Berwick Bandits 48-41 Workington Comets

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Berwick took a seven point lead into the second leg of their play-off/Border Trophy clash against Workington, but they were pushed all the way by the Comets.

The play-off side of this meeting had been declared a dead rubber after Edinburgh beat both sides to qualify for the final, but there was still the Border Trophy to race for . . . and pride.

This was Berwick’s final home meeting of the season, and even without Matej Kus, now elevated to number one in the averages, they were determined to go out on a high.

Four wins for on-form Kevin Doolan, four paid wins for Claus Vissing and three victories for reserve Alex Edberg meant they achieved their goal.

But Workington did not make it easy for them, guest Ulrich Ostergaard winning his first three races, all of which produced maximum heat points with another guest, Ricky Wells, and that meant the visitors were always in the chase.

The pair took a 1-5 in the opening race to give Workington an early lead, but two Berwick maximum advantages saw them turn the tables at 11-7.

However, after Vissing won in four for the Bandits, Ostergaard and Wells were at it again in heat five and suddenly the match was all square again at 15-all.

With Edberg and David Bellego split by Kyle Howarth in six, Vissing winning again in seven, and Bellego forcing his way past Simon Lambert for the win in eight, Berwick edged 26-22 in front.

Doolan and Steen Jensen, who also passed Howarth, saw Bandits move 31-23 in front.

But Rene Bach won in 10 for Workington, although Doolan pipped Mason Campton for second in a race for the line after swooping off the last bend.

And when Edberg fell on the first turn and Vissing on the second, both Berwick riders being excluded, a 0-5 for Ostergaard and Wells in 11 meant the deficit was cut to 33-32.

Ostergaard was unbeaten at this stage, but in the final run-in Berwick produced all four race winners, the Dane losing out twice - to Vissing in 13 and Doolan and Vissing in 15 - which meant Berwick eked out a victory.

Wethers, meanwhile, limped out of the meeting after a heavy crash on the second bend at the start of heat 12, when he was removed from the track by ambulance. He complained of feeling sore ‘all over’ and immediately withdrew from the return meeting between the sides on Sunday, his place being taken by Ritchie Hawkins.

Berwick 48

Matej Kus – Rider replacement

David Bellego R,1,3,0,1 5

Kevin Doolan 3,1,3,2,3,3 15

Steen Jensen 2*,R,2*,R 4+2

Claus Vissing 1,3,3,Fx,3,2* 12+1

Alex Edberg 3,3,R,Fx,3 9

Matthew Wethers 2*,R,1,Fx 3+1

Workington 41

Ulrich Ostergaard 3,3,3,2,1 12

Ricky Wells 2*,2*,0,2*,0 6+3

Rene Bach 1,2,3,2 8

Mason Campton 0,1*,1,1* 3+2

Kyle Howarth 1*,2,1,R 4+1

Joe Jacobs 1,0,0, 1

Simon Lambert 0,2, 2, 1*, 2 7