BERWICK’S speedway Bandits achieved a solid victory over Glasgow Tigers last Saturday – but this week’s visitors, also from north of the border, will prove a sterner test.
Edinburgh’s all-conquering Monarchs are currently just one point from the top of the Premier League table (they stand just below Workington Comets, but with two matches in hand) and can boast by far the best away-track record of any club in Britain.
“Yes, they are a powerhouse team” admitted Berwick director George Hepburn. “They have lost just one away match in the league all season, and will fancy themselves hugely to add to their fine record on Saturday, and go to the top of the Premier League.
“But over the years our Bandits have had a pretty good record of giant killing, and I believe we can maybe pull off another victory, no matter how much these Monarchs fancy their chances.”
The capital club’s hopes of victory, and of hitting the top rung of the league table, will bring hundreds of Scots south on the A1 on Saturday, with one of the biggest speedway attendances of the regular season in prospect.
“Edinburgh are led by Craig Cook, probably the top man in the whole league just now,” said an admiring Bandits’ spokesperson.
“He’s a rocket of a rider, a class act, although one who proved just last week at Ipswich he can also be a bit of short-fused firework at times.
“Who knows which Cookie will turn up on Saturday?”
Team manager Ian Rae will have a full-strength team of Bandits in the pits for the first time since June, with tall Danish starlet Nicki Barrett now recovered from his lingering shoulder injury.
“This will be tough match all right,” admitted Rae. “But we’ve beaten the Monarchs here in the past when they arrived expecting to beat us, and with all guns blazing, I’m sure we can do it again!”
Berwick: 1, Ricky Ashworth; 2, David Bellego; 3, Robin Aspegren; 4, Matty Wethers; 5, Kozza Smith (captain); 6, Nicki Barrett; 7, Paul Starke.
Edinburgh: 1, Craig Cook; 2, Mx Fricke; 3, Theo Pijper; 4, Jozsef Tabaka; 5, Claus Vissing; 6, Derek Sneddon (captain); 7, Mitchell Davey.