Workington Comets 57-38 Berwick Bandits (Agg 98-86)

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Berwick travelled to Workington with a depleted side for this play-off semi-final / Border Trophy clash, and perhaps not unexpectedly came off second best.

Bandits held a seven point advantage following a 48-41 win in the first leg at Shielfield a fortnight ago, but as they went into the second leg without David Bellego, Matty Wethers and Steen Jensen, it always looked like they were fighting a losing battle.

Wethers was still nursing injuries he picked up in a crash in the first leg, Bellego was riding on the continent and Jensen had returned home to Denmark for personal reasons.

The meeting had a decidedly ‘end of season’ feel to it, and when Workington took two 5-1s in the first three races to move one point ahead on aggregate, the writing was effectively on the wall.

A battling win for Claus Vissing over Kyle Howarth and Simon Lambert gave the small band of travelling supporters something to cheer, but by the end of heat six the Comets had extended their lead to 25-11 which meant Kevin Doolan was used as a double-pointed tactical ride in seven, and his win, which produced a 1-8 with guest Ritchie Hawkins, reduced the deficit to 25-19 and it was all square on aggregate.

Workington took three more 4-2 heat wins leading up to Berwick’s second tactical ride in heat 11, this time for Matej Kus, but he had to settle for second for four points behind Lambert in a shared 4-4.

A home 4-2 won by Howarth in heat 13 and a 5-1 for Mason Campton and Lambert in 14 comfortably handed the Border Trophy to the Comets.

Team manager John Anderson said: “We were down on power as we had allowed David Bellego to race on the continent with little official hanging on this match, but despite this there were good moments from the lads who still managed to install a degree of excitement into proceedings to entertain the fans.”

Workington: R Bach 13, R Wells 11+1, S Lambert 10+2, M Campton 9+1, U Ostergaard 7+1, K Howarth 7, R MacDonald 0.

Berwick: K Doolan 12, C Vissing 10, R Hawkins 6+1, M Kus 6, A Edberg 4+2, D Phillips 0, S Jensen rider replacement.

* Berwick’s proposed re-arranged League Cup meeting at Glasgow on Sunday afternoon was postponed because of rain.