Speedway: Bandits on parade

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FOLLOWING their amazing Premier League Four-team Championship victory at Elite League Peterborough’s track on Sunday, beating the best of the rest to lift the first major team trophy of the speedway season, Berwick’s A & J Scott-backed Bandits make a triumphal return home on Saturday.

Prior to rolling their bikes out to face Workington Comets at Shielfield Park in the evening, the riders who achieved this notable national victory will be paraded through Berwick-upon-Tweed on Saturday afternoon and congratulated by the Mayor on the Town Hall steps at 4pm.

“The riders and management will be on a decorated float as they make their way through town,” confirmed commercial manager Julie Newton.

“The tour will be right down through Berwick’s historic town centre - down Castlegate and Marygate and, after leaving the Town Hall, down Hide Hill.

“The town is always packed with holidaymakers and out-of-town folk on Saturdays, so the lads are guaranteed a big reception all the way through, and deservedly so.

“Berwick-upon-Tweed is a proud town, and doesn’t see too many national titles coming home to roost -- it won’t just be the Mayor coming out to meet and greet our Bandits!”

Following their afternoon party, the A & J Scott Bandits will have to quickly revert to racing mode for the evening match with the Premier League leaders.

“It won’t be easy, although we beat them (Workington finished third) at Peterborough,” said team manager Ian Rae.

“The bad news is that we have lost Sweden’s Alex Edberg from the team, probably for the rest of the season.

“He had a simple-looking tumble during our match with Sheffield Tigers last week, and although it was hoped Alex has sustained only soft tissue damage it transpires his right ankle is broken in two places.

“This leaves us a man short, and we will be moving quickly to plug the gap while making sure we identify worthwhile targets.

“At present, I can’t say if we’ll be facing the Comets with only the rider-replacement regulation to cover Alex’s heats or not.

“Workington are rated as favourites to top the table and will be smarting from our having given them a beating on Sunday. I think you can say this will be the toughest test of the term so far -- but with our own guys just brimful of confidence after lifting a national trophy, who can predict what’ll happen?”