George Dodds's picture

Four points from the weekend; Diamonds put firmly in their place; Academy remain unbeaten … now bring on the remodelled Bears.
All that remains is to find a way of removing Aaron Summers’ tyretracks from halfway up the bouncy castle … perhaps the midweek cleaning crew should consider Vanish.
Work commitments meant that I was unable to join the band of merry men and women on the freebie charabanc to that behemoth of 20th century architectural brilliance (assuming you studied architecture at the Vladimir Illych Lenin school of brutalism) in sunny rundown Byker.
Following progress on the Speedway Updates site was a poor substitute on a night which saw us provide seven race winners but suffer yet another loss on Tyneside.
Unfortunately for us Brough Park Ludvig replaced Away-day Ludvig as the Diamonds squeaked home but at least we added a point to our growing total.
For once we had few complaints about what happened on-track; indeed the only time the Bandits were robbed on Sunday came when they visited the bar - £3.70 a pint raised some danders which have remained steadfastly down for a good many years.
Compare that to a mere £2.50 in H Bar or The Ducket wine bar, gastro extravaganza and bistro and you can understand why the Shielfield faithful have gone home merry most Saturday’s this season.
And so as I write this we stand top of the table, level with Lakeside, continuing to defy the pre-season predictions.
It’s another double week with a much-changed Bears side providing the opposition at Redcar tonight (Thursday) and then at Shielfield two nights later.
Ranting Roy will once again be performing his world famous ‘man of many hats’ routine as he continues to sidestep the Monopolies and Mergers Commission investigation into centre green presentation oligopoly.
Black and White on a Sunday; Red and White on a Thursday; Black and Gold every Saturday; Black and Blue after retro pogo night in The Trent, he is a vibrant palette of speedway neutrality.
Redcar currently occupy the basement spot that was so confidently reserved by many for the Bandits when we announced our 2018 line-up.
The Smoggies are suffering the sort of season which is familiar to those of us in the Borders from 2017; injuries blighting an already difficult season when the only luck is bad.
In the end it turned out well for the Bandits and the hardcore of that side is now pushing us on to great heights.
The Bears are not letting the grass grow under their feet and last week moved to cover the loss of Ben Barker to injury and the sacking of Matej Kus by bringing in men familiar to Berwick fans.
Thomas Jorgensen won many admirers during a productive two year spell in Black and Gold; Dimitri Berge many fewer during a much less successful and shorter spell at Shielfield while Nathan Greaves made a couple of useful guest appearances in place of John Lindman last month.
Theo Pijper may have a point to prove after being the first man released from the STMP line-up – on the other hand he may just be happy to be back at Shielfield, even if it was in a roundabout route.
While all has been going well on the senior front the National League is hosting the unofficial three-cornered battle to be crowned the best local teenager.
At stake is the prestigious – and totally fictitious – Tobias Twempie Trophy, named in honour of the man who in the early 1850s, allegedly after 20 pints of Border Brewery Bitter in The Bonarsteads, came up with the reasoning behind rolling averages as a way of equalising team strength in the Berwick and District Bear Baiting League.
At the moment it is neck and neck between Birmingham’s Leon Flint and Coventry’s Luke Ruddick who both have a string of double point scores and maximums under their belt.
Two race wins in the Under-21 Final bode well for cool hand Luke’s hopes of lifting the TTT but a shoulder injury when he was Etheridged – ie flattened while minding his own business ahead of an opponent – at Eastbourne last weekend has slowed down his points’ tally.
Completing the trio of town teenage terrors is Kieran Douglas who has found points harder to come by in a struggling Buxton side but is still making an impressive step up from the Northern Junior League.
While Leon is wowing them and Luke seems to be taking the next step on his road to the top Kieran is making the kind of steady progress you would expect for someone in his first year at this level.
If they continue to make progress at this rate then Berwick will be able to enter the 2022 Speedway of Nations tournament – I plan to lead us to a glorious independence referendum triumph around 2020 – you read it here first.
With King Kevin due to put the next batch of hopefuls through their paces at Duns this weekend – check the website for details and availability – the fight for TTT could well become a highlight of the Berwick sporting calendar in years to come.
Leon is off to Denmark at the weekend to begin his latest assault on the European 250cc Championship so he will not be trackside when the Bears are tamed, tapes-up 7pm – or whenever NBJ can get there!