BERWICK BANDITS went into last week’s Premier League match with revenge on their minds as the Scunthorpe Scorpions are the side to put most points over the Tweedsiders in one match so far in 2011, writes Lawrence Heppell.
In a match the Bandits had well under control, one exceptional performance stood out when Hynek Stichauer dislocated his left shoulder before arriving at the tapes, yet still rode the race of his season, passing two riders round the outside and taking two excellent points while in extreme agony in heat eight.
Following a 3-3 in the opening race with a big win for Scunthorpe’s David Howe, a seemingly certain Berwick 5-1 was instantly reduced to another 3-3 with leader Jade Mudgway’s bike packing in on lap two, robbing the Bandits of three points, but Tamas Sike held on well to win.
A tremendous outside pass from Josef Franc round Ricky Wells broke the deadlock in the scoring as his efforts placed a well-deserved 4-2 on the board, putting Berwick two up at 10-8.
Another fine ride from skipper Lee Complin in the fourth extended Berwick’s lead to 14-10 before a stunning gate from Franc in the fifth blew away Howe’s challenge in another 4-2 – almost a 5-1 thanks to an unsuccessful, but thrilling effort from Kozza Smith (18-12).
Hugh Skidmore and Wells made an amazing gate in heat seven to leave Complin and Sike floundering in their dust, but the Berwick skipper forced his way into second place on the third lap to reduce the problem to 2-4.
Stichauer’s amazing heat eight started with the crowd unaware of the secret drama as he went from third to first on bend two, but was repassed by Howe on lap three, yet despite the Czech’s fine second place he beckoned medical staff over immediately having apparently, as mentioned, dislocated his left shoulder astonishingly before the tapes went up as the score moved on to 27-21.
A heat nine 5-1 helped Berwick extend their lead to 10, allowing Scunthorpe to use a tactical ride on Wells in the 10th, but the Scorpion guest ended last for a zero as the lead remained at 10, 35-25.
Sike was extremely lucky to walk away from a shocking heat 11 crash when all on his own he went way too wide and shot through the second bend fencing, yet luckily only picked up facial lacerations in the 2-4 as Berwick still led by eight which was back to 10 after an excellent race from Smith, rounding Skidmore in the 12th.
Complin’s excellent last-to-first in heat 13 won the match for Berwick, forming a 5-1 to the home side and putting the Bandits 14 up with two races to go, which were formalities as Franc completed a superb five-ride maximum in the five fastest times of the night.