Berwick Bandits clinched the Tweed-Tees Trophy with a 54-36 victory over Redcar Bears in the second leg at Shielfield Park last night.
Although they trailed 47-43 after the first leg, the Bandits roared back on a wet night to triumph 97-83 on aggregate.
After a day of rain, the track was covered with sheets for the first time, thanks to club sponsors Olympus Marquees, and it did the job perfectly, leaving the surface in excellenet condition.
Team manager Scott Courtney thoroughly enjoyed his first home night in charge, saying: “It was a win, win, win night all round from the result to defeat the weather with out experimental use of covers right round the track which worked better than we could ever have believed and saved the meeting, to the result which again proved we have a team to be reckoned with.
“All the guys got stuck right in to the racing and for a seasons’ opening meeting we saw some great racing and fine passing from a team eager for success and I don’t want to single anyone out as it was a team performance of the best type. Tonight was completely satisfying.”
Berwick were four points down after the first leg, but by the end of a decisive Heat One, won by a mile by Thomas Jorgensen followed by Theo Pijper well over Lasse Bjerre, it was all square 48-48, with Berwick ahead on the night 5-1.
Matty Wethers and Kevin Doolan turned Heats two and three from shares to superb Berwick 4-2s after excellent outside passes while Seb Alden’s gate to flag win in Heat Four over former Bandit David Bellego in a third 4-2 took the score on the night to 17-7 and overall 60-54.
Bjerre made amends for his poot Heat One, jetting away to take a big win in the fifth over Doolan in a 3-3, and following a 4-2 in Heat Six Wethers took another massive win in the seventh well ahead of Skidmore in a shared race, Berwick comfortably in control 70-62 and with Pijper and Carr hammering home a 5-1 in Heat Eight, Berwick were already odds-on for a trophy success.
Two more 3-3s ensued, the latter won impressively by Jonas B. Andersen to wreck Pijper’s maximum, but on the night Berwick were 38-22 ahead and 81-69 overall, just nine points away from victory.
Heat 12 ended in dramatic circumstances with the winning Alden pulling a massive wheelie to celebrate his win, but over-rotated and tipped off the back of his bike clattering to the ground, thankfully with no ill-effects and three points in his kitty as part of a 5-1, putting Berwick 20 ahead on the night and 86-70 on aggregate.
The trophy was clinched after Heat 13, a race won by Bjerre and Bellego in third gave the Bears their first heat advantage of the match but it was all too late.
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Berwick Bandits 54 (97)
1. Thomas Jorgensen 3,E,2,2,E = 7
2. Theo Pijper 2*,3,3,1* = 9+2
3. Kevin Doolan (c) 3,2,3,3,1* = 12+1
4. Anders Mellgren 1,1*,0,0= 2+1
5. Seb Alden 3,0,3,0,2 = 8
6. Matthew Wethers (r) 3,1,3,2*,2 = 11+1
7. Liam Carr (r) 1,1,2*,1 = 5+1
Redcar Bears 36 (83)
1. Lasse Bjerre 1,3,0,3 = 7
2. Jacob Bukhave 0,0,1,N = 1
3. Hugh Skidmore 0,2,0,2 = 4
4. Jonas B. Andersen 2,1*,3,3,3 = 12+1
5. David Bellego 2,2,2,1,0 = 7
6. Simon Nielsen (r) 2,0,1*,1,N,1 = 5+1
7. Lee Payne (r) 0,0,0,0,N =0