Speedway: Bandits go down to Rockets in explosive match

Rye House Rockets 59 Berwick Bandits 34

PREMIER LEAGUE

RYE HOUSE’S Hoddesdon track has never been a happy hunting ground for the Berwick Bandits and in 2012 it became a living nightmare for the Northumbrian travellers.

Heat One was an easy win for former Bandit Charlie Gjedde as part of the first of many home 5-1s, but Heat Two provided a moment of pure disaster for Berwick.

The incident was caused by Alex Edberg, who had made the gate, but lifted going down back straight and clipped Jason Garrity who was passing him. The Bandit then somersaulted along with bike and ended up on the track at the third bend.

Medical attention on track for Edberg then took twenty minutes.

The Rocket’s man was up and ok but Edberg needed a trip to hospital by the local county ambulance for work on injuries that later were proven to be a broken collar bone and shoulder, with the hospital continuing to check on a possible head knock. His skipper Lee Complin visited Edberg at the hospital in Harlow.

After Heat Four the Bandits found themselves floundering 17-7 down and nominated Ricky Ashworth as a tactical ride for double points but after a tight first bend Ritchie Hawkins pulled away from Ashworth who tried every moved in the book to pass, but with almost no grip on the track he couldn’t make the pass in a solid Rye Houser maximum 5-1 taking the score to 22-8.

Two more 5-1s followed whilst Jason King split the Rockets’ duo in Heat Eight holding out Luke Bowen throughout in the 4-2, and with the score now a worrying 36-12 Sebastian Alden was nominated as Berwick’s second and final tactical ride.

Alden hammered his authority on bend one, moving Anders Mellgren dramatically wide, much to the Rye rider’s displeasure, but the win for six was in Berwick’s bag, bit with Lubos Tomicek at the back the only advantage possible was a 3-6 heat win to the Bandits.

The 5-1s returned in Heat 10 despite injured skipper Lee Complin riding all over the back of Bowen, whilst Ashworth split the Jordan Frampton/Garrity pairing in the 11th to hold the Rockets back to a 4-2 as the score lurched on to 48-21.

Complin found his form in Heat 12 to force his way round Mellgren in a shared race before Frampton and Gjedde took a 4-2 in the 13th with Frenchman David Bellego taking another Heat 14 win superbly well to keep Garrity in second in another share.

The match was comprehensively won by the Rockets by this time and a disappointed Berwick manager Ian Rae said: “This was always going to be one of our hardest matches, but we still had high hopes until we lost Alex to injury when we knew bad was only going to get worse.

“It’s time to relegate this match to the memory banks – look forward to our next match and wish Alex all the best for a rapid recovery as he’s been a vital scorer for us in recent weeks.”

To save a little face Alden and Ashworth shot Gjedde and Frampton down in flames in the final race to score the only Berwick 1-5 of the night albeit way too late, but it had been a tremendous finish for Berwick who lost the last seven races by only 23-22.