We’ve been training hard and talking strategy, so the first bout of ADRD’s 2011 season was always going to be exciting. What nobody quite expected was that the Mile Die Club, last season’s underdogs, would force such a strong lead from the get-go, rattling last year’s champions, the Road Train Rollers, in the first few jams. The Dies’ pack control seemed to cause some desperation from the Roady jammers, earning them a few costly trips to the sin bin, while Dies jammers Raw Dog and Dodgy Manouevres converted absent opposition jammers into grand slams. But the Roadies rallied and replied with a series of grand slams themselves, from Killakaze, Tricksey Belt’em and Kit Cat Krunch, holding the almost unstoppable Mile Die Club back to a half time lead of around twenty points, at MDC 65 to RTR 46.
We know by now that twenty points up at half time just means a more intense second half and a bout which could easily go either way. As expected, the Roadies exploded onto the track for the second half, but the Dies stepped up to an even higher defense level. The jams were high strategy, close and low-scoring, with a lot of hit-and-quit plays and scores like 1:0 and 2 points each. When a Mile Die trip to the naughty seats, followed by a perfectly timed bunnying play from the Roadies, narrowed the score differential to just 10 points with just over 9 minutes left in the half, the tension rocketed. The Dies kept fighting fiercely, but the Roadies had caught the faint smell of a RTR victory and here’s where the game changed. A costly trip to the box for two MDC blockers allowed a Kit Cat grand slam with only 4 minutes left on the clock. And when Mile Die jammer, Raw Dog, was sent to the bin in the next jam, albeit after busting out some outstanding jammer-on-jammer defensive hassling, it seemed the MDC 95 to RTR 91 score might spell trouble for the Dies, with only 2:40 in the game and the Roadies lined up for a Kit Cat powerjam. But the Dies pulled out an amazing defensive jam, with Kit Cat sent to the bin without scoring. The final jam of the game began with Death By Disco in a powerjam position and the MDC 4 points ahead. But Kit Cat came out firing from the sin bin and gave it everything she had, earning lead jammer status, scoring, and then calling off the jam and the game for a Roadie victory by one point and a final score of MDC 95 to RTR 96. [Psycho Fox]