By Thomas Gerbasi
She’s back. Making her first start of 2016, Gotham Girls Roller Derby All-Star Sexy Slaydie made an intimidating Brooklyn Bombshells team even scarier on May 7, as she helped lead the defending GGRD champions to a 178-118 win over the Bronx Gridlock at John Jay College in Manhattan.
“It was thrilling,” Slaydie said of her return. “I have been on the injury list since WFTDA Championships last November, so it felt great to compete in front of our fans again. I missed skating against Manhattan, which was a super close and physical game.”
Slaydie and her Bombshell teammates may meet the Mayhem again should Manhattan win their next two bouts and find their way into August’s championship game. But first, Brooklyn took another step toward becoming the first GGRD home team to repeat as champions since 2010 by beating the last team to achieve that feat in the Gridlock.
Back then, the Gridlock was a well-oiled machine with a veteran core of skaters (Bonnie Thunders, Kandy Kakes, Beatrix Slaughter, Ginger Snap among them) that had years to gel and become a formidable unit. Today’s Gridlock has not been that fortunate, with turnover and injuries hitting them harder than their league mates.
“Our strategy has a lot of moving parts and we just need more time to integrate everyone into a cohesive machine,” team MVP Rude McSlamahan said after the bout. “Bronx has had to rebuild for the past few seasons and it shows, compared to other teams that have had longer to gel, especially on bout day.”
That hasn’t stopped the cabbies from lacing up their skates and showing up to play on bout night. Yet despite keeping it close early, the blocking of Slaydie and company held the Bronx jammers in check while opening up lanes for Miss Tea Maven to put up a game high 139 points.
“Our goals were figuring out how to crack Bronx's solid defensive walls and combat their jam-start offense,” Slaydie said. “We made some key adjustments last minute that helped us. Bronx's walls are so solid and intimidating. We were hoping we could go in to this game matching that slowness and control.”
By halftime, Brooklyn had a 74-52 lead, with Bronx clearly within striking distance, but 28 and 30-point jams by Maven early in the second half turned a 92-62 advantage into a 150-74 tally that sealed the deal for the Bombshells, who have their eyes on August, but aren’t losing sight on the rest of the league gunning for them.
“All four teams, Manhattan, Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn are playing great derby this year,” Slaydie said. “There's a lot of new talent in this season's draft picks and I can't wait to see how teams continually improve until Champs. I think as the season heats up, the games will be even more exciting, and the Bombshells are gunning for that championship trophy again.”
The Gridlock, still seeking their first win in two years, will not be content to go quietly into the off-season. Now it’s time to play spoiler, and they can do that with a win over the Mayhem in Coney Island on July 16. It’s about expected to be a physical one.
“Fans should look forward to a blocker battle, as neither team has a starting all-star jammer on their roster, but blockers instead,” Rude said. “Mayhem is known to be a hard blocking team, but Bronx has a lot of size to counter it.”
They have plenty of motivation too.
“Bronx hasn't had a win since 2014, so what more motivation could there be?” Rude asked. “I feel like the team is in a good place. The vibes in the locker room after the Brooklyn bout were positive and we’re looking forward to the next matchup against Mayhem and even into next season.”
BROOKLYN vs. BRONX STATS
1 2 F
Brooklyn 74 104 178
Bronx 52 66 118
Brooklyn MVP – Sexy Slaydie
Bronx MVP – Rude McSlamahan
Leading Brooklyn Scorers
Miss Tea Maven – 139 points (20 jams)
D.A.R.Y.L. – 20 points (13 jams)
BlueJ – 16 points (5 jams)
Leading Brooklyn Blockers
Sexy Slaydie – 29 jams (+79)
Lady Fingers – 23 jams (+44)
ShadowboxHER – 21 jams (+57)
Leading Bronx Scorers
Kate Sera Sera – 55 points (14 jams)
Big Banger – 35 points (14 jams)
Massacre Marie – 25 points (12 jams)
Leading Bronx Blockers
Davey Blockit – 22 jams (-86)
Cherry Napalm – 21 jams (-21)
Fast and Luce – 19 jams (-51)
Minutes in Box: 27 Jammer Box Trips: 6
Minutes in Box: 34 Jammer Box Trips: 5
Stats compiled via Rinxter