According to speedway folklore, happiness is 40-38, but after a thrilling weekend of racing between the Bandits and Sheffield I would have to disagree and say that happiness is in fact 46-44.
Ask almost any speedway fan what they want to see in a nights racing and the chances are they will tell you tell you the following...
They'll tell you they want to see two teams going all out to win.
They'll tell you they want to see thrills, spills and drama.
They'll tell you they want to see close, hard racing, and they might even tell you they want to see a last heat decider.
Well bugger me, you could fill your boots at the weekend, because the two meetings had it all! In fact, apart from the unfortunate injuries sustained by Sheffield's Zaine Kennedy and Ty Proctor and our own Jye Etheridge and Coty Garcia, I would say you would be hard pushed to wish for much more from a weekends racing.
Of course we wish all the guys I just mentioned a swift recovery and hopefully all are back in action sooner rather than later. In the case of Jye, he simply had no luck on the night, his first meeting back from injury and he looked sharp when he was out on track but a mistake in the top bend caused him to fall and Ty Proctor was unable to avoid him and ended up worse for wear as a result.
Sadly later in the meeting Jye would be on the receiving end of a hard first corner move by Kyle Howarth and he would end up being catapulted from his machine and taking another nasty tumble. All in a night to forget for our popular Aussie, but rest assured the Etheridge will strike back...again!
Despite losing two riders on Saturday the Tigers made a proper match of it and credit to them, their injuries seemed to bring out the best in the remaining quintet, and they might even have stolen the win away from the Bandits had it not been for a blistering ride by Aaron Summers in heat 15 to keep Danny King at bay.
Like the Tigers were fully deserving of a league point for their efforts on Saturday, the Bandits were equally as deserving of one, maybe more on Sunday. A true team effort with every rider contributing something, in my eyes there was little to be faulted. Sure it would have been nice to have won, and being in the position we were in earlier on in the meeting, there is maybe a case to argue we should have.
But lets not forget that Sheffield are a strong side tipped for honours this season and Owlerton isn't traditionally a track we do well on, so to take them to a last heat decider on their own patch is a monumental achievement and one which should be praised.
Not many people would have given the Bandits much hope of taking anything from the meeting so there is the added bonus of proving them wrong, not for the first time this season I might add. Despite missing two riders in Coty and Jye, the rest of the guys plus guest Jordan Stewart gave it their all and left it all out there in search of glory, in less than ideal conditions.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this Bandits team just refuses to lie down and simply doesn't know when it's beaten, and I dunno about you but that is exactly the kind of thing I want to see from my team.
Aaron Summers has been in fantastic form pretty much from the off and Captain Kev has played his role with all the usual brilliance we have come to expect from him, especially in the pits where he works tirelessly in motivating all around him. Jye and Coty have endured tough starts to the season but we know what both men are capable of, so there is no reason for concern there and young Leon has exceeded expectations and has very much played his part in what has been tremendous start to the 2019 season.
The Nickolaj Busk Jakobsen and David Howe partnership seems to be reaping real benefits and in truth the stylish Dane looks better than ever because of it, and not just because he wins the shiniest exhaust award on a weekly basis. To me this was particular evident on Saturday when he was pulling some serious lines in his mission for speed and it was tremendous to watch, his shoulder to shoulder sparring with Kasper Andersen being a particular highlight.
One man who has taken as much flak as he has praise is Dany Gappmaier, in blistering form at home and generally struggling for points away from home, that wasn't the case at Owlerton on Sunday where he was nothing short of outstanding. A charismatic enigma he may be, but that was one of the finest performances by a Bandits rider you may see all season!
With no home action to speak of this weekend your Bandits head to the tight confides of Arlington to take on the Eastbourne Eagles this Saturday...can the Bandits sneak something out of it? Well with this team, nothing would surprise me!
Will the Eagles dare to prey upon the Bandits?
Or will the Bandits clip their wings?
I guess we will find out on Saturday!
Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply want to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters, you can send me a tweet @Mythman666.
Until next time...and there will be a next time.
Right I’ll hae’tae gan