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George Dodds's picture

Cold, wet, miserable.
Hot, sweaty, miserable.
Two Saturdays, 14 days apart.
The common denominator? No damn speedway.
Rained off – called off, both times a gamble taken on the weather; both times providing bitter proof the only winner from a gamble is the house – except when the Berwick Bandits Supporter’s Club stages a bingo night at the Black and Gold and raises a very welcome £250 for the S.T.A.R.S. initiative that is.
Anyway back to the story.
Scenario one. Edinburgh in town, forecast not so good – about 50% chance of steady rain around start time.
Decision: Let’s see how it goes. Result: a good crowd in the stadium – lured in part by an aggressively promoted £10 admission offer – come 7pm but by then it has been persistently drizzling for over an hour. It would be fair to say that a number of the visitors would rather catch an earlier flight to the next day’s booking and the referee finally pulls the plug.
Result: General disgruntlement and a number in the high hundreds able to watch the Championship Shield semi-final against Leicester for between £1 and a fiver. A significant number of the twitterati declare “Ridiculous. It was never going to be on; should have called it off earlier in the day when they saw the forecast. Weathermen nearly always get it right”.
Scenario two: S***horpe in town, forecast not so good – over 50% chance of thunderstorms from 5pm to 8pm. Met Office amber warning for heavy rain in a short period of time and localised flooding. Meeting called off early morning – just after a short, sharp shower. Rain fails to materialise. Come 7pm it’s one of the hottest, driest days of the summer.
Result: General disgruntlement and a number in the high hundreds forced to choose between repeats of My 600lb Life and Germany v Nigeria at the Women’s World Cup instead of live speedway. A significant number of the twitterati – many who had commented two weeks’ previously – declare: “Ridiculous, should never have called it off. Was never going to rain. Forecasts are always wrong”.
Irony, duplicity, hindsight: just some of the words that these people would not know the meaning of.
God yes it as frustrating to miss out on speedway last Saturday but to suggest – as some of the Bandits’ social media UFOlogists did – it was anything other than calling heads and finding that the coin landed tails is nonsensical.
Not surprisingly the mood didn’t exactly lighten at Brough Park on Sunday as the Diamonds continued their anniversary season with the now traditional gubbing of the Bandits.
I believe that Sunday was the 40th Anniversary of the second bend rut appearing and Clarkey helped the Diamonds’ faithflul celebrate in style.
Aaron once again led from the front as illness brought about a return of the 2017 legend that was Nicolaj Busk-Jacobsen-Rider-Replacement.
He managed 15+1 from seven rides, Kev and a rejuvenated Coty managed eight apiece and Jye six but it still wasn’t enough as, despite trailing by just six points after 12 heats, we lost by 16 points on the night.
Jye’s return to form has not gone un-noticed and led to a guest booking for Poole in the Premier League on Monday, the Dragon’s 4+2 giving the Pirates a two point victory, appearing ironically as a replacement for NBJRR.
It’s been a big week for Leon, who is now old enough to ride a moped on the roads and as you read this is heading for Gdansk in Poland – hopefully in something a little faster – for the European Under-21 Championship semi-final.
He is in good company on Saturday with Dan Bewley and Nathan Greaves completing the British trio bidding to reach the final in Ukraine.
Of course it's a weekend that starts with a trip to Scunthorpe on Friday night.
The Scorpions have felt the Wind of Change recently with Ben Barker and Simon Lambert recruited in a week which has seen a bewildering raft of team changes – James Black has bravely attempted to get on top of things elsewhere in this section.
For those of us who crave live motorsport action on a Saturday night it’s not going to happen again this week.
Ah well that just makes the cravings stronger as we look to get our own back on the Lions on July 13.
Hopefully it will be third time lucky with the weather too.