Berwick Bandits 41-42 Sheffield Tigers

Berwick Bandits Speedway
Berwick Bandits Speedway

Berwick suffered their fifth consecutive home defeat when they were beaten by Sheffield at Shielfield on Saturday.

But this was a meeting in which the score-line only told half the story - for throughout there were crashes, injuries, delays, good racing at times, a new track record and a controversial finish which meant racing had to be abandoned because of the curfew.

The meeting got off to a good start with Craig Cook, guesting for Sheffield’s injured number one, Simon Stead, blasting his way to a new track record of 62.8 seconds in heat one, taking 0.4 seconds off the previous best.

But in heat two Berwick guest Liam Carr, in for Richard Hall at reserve, tangled with Josh Bates up the back straight and was withdrawn from the meeting without completing a lap.

With Berwick already using rider replacement for Claus Vissing, it meant they were down to five riders, but five became four in heat nine when Mathias Thomblom was also withdrawn after a horrific looking smash on the fourth bend which also involved Jason Garrity and Kevin Doolan.

Garrity, who had won his opening two rides, was leading, when he pulled a locker. Doolan ploughed into the back of him and Thomblom careered into the safety fence.

Garrity also took no further part in the meeting, which by now was running well behind schedule.

There was some quality racing involving Cook and Doolan, particularly in heats 11 and 13.

In 11 the Aussie chased the Englishman for four laps but could not pass as Cook made it three wins on the trot.

In 13, with Thomas Jorgensen away and gone at the front, Doolan set chase again, and this time he finally managed to pass the Cumbrian off the fourth bend for a 5-1 which edged the Bandits 40-37 in front.

The meeting had been close throughout, with the lead changing hands on several occasions, but with never more than three points separating the sides.

It swung again in 14 with the visitors taking a 1-5 courtesy of Nicolai Klindt and the impressive Arthur Sissis.

The curfew was approaching, but there was still time for a controversial ending. Bandits needed an advantage from the last race to sneak the win, and Jorgensen sped from the tapes. But as he approached the first bend he was halted in his tracks and there was a collision which left Sissis with a suspected broken collarbone.

Jorgensen was excluded, and with the medical team still nursing the injured rider on the track the announcement was made to abandon racing for the evening.

Berwick team manager John Anderson said: “We really could have had the points, but falls, injuries and a lost race against the clock pulled the rug from under our feet and we’ve had to admit defeat.”

Berwick: Jorgensen 13, Doolan 12+1, Edberg 9+3, Garcia 4+1, Thomblom 2+1, Carr 0.

Sheffield: Sissis 13+1, Cook 10, Garrity 6, Castagna 5+2, Klindt 3, Bates 3, Bellego 2.