Berwick Bandits 62 Glasgow Tigers 33
PREMIER CHALLENGE TROPHY (group stage)
BERWICK BANDITS went into Saturday night’s Challenge Trophy knowing after Thursday’s poor showing at Redcar that a good win over the Glasgow Tigers was imperative.
A shed chain for Micky Dyer in Heat One didn’t help their cause in a race won well by guest man Nick Morris in a shared 3-3 but a miraculous tape-flag win from Klaus Jakobsen in Heat Two, despite hitting a bump on the second bend as Nicki Barrett joined him up front in a startling Bandits’ 5-1 putting the home side into the lead 8-4.
Heat Three ended abruptly with the first bend becoming a very tight affair but unfortunately Josh Grajczonek, in the squeeze, straightened up and took his partner Henning Bager clattering head over heels onto the track and into the fence.
Both riders needed medical treatment with Grajczonek complaining of pain in his lower leg which turned out to be an ankle injury and Bager suffering from a broken shoulder and both taking an ambulance trip off the track and indeed out of the meeting. In the re-run the Bandits took an easy 5-1.
Sebastian Alden made a superb start in his Heat Four win chased hard by James Grieves in the home 4-2 taking the score to 17-7 which allowed Glasgow to put their guest Sam Masters on a tactical ride which he won in fine fashion for his doubled 6 points in the 3-6 result, tightening the score to 20-13.
With the score at 34-17 going into Heat Nine the Tigers used their second tactical ride of the night with James Grieves taking the doubled ride, but – after a sharp gate to lead Berwick’s Robin Aspegren wound on the power to drive hard round the Glasgow skipper in the 3-5 result which moved the score on to 37-22.
From then on in the run to the final race was very much in Berwick’s favour despite the odd flash of inspiration coming from former Bandit Jade Mudgway, the win as the Bandits with ease.
Team Manager Ian Rae said: “This makes up for Thursday’s heavy defeat at Redcar no end, but we’d have preferred to have doe the business over a fully fit Glasgow side and not one ravaged by the unfortunate injuries dealt out to Henning Bager and Josh Grajczonek in Heat Three, and indeed we wish both riders the very best for a quick recovery.
“But the points won and the points’ difference gained make a difference to our prospects in the PCT.”
The Berwick A & J Scott Bandits’ return trip to the Glasgow Tigers in the Premier Challenge Trophy on Sunday afternoon was called off around 9am due to a waterlogged track following prolonged overnight and morning heavy rain. A re-staging date has yet to be arranged.