit (5NC) at Brewhaha. The team from Cleveland led for almost all of the first 50 minutes of the game, but a devastating 32-0 powerjam for Lola Blow in the final ten minutes was all the Outfit needed to win; in the end, the Outfit was victorious by just 17, 181-164.

Cincinnati Drops Chicago Outfit, 139-119

MILWAUKEE, WI — The Cincinnati Rollergirls live and die by the power jam. The Black Sheep scored 87 points on power jams against the Chicago Outfit compared to just one of their own and survived a dogged Outfit scoring attack down the late stretch for the 139-119 final.

The Black Sheep’s first 45 points came off said power jams; 25 points to K. Lethal in jam number five and 20 more for Hannah Barbaric two jams later. After 10 minutes, Cincy was up 42 points, 50-8. The gap would close slightly by halftime, but Cincinnati was still comfortably in control, 75-41.

Points came slowly to both teams in the second half. After a major track cut penalty on Lola Blow and 15 more points for K. Lethal, Cincinnati’s lead grew once again to 44, 109-65.

With the scoring point differential at its widest, Chicago locked down their game, and began to earn points one pass at a time, scoring in eight consecutive jams while holding the Black Sheep to just one point over an 11 minute stretch. The small game brought the Syndicate back to within 15 points, 110-95, but Cincinnati feasted on a short Outfit pack once again, this time with 14 points going to K. Lethal, and suddenly the gap was 29. Lola Blow, who unofficially led the Syndicate with 65 points, took four turns with the star over the last eight minutes in an effort to close a very bridgeable gap, but Cincinnati held on in the end.

Cincinnati is also known for their short jammer rotation and the tireless presence of K. Lethal on the track. K.L. wore the star in 17 of 43 jams – the same number of turns as the Syndicate’s Lola Blow – for a game-high 70 points.

Cincinnati’s win will likely shake up the North Central Regional rankings, with the Outfit coming in ranked number five and the Black Sheep number nine.

(17) Steel City Thumps Burning River, 270-145

PITTSBURGH, PA — Exactly one year and 11 months ago, the Burning River All-Stars of Cleveland, Ohio (#16NC WFTDA) crossed the nearby border to take on the Steel Hurtin’ of the Steel City Derby Demons at Romp ‘n’ Roll in Glenshaw, PA. The Steel Hurtin’ (#17 DNN, #4E WFTDA) won that match handily (225-62), but this time out, the Cleveland skaters were ready to show off the good work they’ve put in since then. Despite being put in a big hole at halftime, Burning River put on a strong run in the second half, outscoring Steel City for 26 minutes, but eventually falling 270-145.