THE Berwick Bandits opened their doors on a rare Wednesday night last night to take on the Plymouth Devils in the Premier League in front of a very healthy turn out, writes Lawrence Heppell.
On a heavy and patchy track the visitors’ number one Ben Barker shot from the gate to take a big lead and in a fast time of 64.7 in the shared 3-3 proving conditions were much better than on surface value.
Returnee from injury Micky Dyer, riding in great pain from a serious thigh gash took a brilliant win followed home by Klaus Jakobsen in a Bandit’s 5-1 taking the score to 8-4 after two races.
Another fine maximum from Robin Aspegren and Nicki Barrett over Cory Gathercole in Heat Three was followed by a 4-2 and a great win from Sebastian Alden taking the home lead to 17-7 which allowed Barker to come out as a tactical ride in the fifth.
The tactical double man made an awful gate and ended at the back but forced his way round his partner Todd Kurtz and then Barrett too to record a well taken doubled four points in a shared race whilst Bellego shot round the field in Heat Six to take a massive win in the sixth as Morris took full advantage of Ryan Fisher losing his steel shoe on bend two to swoop round for second place with the score now 26-12.
Dyer took his second win of the night in Heat Seven with Alden taking Gathercole on the last lap to form yet another home 5-1, which led to Plymouth’s second tactical rider being nominated in Heat Nine with Fisher making a lightning start to jet away for an untroubled win for six points in the 3-6 which narrowed the score slightly to 39-20.
Morris took a sling-shot of a pass round the outside of the leading Gathercole on bend three of Heat 10 to set up a Bandits’ 4-2 extending the gap to 21 points with five races left on the card.
The Devils put up a modest resurgence in Heats 11 and 12 but the writing was well and truly on the wall with Berwick bounding comfortably for a good home win despite a great race between Morris and the winner Barker in Heat 13 as Fisher retired at the rear in a shared 3-3 to take the score to 51-35.
Team manager Ian Rae was relived afterwards, saying: “At last we’re back to getting good, solid wins – but more importantly we’re back to surviving 15 heats injury-free! It was amazing to see Micky Dyer come back from such a nasty and painful injury just four days ago and take a paid 11 tally and I can’t imagine what they make these Aussies out of but it’s not flesh and blood!
“The rest of the lads all rode excellently too and it was good to see Klaus Jakobsen finally get stuck into the action and ride with some good determination. This was better and now we must build on the confidence this had developed tonight.”