Bandits edge victory in local derby

THE long-awaited local derby between Berwick and Newcastle got under way at a sun-drenched Shielfield Park on Saturday night, writes Lawrence Heppell.

Predictably, the match got off to a tight start with Newcastle’s guest Jason Lyons taking a solid win in the first heat, despite a last-ditch challenge from Sebastian Alden off the last bend in the 3-3 result.

Jade Mudgway made a sluggish start in heat two, but turned on the power to go round both Richie Worrall and Kyle Newman for a second share, leaving the score tied at 6-6.

Lee Complin held his first bend together expertly to shoot round Claes Nedermark and Newman to win in the fourth, making it four 3-3s on the trot.

The run of ties finally broke in heat five and the home side moved into the lead 20-16, while maximums in the eighth and ninth put the Bandits 10 up, allowing the Diamonds the chance to name Robson as a tactical ride in heat 10 for double points.

In the following two outings the Diamonds managed to close the gap to 40-34 and a fourth win for the magnificent Lyons meant that with two races left to go Newcastle were still in with a slender chance of taking victory, but Josef Franc forced his way round Robson to take a big lead, and his three points were enough to clinch the match for the Bandits.