Comets at the double as Bandits suffer first home league defeat

After a run of five successive home league wins, Berwick suffered their first home Championship defeat of the season when they were beaten by Workington at Shielfield on Saturday.

Monday, 9th July 2018, 5:09 pm
Updated Monday, 9th July 2018, 7:01 pm

And as the Comets had also won by 28 points in Cumbria the night before, it was a quick-fire weekend double, which also secured the Border Trophy for the Derwent Park outfit.

The two wins lifted Workington (fifth on 14) to within two points of Berwick (fourth on 16) in the league table.

A disappointed team manager Scott Courtney said afterwards: “Well done to Workington who took a deserved win tonight, and nine times out of ten they were out of the gate before our guys, who mostly couldn’t get back on terms.

“We need to get our heads together after making such a decent start in the league, topping the table for a while and sitting in fourth place for so long, we cannot afford to start losing ground now.

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“Our team meetings are good and positive, and we need to transfer that massive spirit and positivity onto the track and get some critical results going our way immediately!”

Berwick will hope to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Scunthorpe at Shielfield in the league this Saturday.

Workington Comets 59

Berwick Bandits 31

Berwick were well beaten at Derwent Park on Friday night when the Comets won by 28 points.

In Nikolaj Klindt (12 point maximum), reserve Rasmus Jensen (four wins on his way to a top score of 13), and Rene Bach (who dropped only one point from five rides) they had three riders who between them scored more points than the entire Berwick team put together.

The Bandits, for their part, were second best, and had to settle for only two race wins, both courtesy of Aaron Summers, who after dropping from the number one role, top scored with 11.

Taking over at the top of the averages was captain Kevin Doolan, whilst Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen was racing in Denmark, which meant the visitors were forced to use rider replacement.

Workington opened up with four 4-2s in thr first five faces, which out them 19-11 in front, and after that they were never troubled by the Bandits, who conceded 5-1s in heats eight, 10, 12, 13 and 15.

Workington: Jensen 13, Bach 12+2, Klindt 12 (max), Bewley 9, Proctor 7+2, Campton 6+3, Bickley 0.

Berwick: Summers 11, Howe 8, Doolan 4+1, Pijper 3+1, Gappmaier 3+1, Etheridge 2+1, Jakobsen rider/rep.

Berwick Bandits 43

Workington Comets 47

In the return at Shielfield on Saturday, the visitors suffered an early blow when Ty Proctor fell on the opening bend of heat three and was withdrawn with a shoulder injury.

But Workington put that disappointment behind them and with 1-5s in heats three, five and seven, Dan Bewley, Rene Bach and Mason Campton all in the points, they found themselves 19-23 in front.

On a hot, dry evening, which meant track watering was required to keep the dust down, Berwick bounced back to take a slender two point advantage (31-29) after ten, Kevin Doolan and Jye Etheridge helping the Bandits get their noses in front with a 5-1 of their own.

The gap remained at two after 12 (37-35), but by then, Nikolaj Kilndt was dialled into the track, and after his initial victory in heat nine, he won heats 13 and 15, the latter of which produced a 1-5 for the visitors after the teams had gone into the last heat decider all square at 42-all. Bach had originally been paired with Klindt for the decider, but he was excluded for breaking the tapes.

Berwick: Gappmaier 12+1, Summers 10, Etheridge 8+1, Doolan 6, Howe 3, Pijper 2+1, Jakobsen 2+1.

Workington: Klindt 14+1, Bewley 10, Bach 9, Jensen 7+1, Campton 6+3, Bickley 1, Proctor 0.

Berwick’s David Howe had a weekend to forget.

On Saturday he came down with a dreaded bug - “I found it hard just to hold onto the bike,” he said. “Then in my last race my engine decided to grenade itself - that’s one for the bin.”

After home and away defeats for the Bandits against Workington, Howe was on his way home when, for the second weekend in a row, his van decided to give up the ghost.

He spent more than six hours stuck at the roadside waiting on assistance, finally got home after a 13 hour journey ... and to cap it all he was stung by a bee!!

Who’d be a speedway rider?

There was one bright spot, however, when Howe was named by the Berwick Supporters’ Club as their ‘Rider of the Month’ for June, and they presented him with a cheque.