Rollers repeat as roller derby champions
Huge comeback lifts Rose City to finals victory over Gotham
The Rose City Rollers are repeat champions.
The Rollers came from way behind to knock off Gotham (New York) Girls Roller Derby 186-166 in Sundays thrilling final bout of the Womens Flat Track Derby Association Division 1 international championships at Memorial Coliseum.
The rough-and-tumble showdown of WFTDA titans capped three days of competition at the coliseum.
Rose Citys Wheels of Justice all-star team, which also won the title in 2015 to end a five-year run by Gotham, was able to survive three tense and tight matches over the final two days.
Gotham reached the WFTDA final for the sixth year in a row and appeared likely to hoist the Hydra Trophy as 2016 champions, dominating the early going against the Rollers.
Gotham built a large lead, then tried in vain to withstand a steady surge from the determined Rose City squad.
With six minutes remaining, the veteran Gotham team still had a 158-145 lead.
But the Rollers were not to be denied before a boisterous home crowd.
The Rollers took the lead just under the five-minute mark the first lead change of the match.
Rose City kept up the assault, and the lead grew to 180-158 with just less than two minutes left.
Gotham trailed 184-162 with one minute to go but wasnt able to get a lead jammer in time to rally in its final opportunity.
Instead, Rose City got its jammer out in front first and was able to hold off the outsiders as time ran out.
As their celebration began on the track, the Rollers finally called off the jam to end any frantic comeback hopes by Gotham, which appealed for another chance only to have the referees rule that the jam had been called off naturally by Rose City, thus ending the bout.
Portland finished with 4.7 points per jam to 4.2 for Gotham. Rose City also had a 19-16 edge in lead jammers.
Brawn Swanson of the Rollers was named MVP of the tourney.
It feels incredible. I was not prepared for this at all, Swanson said.
Swanson was injured last year.
Im so proud of every single one of them, Swanson said of her teammates. Weve worked so hard. There are no words. Its incredible.
Scald Eagle had 98 points in 15 jams for Portland.
Also Sunday, Victorian won 198-108 over London for third place in the prelude to the championship matchup.
Rose City had edged Victorian 155-152 in comeback fashion, as well, in the tense Saturday semifinals. Rose City also had a tough bout with Texas on Saturday, prevailing 186-172 to get into the semis.
Gotham beat London 189-163 in their Saturday semifinal.