Bandits repel Pirates for morale-boosting victory
Berwick maintained their unbeaten home status against Poole when they beat the Pirates 46-44 in a last race decider at Shielfield on Saturday.
The Bandits have never lost a home meeting against their south coast opponents, but with the likes of Danny King,Rory Schlein and Stevie Worrall in their line-up, many thought this would be the Pirates’ best opportunity to plunder a victory.
Berwick were missing three of their regular riders - Jye Etherindge and Dany Gappmaier, who were both ruled out after their crash the previous week, and Leon Flint, who was racing in Latvia in the European U19 Final.
Ricky Wells and Tom Brennan were drafted in as guests. Wells suffered a first race fall, but it was Brennan who emerged as one of the Bandits’ heroes, scoring nine points, including one race win, and also picking up a vital second place in the heat 15 decider.
Berwick’s other star performer was Kasper Andersen, now racing at reserve, who had three paid wins in his 13 paid 15 total from seven starts, and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, who netted nine paid ten.
The meeting was nip and tuck throughout, with never more than four points (16-20 after heat six and 32-28 after heat 10) separating the sides in the early stages.
Other key moments included a 5-1 for Aaron Summers and Andersen in heat seven, a blown engine for Summers in heat 11, and for Poole, a tapes exclusion for top man King in heat nine.
The match-winning points came in heat 13 when Andersen and Jakobsen took a vital 5-1 to put Bandits 42-36 in front and in the driving seat.
Poole reduced the deficit with a 2-4 in 14, but Brennan’s second place behind King in 15 meant Berwick took the three match points.
Afterwards, team manager Gary Flint said: “For once we got stronger as the meeting went on last night and to see the grandstand erupt as Kasper and Busk crossed the line in heat 13 was a proud moment. The win was what our group of riders, our fans, our volunteers and our management team deserved and I certainly feel proud.”
This weekend Berwick are back in league action when they take on Plymouth Gladiators at Shielfield on Saturday. The visitors are led by three times world champion Jason Crump and Bjarne Pedersen and is definitely one not to miss.