Team USA win the first ever Men’s Roller Derby World Cup
After three days of pool and knockout play the hosts, Team England, took on the favourites, Team USA, with the title of world champions at stake.
The stage was set for a thundering finale as every pair of eyes in the building poured into the Roller Derby City track. England were without their leading jammer, Reaper, who finished a tough semi-final against France injured, while the USA had to recover from a bruising and highly physical encounter with Canada in their semi.
The first period was a relatively clean and defensive game with few jammer penalties for either side, which gave England the chance to score points against their famously watertight opponents. The English blockers also worked especially hard to keep the American jammers from scoring during the few powerjams they gave away.
Sully had the most success jamming for Team England, earning lead on five of the eight occasions he jammed in the first period, while Ballistic Whistle, Rex Tangle and Giggity made up the rest of the rotation. Team USA turned to Jonathan R, Frank Not Sohotra, Binkley and Townsend, who all put in outstanding performances beneath the jammer star.
Magnum, Streak and Wyatt were omnipresent and a constant thorn in the side of the English jammers. Sugar Boots once again supplied the offence, including one especially sweet booty block to Rolling Stoner who was chasing down a fleeing Frank Not Sohotra.
Becker was the stand out blocker for the Americans though, a menace throughout the game and part of the reason Team England were restricted to only 39 points in the first period. The score at half time:39-160.
The second period saw the American advance halted considerably, only able to add two or three points every jam as the English jammers left the pack hot on the heels of the American jammers. Even the power jams failed to provide too many extra points for Team USA, bar one near the start of the period.
However, the England jammers were only able to take lead jammer twice in the first twenty minutes of the second period though and without that tactical advantage struggled to progress their own score.
With little over five minutes left England made a breakthrough when Frank Not Sohotra cut the track, leaving Ballistic to himself. He added five points before the jam was called off due to an injury to Rolling Stoner, who recovered within the minute and returned to his bench.
Giggity started and Frank Not Sohotra was released from and then promptly returned to the box, gifting Giggity another one minute powerjam. The English blockers didn’t hesitate to provide offence helping the Lincolnshire player score 14 points.
The final jam saw Ballistic become lead and Binkley go to the box as jammer. Ballistic struggled to make headway and passed the star to Dog who finished the scoring pass with five points.
It was a nice final flourish from Team England in a game in which Team USA always looked confident of maintaining a lead, but the English did superbly to restrict them to only 100 points in the second period.
Team USA deservedly win the first ever Men’s Roller Derby World Cup with a grand final score of 260-71.