Burning River Slips Past NEO, 139-119
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.
These two teams have frequently scrimmaged against each other, shared announcers, refs and NSOs and even swapped occasional skaters as Burning River original member Rogue Cheddar now skates for NEO and NEO founding skater Scarlet Go Dancin’ now plays for Burning River. Their last sanctioned bout was in February with Burning River posting a 224-112 win. For this contest, Burning River would only roster 10 skaters, and they needed every last one.
Burning River led 18-8 after the opening three jams, but the hometown Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls caught fire as they went on a 34-0 run over the next three jams. Twin Pistol started it off with a 4-0 jam, followed by Holley Car Brader scoring 15 unanswered points and Elektra Magneto posting a 19-0 jam (which would be the largest score of the bout). At the 18 minute mark, NEO had jumped out to a 46-18 lead.
The two teams would trade points for the next 11 minutes without much change in the margin. The highlight of the middle of the first half was a 12-12 jam that ran the full 2 minutes as neither Taking Names of NEO or Mae Burnya picked up lead. With seven minutes remaining in the first half, NEO led 77-47.
The final seven jams of the first half proved the most curious part of the bout. The Burning River jammer rotation of The Killustrator, Premo Donna, Lulu and Bad Mooney Rising got lead jammer position each of those final seven jams, yet the NEO defense, led by Teeny Houdini, Taking Names, Carmella the Crusher and Sicilian Slicer, was able to limit the damage to only 2 points. The score at halftime was NEO 85, Burning River 57.
NEO was led by co-captain Holley Car Brader’s 35 points. Holley scored in every one of her six first half jams. Burning River were led by The Killustrator and Bad Mooney Rising, each with 12 points. Holley’s 35 point first half would be one more than NEO scored in the second half as River would find their defense.
The second half began with a 9-0 jam by Burning River’s Premo Donna. Four jams later, The Killustrator posted a 15 0 jam and the NEO lead was down to four points at 85–81 with 22:30 remaining in the bout. Three jams later Premo tied the bout with a 4-0 jam. The very next jam, The Killustrator gave Burning River its first lead since early in the bout at 90 - 85. BRRG came out on a 33-0 run to take the lead at the 17:30 mark of the second half. Impressive defensive performances were registered by Hidden Ajennda, Finnish Her, Morbid Cherub, Bad Mooney Rising and Veruca Salty.
But Holley Car Brader and her NEO teammates were not ready to concede anything yet. Holley grabbed the lead right back with 12 unanswered points, her biggest jam of the second half. Twin Pistol followed with a 4-0 jam, and with under 15 minutes to play NEO held an 11 point lead at 101-90.
With 6 minutes remaining, NEO was still up 107-103, but then disaster struck for the home team. Back to back power jams allowed The Killustrator to post her second 15 point jam of the half, which was followed by an 18-0 jam by Lulu – Burning River’s biggest jam of the night. With under two minutes to play, Burning River had their largest lead of the night at 136-109.
While River’s jammers were scoring points, they were losing blockers, though – Finnish Her and Oooh Shinee got ejected at the 2 minute and 1 minute mark both for taking 7 trips to the box, leaving BRRG with just 8 players available going into the final jam.
NEO jammed Holley in the final two jams of the night and she garnered them 10 total points, while Burning River picked up 3. The bout ended at 139 for Burning River and 119 for NEO’s Rock ‘n’ Roller Girls – quite a change from their bout in February, when BRRG won 224-112.
Burning River was led by Killustrator’s 51 points, followed by Lulu and Mae Burnya who each scored 28. NEO was led by Holley Car Brader’s 62 points and Twin Pistol’s 24 and Elektra Magnito’s 21. Holley Car Brader was the most effective jammer of the night, scoring in 12 out of the 14 jams when she wore the star.