First win in seven home meetings for Bandits

Berwick Bandits Speedway
Berwick Bandits Speedway

It was a weekend of mixed fortunes for Berwick as they raced Workington home and away.

After Friday night’s meeting at Edinburgh had been postponed due to a heavy downpour shortly before the start, the Bandits beat the Comets 50-43 at Shielfield on Saturday - their first win at home in seven attempts.

But the following evening they went down 59-33 in Cumbria, which meant the Derwent Park side lifted the Border Trophy for their aggregate success.

BERWICK BANDITS 50

WORKINGTON COMETS 43

Berwick secured their first win in seven attempts at home with a seven point victory over Workington on Saturday.

In the main this was down to the form shown by guest riders Ryan Fisher and the returning Ben Barker, who were paid for eight wins between them, with Fisher only dropping one point from six starts.

But that’s not to say they were a two-man team, as skipper Kevin Doolan and new signing Anders Mellgren both played their part, Mellgren being paid for three victories on his debut for the club.

Workington, meanwhile, relied heavily on Ricky Wells (14) and in particular reserve and former Bandit Matty Wethers, who had four paid wins in his return of 13+3.

Barker, back riding at Shielfield for the first time since his switch to Peterborough, got Berwick off to a flying start by winning heat one and then partnering Fisher to a 5-1 in three.

Doolan and Fisher repeated the maximum doze in five and at 18-12 the Bandits were starting to exert themselves.

But in heat six Barker tried to go through the narrowest of gaps up the fence down the home straight, and as he brought Matt Williamson crashing down he was excluded from the re-run.

But another 5-1 from Mellgren and Richard Hall in eight saw Berwick stretch their lead to ten at 29-19, and when Fisher and Mellgren did it again in nine the home side were suddenly coasting it at 34-20.

A 4-2 in ten with Barker again to the fore saw the lead widen to 38-22, but in 11 tactical ride Wells and Wethers teamed up for a 1-8 which closed to gap to 39-30.

Over the closing heats Fisher dropped his only point of the night to Wethers in heat 14, but by then Bandits were already guaranteed the win.

After the meeting team manager John Anderson said: “This was more like it and our side finally took a deserved win - our first for quite a while, and it was good to have Ben Barker back with us for some good exciting racing. We will try to make as decent an end to the season as we can.”

Berwick: Fisher 16+1, Doolan 10, Barker 9+2, Mellgren 8+1, Hall 4+2, Garcia 3, Vissing rider replacement.

Workington: Wells 14, Wethers 13+3, Bach 7+2, Hansen 4, Howarth 3, Williamson 2+1, Harrison rider replacement.

WORKINGTON COMETS 59

BERWICK BANDITS 33

On Sunday, Berwick were unable to repeat the same form when they travelled to Derwent Park for the return fixture.

They only produced two of the 15 race winners - Richard Hall in heat two and Anders Mellgren in heat 11.

Ricky Wells went through the card with a full 15 point maximum, whilst Kenneth Hansen was also unbeaten with five wins in his paid 18 haul. Rene Bach also had four paid wins.

Workington: Hansen 17+1, Wells 15, Bach 10+2, Wethers 9+2, Howarth 7, Blacklock 1.

Berwick: Fisher 11+1, Doolan 7, Mellgren 5, Hall 4+1, Tungate 4, Garcia 2+1.