Edinburgh Scotwaste Monarchs 55 Berwick New Holland Bandits 37
THE Berwick New Holland Bandits returned to the scene of many a Premier League hammering on Thursday night.
But, at the Edinburgh Monarchs Armadale Stadium, they showed they were prepared to give it a good battle.
David Bellego (pictured) picked off both Derek Sneddon and Craig Cook in Heat One following a Matthew Wethers fall to share the opening race, and with Edinburgh’s Jozsef Tabaka making a fine gate in Heat Two as his partner Marcel Helfer went from second to last on lap one the match was tied 6-6.
Theo Pijper forced his way through the rapid gating Berwick pair of Wethers and Kozza Smith with the latter ending up at the back in a home 4-2, followed by a solid Edinburgh maximum 5-1 in Heat Four from Claus Vissing and Tabaka who fought off a good try from Robin Aspegren from behind with the score now 15-9.
Better was to come from the Bandits when Bellego flew from the gate in Heat Five to lead and win the three points well with Smith in third for a 2-4, and the Aussie Smith was in the thick of it again in Heat Seven jetting from the gate with Wethers to be untroubled by Vissing in the Bandit’s 1-5 which reduced the deficit to 22-20.
Unfortunately with Bellego excluded by the referee in Heat Eight for sending Sneddon into he fence the re-run placed a home 5-1 onto the score card putting the home side 27-21 ahead.
Edinburgh then turned the screws on the Bandits - and did it hard with 5-1s coming in both Heats Nine and 10 despite Smith racing as a tactical in the latter, to push the home lead to 37-23 allowing Berwick’s management to use Aspegren as a tactical ride for double points in Heat 11 but despite making a great gate, Vissing was faster and despite a great chase from Aspegren the two points doubled to four was all he could get but with Bellego in third it was at least a Bandits’ advantage 3-5 tightening the score to 40-28.
Pijper’s win in Heat 12 was far from easy as Smith was riding all over the back of him for all four laps but the three points gained was enough to seal victory on the night with two races left on the card with the score now comfortably in Monarchs’ control 43-31.
The Monarchs topped off their night with another 5-1 maximum in the final race of the evening won by Cook in his best race of the night.
Team manager Ian Rae said afterwards: “I though we were up for shocking the Monarchs early doors tonight as the lads seemed well up for laying the ghost of Armadale good and proper but sadly the home 5-1s were back and it became all too familiar once again, but there were some good spirited rides from our lads tonight and that’s a positive to build on for the future.”
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Edinburgh Scotwaste Monarchs 48
1Craig Cook 1*,3,3,3,3 = 13+1
2Derek Sneddon © 2,1,2*,2* = 7+2
3Theo Pijper 3,2,3,3,2* = 13+1
4Max Fricke 1,0,2*,2 = 5+1
5Claus Vissing 3,1,3,1 = 8
6Marcel Helfer ® 0,0,0,N = 0
7Jozsef Tabaka ® 3,2*,3,0,1* = 9+2
Berwick Bandits 42
1Ricky Ashworth © rider replacement
2David Bellego 3,3,X,1*,0 = 7+1
3Kozza Smith 0,1^,3,0,2 = 6
4Matthew Wethers F,2,2*,1,3,0 = 8+1
5Robin Aspegren 1,2,0,4^,2,1 = 10
6Alex Edberg ® 1*,0,1,1* = 3+2
7Nicki Barrett ® 2,0,1,0 = 3