Premier League Four Team Championships – The Semi- Final
Berwick Bandits 16
Plymouth Devils 14
Newcastle Diamonds 12
Redcar Bears 6
BERWICK BANDITS travelled to the Elite League’s Peterborough Speedway on Sunday afternoon to battle it out for the prestigious Four Team Championship title with both drawn in the first semi-final.
They were up against fellow North Easterners Redcar and long-travellers Plymouth but both got off to good starts in the early races.
Claes Nedermark gated well in Heat One but was passed by a hard-racing Cory Gathercole of the Devils to hold the win for Plymouth, but Ricky Ashworth for the Bandits flew under Nedermark at the end of the first lap to seal two points for Berwick.
Sebastian Alden made the perfect gate in Heat Two for the three points whilst Newcastle’s Stuart Robson had to get his two point the hard way by swooping wide round the outside of the Bears’ Matej Kus with the scores looking good with Berwick on five and Newcastle and Plymouth on three two ahead of Redcar.
The Diamonds joined the Bandits in pole position on six points each after a fine gate from Christian Henry gave him an early and unassailable lead for three, whilst behind Ryan Fisher and Aaron Summers were tussling hard for second only for Berwick’s skipper Lee Complin hitting the gas to fire himself up the inside of Fisher on lap three for a point.
Ludvig Lindgren was leading Heat Four with David Bellego into second but Plymouth’s top man Ben Barker, having missed the start completely went wide and opened his throttle fully to pass the whole field for a well earned three points with Newcastle now leading on eight to Berwick’s seven and Plymouth’s six as Redcar trailed behind on three.
Complin and Gathercole blasted from the gate in Heat Five, passing and re-passing for two laps before Kus hammered home the power to join the tussle passing the Plymouth man on the home straight but the Devil regained second with Lindgren observing from last place which put Berwick in front on 10 with the Diamonds and the Devils jointly second on eight with three semi heats to go.
Summers jetted ahead in Heat Six whilst Alden powered up the inside of Barker on the back straight only for the Devil to cut back hard under Berwick’s Swede on bend four before dramatically hauling in the Redcar Bear out front diving under him on the last bends to nab a famous victory to put Plymouth and Berwick ahead on 11 with Newcaslte now playing catch up on eight.
Ashworth sealed Berwick’s passage into the Final with a solid gate to flag win in Heat Seven as Robson and Fisher engaged in a titanic battle behind for two laps before the Devil pulled away from the Diamond who was passed by Ostergaard until the Bear fell shortly after but with one race left Newcastle had already fallen short of Final qualification.
For good measure Henry won the last heat well with Berwick’s Bellego taking an easy second as both zipped past Todd Kurtz to win the semi for the Bandits on 16 points.
Semi-Final Individual riders score chart:
Berwick Bandits: Lee Complin 4, David Bellego 3, Ricky Ashworth 5, Sebastian Alden 4, Alex Edberg (reserve) – did not ride
Plymouth Devils: Cory Gathercole 5, Todd Kurtz 1, Ryan Fisher 2, Ben Barker 6, James Holder (reserve) – did not ride
Newcastle Diamonds: Ludvig Lindgren 2, Claes Nedermark 1, Stuart Robson 3, Christian Henry 6, Steve Worrall (reserve) – did not ride
Redcar Bears: Matej Kus 2, Aaron Summers 4, Ulrich Ostergaard 0, Justin Sedgmen 0, Carl Wilkinson (reserve) 0