Speedway: Cross border contest for Bandits

BERWICK’S speedway Bandits – sponsored by A & J Scott Ltd of Wooperton – face two matches vital to their hopes of League Cup qualification this weekend.

The Borders’ club face Edinburgh ‘Scotwaste’ Monarchs – Premier League Champions three times in the past decade – in Scotland (on Friday night) and back at Shielfield Park the following evening, and will be aiming to collect at least four table points from the fixtures.

Both teams will deploy a guest rider to cover for a missing reserve, with the regulations requiring the incoming replacements to be drawn from the lower National League.

“We will have to go without Alex Edberg, who has to be at home on U-21 duty in Sweden,” explained Bandits’ promoter Dennis McCleary.

“Bearing in mind his experience at both tracks, manager Ian Rae is going to bring in Adam McKinna – a hugely contributive influence in our colours at Newcastle back in March -- to cover for Alex.

“His partner at reserve will be Jason King, who started the season after everyone else, and is only now catching up to race pace. As his scoring improves – as it will -- having him at reserve should be pretty handy!”

The Monarchs will also be riding short-handed with Derek Sneddon on the side-lines after a crash at the Glasgow circuit on Sunday left him with a broken collar-bone. The Edinburgh side deploys the rider-replacement regulation to cover his races.

The same accident sidelined Edinburgh reserve Charles Wright, but no news had escaped from the capital club last night as to his availability – or his chosen understudy -- at either match.

“The Monarchs always give us a hard time, especially up at their own place,” reflected Berwick director George Hepburn. “But this time, we are aiming to grab at least one League Cup point on Friday, and follow that with a full three of the things, come Saturday night!”

Team line-ups for both Friday and Saturday:

BERWICK: 1. Ricky Ashworth (England), 2. Lubos Tomicek (Czech Republic), 3. Lee Complin, capt. (England), 4. David Bellego (France), 5. Seb Alden (Sweden), 6. Adam McKinna (Scotland), 7. Jason King (England).

EDINBURGH: 1. Craig Cook (England), 2. Rider-replacement for Derek Sneddon, 3. Theo Pijper (Netherlands), 4. Matthew Wethers, capt. (Australia), 5. Andrew Tully (Scotland), 6.Charles Wright (England) or AN Other (guest), 7. Mickey Dyer (Australia).