BERWICK’S speedway Bandits have had a tough time during 2012, with injury after injury to key riders and Britain’s much-recorded wettest summer for over a century – yet the border boys have battled back to end their term on Saturday night with the Premier Challenge Trophy Final, writes Lawrence Heppell.
“It is just reward for everyone’s efforts, on and off track,” agreed club director George Hepburn.
“After all the lousy weather and so many injuries, you’d have excused these guys for giving up the chase, but it just hasn’t happened. Instead we’ve had a string of good results, culminating in a great win up at Glasgow on Sunday – and that’s put our Bandits into the Final against the Rye House Rockets, right here at Shielfield on Saturday night.”
Bandits’ captain Sebastian Alden has already tasted glory this week, riding as a vital guest for Swindon Robins as they collected the Elite League title, live on Sky-TV, but that isn’t the medal he’s got his eyes on.
“I was so pleased to come to Berwick halfway through last year and even happier when the club had enough faith to buy my contract.” he said.
“I’ll be doing everything in my power to help my Bandits with this Trophy, and that’ll be the medal really worthy having after what must be the toughest season ever.”
To boost their hopes, Bandits’ team manager Ian Rae has booked in Craig Cook, the newly-crowned Premier League Riders’ Champion to act as a guest rider for Saturday’s clash.
“Cookie has been in great form of late, and we’re hoping his contribution on Saturday night will set us on the road to victory,” said Rae.
“Come one, come all. Critics had us dead and buried a few times this year – let’s see a really big final attendance as we try to add the Challenge Trophy to our Fours title.”
Saturday’s teams will line up:
BERWICK BANDITS: 1, Craig Cook (guest); 2, Micky Dyer; 3, Robin Aspegren; 4, David Bellego; 5, Sebastian Alden (captain); 6, TBA (guest); 7, Nicki Barrett.
RYE HOUSE ROCKETS: 1, Kevin Doolan (guest); 2, Luke Bowen (rider-replacement); 3, Anders Mellgren; 4, Jason Garrity; 5, Jason Bunyan; 6, Kasper Lykke; 7, Simon Lambert.