Bandits beaten as Lions roar in Challenge Shield
BERWICK BANDITS 42LEICESTER LIONS 48(Aggregate 78-102)Berwick failed in their bid to reach the final of the Championship Shield when they were beaten on aggregate by the roaring Lions of Leicester in the semi-finals.
The Midlanders went into Saturday’s second leg in the driving seat having built up a healthy 18-point lead from their first leg at home.
Berwick were confident they could reduce the deficit at Shielfield, but whether they were capable of overhauling the deficit on aggregate was always questionable.
And so it proved, the Lions showing just why they have raced their way to the top of the Championship league table with another workmanlike performance.
On the night they produced 11 of the 15 race winners and afterwards, Bandits’ team manager Gary Flint had to admit his team were beaten by the better side.
“Leicester arrived confident they already had one foot in the final,” said Flint. “Our lads just really didn’t get into the meeting, and whilst we only ran six last places, the fact we only produced four race winners all night shows where the6 meeting was lost.
“All credit to Leicester though, they rode well and we wish they all the best for the final.”
Two of Berwick’s race wins came from Jye Etheridge, who was top Bandits on the night, whilst Aaron Summers and skipper Kevin Doolan were the other home riders to take the chequered flag. For the visitors, Scott Nicholls dropped only one point from his four rides, beaten by Doolan in heat one, whilst Ryan Douglas had three race wins and Josh Bates two.
The match itself was tight, with only two points separating the sides (11-13 and then 17-19). But the first leg lead meant Leicester were in control overall and at 29-31 on the night the after heat 10, the Lions were on the verge of victory, which was confirmed in heats 11 and 12, although there was an anxious moment in 13 when Summers was leading, only to shed a chain on the last lap, crashing heavily into the safety fence.
Berwick - Etheridge 12, Doolan 9+1, Jakobsen 6+1, Gappmaier 5+2, Summers 5+1, Flint 3, Garcia 2+1.
Leicester - Nicholls 11, Douglas 10, Worrall 8+1, Bates 8, Perks 5, Mountain 4, Thomas 2+1.