Berwick Bandits 43-47 Edinburgh Monarchs

editorial image

Berwick Bandits co-manager Ian Rae says his team need to “re-group” after losing their opening League Cup group match over two legs.

After being demolished 61-31 in Edinburgh the previous night, the Bandits were always going to be up against it going into the return leg at Shielfield Park on Saturday.

With Steve Worrall in such scintillating form, the Monarchs had the star man on the track again, but at least the Bandits ran them close.

Rae said: “They had a match winner in reserve Steve Worrall as his 11 paid 14 really was the difference.

“Whilst it is devastating to lose to our local rivals at home there was some excellent action and some good moments from the Bandits. Now we have to re-group and try to rescue this group in the League Cup.”

The League’s top man Craig Cook scorched to another win in Heat One’s shared 3-3 before Justin Sedgmen and Steve Worrall jetted out of the gate to lead well over Steen Jensen and Liam Carr, but Worrall made a massive error on the first bend of the second lap, nearly scuppering his partner, yet both Monarchs survived and took the maximum 1-5 putting Edinburgh 4-8 up on the night.

Matej Kus had suffered an awful match at Edinburgh, failing to score, but made up for all that in Heat Three taking a magnificent win from the gate with Matthew Wethers passing Max Fricke at speed on the second bend to return the 5-1 favour at one fell swoop levelling the match again at 9-9.

Continuing his home unbeaten record Claus Vissing fended off a stiff challenge from Sam Masters in Heat Four to take the three points in another shared 3-3 preserving the equilibrium at 12-all.

The “Cookie Monster” took another massive victory in Heat Five’s share, as did Masters over Doolan and Bellego in the sixth progressing the score to 18-18.

Vissing extracted himself from a tight second bend to ease out a good lead down the back straight over Derek Sneddon and Fricke, but it was still another 3-3 with the match still tied at 21-21.

Bellego was chasing hard behind the fast-gating Worrall in Heat Eight, and coming off the second bend he hit the drive jetting past the Monarch down the back straight to break the scoring with a home 4-2 putting Berwick 25-23 up with seven races to run.

Heat 10 had to be re-run with all four riders after Bellego moved right off his starting gate as the other three moved left causing the two Monarchs, Sneddon and Fricke to fall, an in the re-run Bellego and Sneddon tangled on the approach to the first bend which caused the Bandit to ride into and over the Monarch’s rear wheel and fall with the referee again calling an all-four-back as the incident had started as a result of first bend bunching.

In the second re-run Bellego and Doolan eased ahead of trouble to score a solid 5-1 and extend the Berwick lead to 33-27 before Cook won the much anticipated battle with Vissing in Heat 11 with surprising ease in a Monarchs’ 2-4 narrowing the gap to 35-31.

Worrall, a late switch in for Sedgmen took Heat 12 just ahead of his partner Fricke over Kus to hit a shock 1-5 over Berwick and level the match again 36-36 with three races to go as Cook again took a massive win in Heat 13 as Masters battled well at the back with Doolan in yet another 3-3.

Wethers made an unbelievable pass from the second bend hard and fast round the outside and down the back straight going from third to first but a lap and a half later Jensen fell on the fourth bend of the second lap with the referee stopping the race as they had entered their third lap and duly awarded the race a 3-3 and with one race to go the score was a riveting 42-42.

But Cook and Masters got out of the gate as if their tails were on fire and hit a bit lead early on, so sizeable that Vissing and Wethers had no chance of getting back on level terms with the 1-5 giving victory to Edinburgh 43-47.

Berwick Bandits: K Doolan 7+2; D Bellego 8+2; M Kus 6; M Wethers 10+2; C Vissing 10; L Carr 0; S Jensen 2.

Edinburgh Monarchs: C Cook 15; A Fox 1; M Fricke 5+2; D Sneddon 4; S Masters 8+2; J Sedgmen 3; S Worrall 11+3