Bandits save best 'til last with comprehensive win over leaders
Berwick Bandits 55-35 Peterborough Panthers
The saying, ‘Leave the best until last’ was certainly more than correct in this highly entertaining Championship clash!
Berwick have hit a purple patch of form in recent weeks and followed up their draw at Scunthorpe 24 hours earlier with a swashbuckling performance against leaders Peterborough who for the first time in 2018 failed to pick up at least a point on their travels.
Light rain about ninety minutes before the start did no harm at all to track conditions, in fact it only made for some top drawer racing with plenty of passing added in, this before another good crowd, spiced by a healthy Panthers following.
Berwick, as has been the normal in recent meetings, were strong from top to bottom, with reserves Theo Pijper and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen being paid for 25 points to follow up their paid 27 at Scunthorpe the previous night!
However, star of the show was Peterborough number 1, Scott Nicholls, who produced as good a performance by a visiting rider at Shielfield for many a long day! Nicholls turned the clock back with a brilliant six ride paid maximum, missing the start on occasions and showing his skill and experience to produce some top class overtaking. He hadn’t ridden at Berwick for well over a decade, but you would not have known!
However, one rider does not win a meeting and as stated it was Berwick’s ability to win races throughout the team which saw them home in style. All seven won a race or were paid for wins.
No maximums in Bandits ranks although it took the aforementioned Nicholls to spoil full returns for Aaron Summers, Pijper and Busk Jakobsen.
Panthers Michael Palm Toft had looked very fast in his opening race win but a nasty fall in heat 7 seemed to knock him back and his partner Bradley Wilson Dean had also fallen heavily in heat three and did not take his full quota of rides.
Guest Paul Starke had a couple of decent rides and skipper Simon Lambert powered home in heat five, with the scoreline at that time very tight, Bandits being ahead 16-14. However, it was then that Berwick really hit home their advantage, clocking up three 5-1 victories in a row this only halted by a Nicholls (tac sub) and Starke maximum in heat nine.
It mattered little as from then on there was really going to be only one winner and it allowed Messrs. Busk Jakobsen, Howe, Doolan and of course Nicholls the chance to produce some fine passing in the latter heats.
Berwick: NB Jakobson 12+2, T Pijper 9+2, A Summers 9+2, K Doolan 8+2, J Etheridge 7, D Howe 6+2, D Gappmaier 4+1.
Peterborough: S Nicholls 17+1 (paid max), P Starke 5+1, MP Toft 4, S Lambert 4, E Grondal 3, B Wilson Dean 1, T Bacon 1.
BERWICK BANDITS 45
Berwick took two league points from a deserved aay draw at Scunthorpe on Friday.
Bandits were 17-7 ahead early in the meeting but in the end needed a shared heat in the final race to get a draw.
Summers and Busk Jakobsen kept Steve Worrall at the back behind Josh Auty to get the 3-3.
Berwick scorers were: NB Jakobsen 12+3, T Pijper 10+2, A Summers 10 K Doolan 5+2, D Howe 4+1, J Etheridge 3+1, D Gappmaier 1,.