BERWICK’S speedway Bandits suffered a shock defeat to the undoubtedly deserved Ipswich Witches on Saturday night, but also had the home crowd giving a standing ovation to the club’s big announcement, writes Lawrence Heppell.
The management team were delighted to reveal that super-star Swede, and Bandits’ number one rider, Sebastian Alden was no longer a Swindon Robins rider on loan to Berwick, but was now officially a fully-fledged Berwick asset, having signed a full contract with the side who have agreed a transfer deal with the Wiltshire side.
With a rapturous applause ringing in his ears after the announcement, club co-owner John Anderson said: “We need to show we’re here for the long-term and one of the most important ways we can show this, and significantly strengthen our asset base is by going about the business of signing riders to the Bandits outright – and where better to start that at the top of the tree and secure Seb as our very own.”
The Bandits went on to slide to a 50-40 defeat at the hands of the Witches despite matching their opponents for most of the night. With the score on 30 all following some Alden magic on heat 10, supporters were all set to bring the house down in the closing rounds. But the visitors had other ideas and victories in the ensuing four heats saw them take the points from Shielfield.
Berwick’s team manager Ian Rae said: “We were left lacking in the gating stakes tonight and with a classy team like Ipswich, we could barely afford to be slow from the traps and I have to congratulate Ipswich on a very fine win indeed.”