BERWICK’S speedway Bandits will open their turnstiles at 5.45pm on Saturday to allow early arrival into Shielfield Park and reduce the need for queues building up for what will be the team’s most-important home match of the 2012 season, writes Lawrence Heppell.
“Aye, we’re saving the best ‘til last,” said club director John Anderson.
“I’ve been delighted with the build-up of local interest in the Premier Challenge Trophy Final, and I think there will be a healthy attendance to watch the Bandits take on Rye House Rockets on Saturday night, hence the decision to throw the doors open a bit earlier than usual.”
The club has have had a tough time during 2012, with injury after injury to key riders and Britain’s much-recorded wettest summer for over a century – yet the Borders boys battled back to end their term with the Premier Challenge Trophy Final.
“It is just reward for everyone’s efforts, on and off track,” agreed club director George Hepburn.
“After all the lousy weather and so many injuries, you’d have excused these guys for giving up the chase, but it just hasn’t happened. Instead we’ve had a string of good results, culminating in a great win up at Glasgow on Sunday – and that’s put our Bandits into the Final against the Rye House Rockets, right here at Shielfield on Saturday night.”
To boost their hopes, Bandits’ team manager Ian Rae has booked in Craig Cook, the newly-crowned Premier League Riders’ Champion to act as a guest rider for Saturday’s clash.
“Cookie has been in great form of late, and we’re hoping his contribution on Saturday night will set us on the road to victory,” said Rae.
“Come one, come all. Critics had us dead and buried a few times this year – let’s see a really big final attendance as we try to add the Challenge Trophy to our Fours title.”
In addition, Mildenhall Fen Tigers starlet heat leader Joe Jacobs will ride for Berwick as a National League guest at number six in both legs of the Premier Challenge Trophy Final this weekend, replacing Klaus Jakobsen who has returned home to Denmark.
Jacobs, aged 19 from Ipswich, was ironically a member of the Rye House Academy team in 2008 but then moved on to the Fen Tigers where he has enjoyed great success.
He has improved his average each season and is currently on a National League average of 8.13, sitting in second position in Mildenhall’s averages.
He spent last winter racing in Perth, Australia.
Joe was top scorer on Tuesday night at Wolverhampton in a double header, for Fen Tigers, scoring 26 points -- 13 in the NL Championship Play Off and 13 in the NL KO Cup Final.
Saturday’s teams will line up:
BANDITS: 1, Craig Cook; 2, Micky Dyer; 3, Robin Aspegren; 4, David Bellego; 5, Sebastian Alden (captain); 6, Joe Jacobs (guest); 7, Nicki Barrett.
RYE HOUSE ROCKETS: 1, Kevin Doolan (guest); 2, Luke Bowen (rider-replacement); 3, Anders Mellgren; 4, Jason Garrity; 5, Jason Bunyan (captain); 6, Kasper Lykke; 7, Simon Lambert.