Had the rest of the bout been slow, the last five minutes of the Saturday’s roller derby bout pitting the Gold Pain Girls against Rated P.G. would have been worth the entrance fee.
In the final two-minute jam of the bout, Killswitch brought the crowd to a fever pitch as she reeled in the Rated PG girls. With the final rally, the Gold Pain girls fell just 27 points short of their Cariboo rivals, with a final score of 229-202
Coach Willow (Willowmeana) Eyford was happy with the team’s success against the more experienced derby girls.
“That’s how were going to get better, by playing teams that are better than us. They gave us a good reality check,” Eyford said, adding, “But we did fantastic.”
Rewind to the start of the game and the only aspect that could be said to be slow is Quesnel’s start.
The Gold Pain Girls were facing a strategy they’d never seen before and were struggling to stop P.G.’s jammer from sneaking through the pack to nab lead jammer and a handful of points every jam.
Early on in the first half, as the Gold Pain Girls were trying to react to this new system, Rated PG had control of the game, nearly tripling the Gold Pain Girls on the scoreboard.
“Everyone was thrown off in the first half by the new things Prince George was trying and the equipment failures and the stupid penalties we took,” Eyford said.
“Everyone was losing it and they couldn’t compose themselves. Once we got our heads around it and calmed down and we knew what they were going to do, that’s when we started to get the points again.”
Gold Pain didn’t finish the period without a fight, however.
Late in the period, Gold Pain tightened up their ranks as they got used to Rated PG’s strategy and started to fight back, with Risa Lightning leading a strong jam boosting them forward to finish the first half 118-76 for P.G.
The intermission gave the girls time to calm down and get a better hold on Rated PG’s clever strategy so they could nullify its advantages.
“We knew what they were going to do going into the second half. They were capping the line every time. We would make a line and they would put a skater beside us and push the whole line over, so we knew that’s what they were going to do – it worked the first half so we knew they were going to do it again. So that’s when we were able to get lead jammer again and get points again.”
With their new strategy hammered out, the Gold Pain girls didn’t allow Rated P.G. the leeway to increase their lead, but couldn’t manage to reel the PG girls in either.
The bout remained close through nearly all 30 minutes of the final period, with the hometown team remaining around 50 points behind the visitors as the scoreboard numbers climbed at an even pace.
With ten minutes left in the final half and the score sitting at 182-131 in favour of P.G., the results looked foregone, even as the Gold Pain Girls kept their pace and energy up.
But in the final jam of the game, Killswitch found some energy still lingering in her, even after nearly an hour of hard fought derby, and hit the gas, getting lead jammer and notching points as she found her way through the pack again and again. Then Rated PG’s jammer got in penalty trouble, allowing Killswitch to rack up points until she was winded by the constant sprint.
The last minute rush wasn’t quite enough to bring the Gold Pain Girls even, with the last jam stopping at its full two minute mark while Gold Pain still sat 27 points behind their visitors.
The close game shows the growth of the Gold Pain Girls, as their last games against Prince George the team got, in Eyford’s own words, ‘destroyed.’
Next up for the Gold Pain Girls is a road trip up to Ft. St. James for a bout against the Killbillies in Ft. St. John June 15, before coming back for their final game of the season at the Gold Rush Rumble, July 19.
Intent on putting on as good of a show as they are able to, the Gold Pain Girls are looking for volunteers to help them make the Billy Barker Days really rumble.