Bandits curfew works in their favour for second time against Rockets

Berwick Bandits 43

Rye House Rockets 41

PREMIER LEAGUE

THE A & J Scott Berwick Bandits took to the track on Saturday night with a very unfamiliar look, as Swedes Seb Alden and Ludvig Lindgren were away on Swedish Championship duty.

Josef Franc was off on World Long Track duty and, with Mitch Davey and Kozza Smith out injured, the Bandits had to track three guests and use rider replacement to field a team.

Last time Rye House came to the Borders the match was curtailed by one race due to the 9.30pm curfew just as Berwick had taken the lead, and just to prove lightning does strike in the same place twice – it happened yet again after 14 heats bristling with excitement and entertainment, thrills and spills and a dozen heart-stopping moments.

Throughout the match, the teams could hardly be separated, but a Berwick 4-2 in heat 14 gave the hosts a vital 43-41 lead, which, with the strict 9.30pm curfew coming into force, meant the meeting had to end without the last race.

But the Berwick win stood after one of the most amazing nights of speedway seen on Tweedside.

Manager Ian Rae, who also had to deal with a power outage early on to boot, was invigorated with action the grippy track had served up.

He said: “After that marathon I’m glad I gave the Great North Run a miss this year, but it was an excellent spectacle for the crowd who lapped up every move, every pass and every thrilling moment provided by the 12 riders on show tonight, all of whom deserve high praise indeed for their efforts.

“The good news is that our debut man Linus Eklof, who ended up in the wrong place when Luke Bowen fell in heat three and got a bang from his bike, is, on initial inspection, not badly hurt at all.

“That’s a relief and we’ll look forward to getting an update soon, and Linus back in the team as soon as possible.”