Bandits impress in home and away clashes against Tigers
Battling Berwick Bandits put up a brave showing home and away against Glasgow at the weekend, but perhaps did not get all the reward they deserved.
They won their home meeting at Shielfield on Saturday by a comfortable 58-32 margin, but 24 hours earlier, at Ashfield, they left empty handed, despite leading by six points at one stage.
Team manager Scott Courtney was justifiably proud of his riders after the two tough matches claiming: “Some people were suggesting we would lose both matches home and away.
“But up at Glasgow we gave a really good account of ourselves and probably deserved to come away with at least the losing bonus point, if not more.
“The home win was all down to the tremendous team spirit which exists within the camp.
“We put a load of shale on the track during the week, which meant we were able to prepare a good surface, and I think the riders enjoyed it.
“All the lads were in there taking vital points. We don’t have a big hitter at the top of the team, but when we can pick up 11 bonus race points throughout the night it shows that we have strength in depth.
“We’ve still got fourth place in the league and will be doing our best to keep it by the time the cut-off date comes around.”
There is no meeting at Shielfield this weekend, and with no away fixtures either, the Bandits will not be back in action again until Thursday, August 9 when they travel to take on Ipswich. That will be the first of three important meetings in three nights with subsequent away and home fixtures against Edinburgh on August 10 and 11.
BERWICK BANDITS 58
GLASGOW TIGERS 32
Berwick stormed to an unexpected big victory over Glasgow at Shielfield.
Many thought the Tigers, with Rory Schlein deputising for Craig Cook, would push the Bandits all the way in this, the second meeting between the sides in 24 hours.
But Schlein was not as dominant as he has been on previous visits to the Border track and with their reserves only scoring two points as opposed to Berwick’s paid 23, it was easy to see how the balance of the match tipped in the home side’s favour.
Berwick dominated throughout, storming to an 18-6 lead after only four races.
Schlein and Harris, used as a tactical substitute, stemmed the tide with a 1-5 in five, but a run of four 5-1’s in the next six races race into an unassailable lead at 45-21 after 11.
Harris was the Tigers’ only real threat over this period, but even he found himself on the wrong end of a 5-1 when he was squeezed out by Jye Etheridge and David Howe in a meaty heat nine, which saw passing and re-passing and had the crowd on it’s feet.
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Claus Vissing, after a nasty spill in his first race, recovered to win his final two rides, but by then, Bandits were home and dry.
Theo Pijper raced to his first paid maximum, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen looked as if he was going to go unbeaten in his first four rides until Harris swooped past him off the last bend in heat 13, David Howe enjoyed a good night with three paid victories and there were also wins for Aaron Summers, Etheridge snd Dany Gappmaier in a competent home performance.
Berwick: Jakobsen 11+2, Howe 10+1, Pijper 9+3 (paid max), Gappmaier 8+3, Etheridge 8+1, Summers 8, Doolan 4+1.
Glasgow: Harris 14+1, Schlein 7, Vissing 6, Starke 3, Sarjeant 1, Thomas 1, Douglas 0, Greaves - rider rep.
GLASGOW TIGERS 49
BERWICK BANDITS 41
It was a case of so near and yet so far for Berwick when they travelled to face Glasgow at Ashfield on Friday.
At one stage the Bandits held a six point advantage (24-30), which at the time gave them aspirations of a possible first away league win of the season.
Aaron Summers and Kevin Doolan had recorded a 1-5 over Tigers new number one, GP star Craig Cook in heat one, and with Summers going unbeaten in his first three rides it meant the Borderers were 22-26 up after heat eight.
A 2-4 from Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Theo Pijper in nine extended the lead to 24-30, but this enabled Tigers to use the unbeaten Chris Harris as a tactical substitute in ten and a 1-5 got the home team back in contention at 29-31.
Another 5-1 saw Tigers go back in front at 34-32 after 11 and after that they were never headed.
Berwick kept it tight, however, a 3-3 when Harris fell in heat 13 when well positioned, meant they went into the last two races just two down at 40-38.
A 4-2 in the penultimate race meant Tigers could not be headed and in the last race Cook and Harris teamed up for a 5-1 which meant the Bandits left empty handed, missing out on the losing bonus point.
Glasgow: Harris 13+2, Cook 12+1, Sarjeant 10, Vissing 8, Starke 6+2, Thomas 0, Greaves 0.
Berwick: Summers 9+1, Jakobsen 9+1, Gappmaier 8+1, Pijper 5+2, Howe 5, Doolan 3+2, Etheridge +1.