Berwick Bandits sneak victory in last league meeting

Berwick Bandits Speedway'Ricky Ashworth
Berwick Bandits Speedway'Ricky Ashworth
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Berwick New Holland Bandits 48 Rye House Silver Ski Rockets 44


It was a case of finishing the official season with a flourish for the Berwick Bandits at home to the Rye House Rockets last night at Shielfield Park before next week’s final event of the Bandit’s season - the Ricky Ashworth Benefit meeting.

A good initial burst from Oliver Allen on bend one in the opening race was negated efficiently by Sebastian Alden and guest Hugh Skidmore to take up an easy 5-1 for the Bandits.

A second 5-1 was stopped in it’s tracks when Kasper Lykke forced his way hard under the whole field and pushed himself into second place which he held to the end, but James McBain fell on bend three leaving the way for a shared 3-3 taking he score to 8-4.

Matthew Wethers won another three points in Heat Three’s share of the spoils ahead of the impressive Tyson Nelson and Jason Bunyan, whilst in the fourth Anders Mellgren soared round the outside of Nicki Barrett off the second bend on the home 4-2 which moved the score on to 15-9.

Allen made a tremendous pass round Skidmore off bend two on the third lap to take up the lead which held despite some good comeback from the Berwick guest in another shared 3-3, but a tight first bend in Heat Six blocked the progress of Mellgren allowing Alden and Bellego away for a 5-1 extending the lead to 23-13 allowing Nelson to race as a tactical ride in Heat Seven.

And what a race he made of it with his partner Bunyan out in front the determined Aussie raced hard behind Bellego and going into the last lap wound some amazing power on to catch the Frenchman and overhaul him on the third bend and take a magnificent second place for four points in as 1-7 to Rye House which narrowed the gap t0 24-20.

Aspgren took a good win in Heat Eight and defended the three points well from Alden in second while in Heat Nine Wethers made a superb sweep round Mellgren to again take the lead and form a home 4-2 with Skidmore in third to move the score on to 31-25.

5-1s were then exchanged in Heats 10 and 11 holding the gap at six, 37-31, as Bunyan shot from last to first off bend two in Heat 12 to easily take the winners three over Skidmore in another shared 3-3 result preserving the six point lead.

Allen took Heat 13 expertly and defended a hard racing Alden from behind in the 2-4 which narrowed the gap again as the match tightened up 42-38, and with a 3-3 in the 14th the final result went right down to the last race with Rye House needing a 1-5 to draw the meeting.

In that last race Nelson soared round Alden to lead but with Allen stuck at the rear the win was in the Bandits’ bag with much relief to the home support.

Team manager Ian Rae was happy to go out of the official business on a high, saying: “It still proved to be a hard match for us but at least we pulled a win out of the bag to end the year on a win.

“Now it’s Ricky Ashworth all the way and we’re working solidly now to make his benefit meeting here next Saturday night to be the success he deserves. This is the meeting not to miss and there’s no more till March 2014 – so come along next week and join the party for Ricky.”