Busy boy Leon

Berwick Bandits suffered their third league defeat in a week when they went down 42-48 at home to Redcar Bears on Saturday.

Monday, 14th June 2021, 9:28 am
Kyle Bickley lifts on the first bend of heat two in the home meeting against Redcar, seconds later team-mate Leon Flint ended up in the safety fence.

This followed on from away losses at Plymouth and Poole in midweek and again highlighted the fact how difficult it is for a team to compete whilst operating rider replacement.

Bandits have been a six man team in the continued absence of Coty Garcia, who is still in Argentina due to COVID restrictions, and this has put added pressure on the side, especially the reserves.

In-form Leon Flint has also been a rider in demand. In addition to his duties with the Bandits and the Bullets he has been picking up a number of guest booking for other sides, and also travelled over to Poland last week for his first meeting with Rybnik.

Following Saturday’s meeting against Redcar he was also due to race at Redcar on Sunday, Peterborough on Monday and Kent on Tuesday, making it a mammoth 12 meetings in 12 days, which included two double-header fixtures against Leicester.

“It’s been busy but I’m loving it,” he said. “I’ve made a good start to the season, I’m picking up a few guest bookings and of course getting to ride my first meeting in Poland was a great experience.”

Flint, not for the first time this season, top scored for Bandits with 10+3 in the home defeat to Redcar. But his progress was hampered by a heavy fall in heat two when he crashed into the safety fence after team-mate Kyle Bickley picked up drive going into the first bend.

Berwick twice led at 19-17 and 32-28, but in Charles Wright, who raced to his first paid maximum of the season, the Bears had an obvious match winner, whilst in reserve Jordan Jenkins, who had two vital wins in heats 11 and 14, they had an unexpected ace in the pack and werethe stronger side over the closing stages.

It had been a similar story for Berwick at Plymouth in midweek when they led by four points (31-35 after heat 11), but succumbed to four 5-1’s in a row to lose 51-39. The following evening they lost 52-38 at Poole, where Flint top scored with 11+2.

There is no home meeting for the Bandits this weekend but the Bullets will be in action, taking on Newcastle Gems in a stand-alone NL fixture.