Bandits sparkle to inflict a double defeat on the Diamonds
Berwick Speedway started their season with a bang at the weekend taking maximum points from two wins over Newcastle in the Championship Shield.
The Bandits beat the Diamonds 52-38 at Shielfield on Saturday, and 24 hours later won 39-51 at Brough Park.
Team manager Gary Flint was naturally excited at the winning start saying afterwards: “I couldn’t have asked any more of the team over the two nights.
“There was a bit of pressure on us with it being the first home team meeting of the season, but the lads rode really well from the start, and despite Newcastle, particularly Stevie Worrall, doing their best to try and claw it back, we held out for a very good win.
“At Newcastle it was another very strong and competent team performance.
“I have seen Berwick ride at Brough Park many times in the past, but this must rank as one of the most dominant displays I have seen from the Bandits at Brough.
“Roll on next weekend when we take on Glasgow home and away.
“!We are up at Ashfield on Friday with the Tigers visiting us at Shielfield on Saturday, and they shoukld be two interesting meetings.”
Against Newcastle on Saturday, most Berwick eyes were on local teenager Leon Flint, son of Gary, who made his debut for his home town club.
And the 16 year-old did not let them down scoring six, paid eight points, which included two paid wins.
Afterwards he said: “I was vervous before the start, but my first race settled my nerves and I began to enjoy it after that. It was nice to hear all the Berwick fans cheering me on from the stands.”
On what was a good night for the Bandits, all seven riders were paid for at least two victories, the home side blitzing the opposition from the start with three 5-1s and a 4-2 in the first four races putting them 19-5 in front.
With Worrall finding his feet with a 1-5 in heat five the Diamonds reduced the gap to 20-10, but two more home 5-1s in six and eight saw the Bandits open up a 33-15 advantage.
Worrall went on to reel off five successive wins as Newcastle hit back with four heat advantages in five heats, but at 44-34 Berwick were guaranteed victory.
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A 5-1 from Jye Etheridge and Coty Garcia in 14 meant the home side took all three match points on offer.
At Newcastle on Sunday there were four match points up for grabs, and the Bandits took them with a very competent performance.
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen was the star of the show, dropping just one point from his five rides to top score on 14.
But Aaron Summers weighed in with three paid victories, as did Garcia, whilst there were also wins for Kevin Doolan and Etheridge.
There wasn’t a lot between the sides early on with the teams level at 12-12 and 15-15.
The Bandits edged back in front at 17-19 after heat six, but the breakthrough came between heats seven and nine when the visitors reeled off two 1-5s and a 2-4 to open up a 21-33 advantage.
Newcastle pulled it back to 34-38 with three successive heat wins of their ownbut a 1-5 from Jakobsen and Summers in 13 was the key moment, before they rounded off the evening with two 2-4s.
Scorers at Shielfield:
Berwick - Doolan 11+1, Jakobsen 9+1, Etheridge 8+1, Summers 7+1, Flint 6+2, Gappmaier 6, Garcia 5+1.
Newcastle - Worrall 16, Bjerre 7, Wethers 5+2, Jorgensen 5, Lambert 4+1, Phillips 1, Clegg 0.
Scorers at Brough Park:
Newcastle - Worrall 9, Jorgensen 9, Clegg 9, Bjerre 6+2, Wethers 3+1, Lambert 2, Phillips 1.
Berwick -Jakobsen 14, Garcia 12+1, Summers 11+1, Doolan 8+1, Etheridge 4, Flint 2+1, Gappmaier 0.