Berwick Bandits 46-44 Scunthorpe Scorpions

Claus Vissing scored 12 points for the Bandits

Claus Vissing scored 12 points for the Bandits

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Berwick Bandits got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start when they beat Scunthorpe at Shielfield on Saturday ... but only just.

The Bandits edged a two point victory in a meeting which was close throughout and went all the way to a last heat decider.

But Berwick were almost architects of their own downfall as they suffered a catalogue of mechanical problems which could have cost them dearly.

Ben Barker (twice), Kevin Doolan, Claus Vissing and Alex Edberg all suffered the gremlins which meant they failed to finish races, whilst Edberg was also forced to push home for a point in heat two after grinding to a halt whilst in the lead.

In addition to that Luke Crang was excluded for a heat two crash, whilst the only bit of good fortune they had was when ex-Bandits Carl Wilkinson fell whilst leading heat 14.

Add to that a thick fog which rolled in with the tide which at times hampered viewing and this was a meeting which had everyone on the edge of their seats.

Barker gave no indication of the woes which were to follow when he swept past both David Howe and Theo Pijper in heat one after missing the gate.

But in two Crang was excluded and in the re-run Edberg retired when leading on the final lap, gifting the visitors a 1-5.

Bandits hit back immediately through ex-Scorpion Thomas Jorgensen and Kevin Doolan, but Doolan failed to get off the start line in five, Barker retired in six and Edberg did likewise in seven as Scunthorpe eked out a two point lead at 20-22.

With Barker also failing to finish in ten Scunthorpe moved four ahead at 28-32, but after Vissing won his third race in 11 a 5-1 from Edberg and Doolan levelled it up again at 36-all.

With Vissing failing to get off the start line in 13 with a blown motor a Pijper-Josh Auty 1-5 again saw the visitors in front at 37-4-.

But this meeting still had more twists and when Wilkinson fell whilst leading in 14 Jorgensen and Edberg took advantage for a 5-1 to square it up again at 42-42 going into the last race.

Vissing won in 15, but it was Jorgensen who passed Howe at the end of the first lap to give Bandits the narrowest of victories.

Berwick: Vissing 12, Jorgensen 12, Edberg 10+1, Doolan 8+3, Barker 4, Crang 0, Voldrih rider replacement.

Scunthorpe: Auty 12+1, Howe 7+2, Pijper 7+1, Lunna 6+2, Wilkinson 5, Davies 4+1, Perks 3+1.

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Edinburgh Monarchs 58-Berwick Bandits 32

Berwick suffered their fourth successive League Cup defeat when they were beaten by Edinburgh at Armadale on Friday.

The Bandits, who had lost to the Monarchs at Shielfield the previous Saturday, always knew this was going to be a tough meeting, especially as they were without ex-Edinburgh man Claus Vissing, who was riding on the continent.

Michael Palm Toft was used as a guest replacement, whilst rider replacement again operated for the injured Matic Voldrih.

But perhaps, not unexpectedly, they were on the receiving end of another comprehensive defeat at the West Lothian track, with Kevin Doolan their solitary race winner”

Justin Sedgmen (14+1) and Sam Masters (12) both went unbeaten, whilst Craig Cook was only denied his maximum by a heat 13 engine failure. Kevin Wolbert also enjoyed another successful night whilst Erik Riss won his last two races.

Afterwards, Berwick team manager John Anderson said: “Again we leave this place having suffered a good beating, and still we’re at a loss as to why we cannot overcome this problem. We were of course without Claus Vissing who was away on international duty and even with rider-replacement is wasn’t good enough to cover his points whilst again generally we were just run out of the park by a pretty decent Edinburgh side.”

Edinburgh: Sedgemen 14+1, Masters 12, Wolbert 10+1, Cook 7+2, Riss 7, Clegg 6+1, Branford 2.

Berwick: Doolan 9+1, Jorgensen 7+1, Edberg 6+1, Barker 6, Palm Toft 3+1, Crang 1+1, Voldrih rider replacement.