Wakey Wheeled Cats vs York Minxters, Sunday 4th October, York College, York
Final score: Wakey 124 – York 157
By Sian Steen
On the 4th August the Wakey Wheeled Cats travelled to York to take on hosts York Minxters in their final champs game of the season.
The Cats had a strong start with Coral McNulty able to get out of the pack and take lead jammer status, while an almost impenetrable wall of Captain Claire Johnson, Katie Swift, Scarlett Wilson and Sian Steen held the York jammer. McNulty was able to grab 2 points then call it off before York could score.
Unfortunately, the Wakey blockers picked up 2 penalties in jam 1 which meant that the home team had the advantage for the start of jam 2. A star pass from Rachel Welch meant that Hayley Brooke took up the jammer position, but the powerful York defence prevented her from scoring. A penalty for Brooke in the last few seconds of jam 2 meant a
power jam start for York in the next jam.
Jam 3 saw another star pass with Brooke coming out of the penalty box and passing to Swift. Despite a sterling effort from the Cats, the jam ended 28-2 to the home team.
Niki Hearns took the star for the first time in the game in jam 4 but despite getting lead status was forced to call off the jam before scoring any points.
By jam 6, Wakey had been unable to close the gap, but some beautiful footwork from Welch secured them lead status and another 4 points on the board, bringing the scores to 32-6.
In jams 8 and 9, a flurry of penalties caused chaos on track but also gave the Cats an advantage. Starting 9 on a power jam, Hearns smashed through York’s defence to put another 18 points on the board for Wakey, bringing them up to 32 points to York’s 36. Another nail biting jam in 11, with Swift wearing the star, brought the scores even closer at 36-35 to York. Finally, in jam 13 Welch grabbed another 4 points causing a lead change, and the jam closed out at 38-39 to the visitors.
By jam 16 York had clawed their way back up, calling it off before the Wakey jammer could score at 46-42 to York. However, a tactical call off from McNulty in jam 18 gave us another lead change, with the Cats leading 49-46. Sadly, the Cats were unable to hold this lead, and the first half ended 61-53 to the home team.
The second half brought yet more penalties for both teams, and in jam 3 Hearns scored an additional 8 points for the Cats on a power jam. However, York’s jammers were just too slippery for the Wakey walls and the home team grabbed lead several times in a row, scoring and calling before the Wakey jammers could score.
York managed to break the 100 point mark in jam 8, with the Cats trailing at 66 points. Not to be discouraged, Wakey continued to push themselves. Jam 10 saw both teams battening down the hatches and holding the jammers for more than half a minute, until Swift was finally able to break out and obtain lead. However, on her scoring pass she was knocked to the outside by York, forcing her to call off the jam before scoring any points.
Further penalties meant that Wakey were down to 2 blockers in jam 11, with Fiona Metcalf and Amanda Shaw holding the jammer admirably. Sadly, this wasn’t enough to prevent her from getting lead and scoring 4 points – until Hearns chased her down and forced her to call it off. Emotions were running high, which was clear to see in jam 14 when both jammers obtained penalties. However, this also meant that Wakey started jam 15 on a power jam that Hearns was able to capitalise on, giving them another 12 points.
Wakey fought right to the bitter end, with McNulty putting 10 points on the board in the last jam to York’s 3. The game ended 157-124 to the home team. Certificates for Best Blocker, Best Jammer and MVP went to Betty Redford, Swift and Hearns respectively.