Dick Barrie's picture

This – so far – hasn’t been my best weekend.

Having dutifully followed our mighty Banditos to Ippo on Thursday, only to find on arrival at Stansted that they’d decided to rain it off, I trekked homeward this morning and took myself to Armadale tonight (Friday) to see what could be done about these Monarchs.

Well, it was sunny when I left Glasgow, sunny on arrival at Armadale and sunny right up to half-past seven, when a few spots of rain began to appear as Spud was blitzing his way to a Heat 1 victory over Messrs Wells and Pavlova.

During Heat 2, as Theo and NBJ were emphatically handing out a 5-1 to the Edinburgh reserves it got a bit heavier – and by Heat 3, as David was gallantly splashing his way to a good second behind Richie Worrall and ahead of Joshie P it got considerably heavier!

Sadly, with our guys winning 10-8, that was that.

There was a pretty torrential bout of rain for about ten minutes, and although it eased thereafter, the damage had been done.

That referee Margaret Vardy came down to check the surface was almost unnecessary, and although (to quote the mighty Grantie) it was ‘nowt tae dae wi’ us” -- only the losing team can demand a track inspection -- she was fairly quick to send us homeward. Within fifteen minutes, it was sunny again!

So, two nights, three races – I’m hoping for a considerably-better ratio tomorrow at Shielfield as we aim for “third time lucky” and actually get the full fifteen heats done – and the Monarchs done for, too!

Also on the agenda tomorrow will be our annual SRBF collection, when the riders will invade the stand and terraces after Heat 10. Speedway is, I don’t have to tell you, a dangerous sport and riders can get hurt as they perform for your entertainment. Your generosity will be welcome.

Going back to Thursday for a moment, although the rain-off was certainly justified (East Anglia was awash most of yesterday afternoon) it was a wee bit of karma for the Witches.

This was a restaging of the first attempt to run the fixture back at the end of May, at a point in time when we were feeling frisky and the locals has a couple of injury problems – but on that night some light rain fell over Suffolk at tea-time and our visit was exceedingly quickly postponed before the rain went off again, well before half-past seven. Just saying…..

To conclude, I’ll touch on the Bandits STARS Project. There’s been a stack of publicity for this initiative, so I don’t really need to explain more about it, but I’ll just say that – in my personal opinion, and after observing the swings and arrows, highs and lows, alarms and excursions involved in running our sport in our sparsely-populated region for fifty years -- I know we will need as much financial assistance as we can get to keep YOUR Bandits alive for the next fifty!

The response to the news of the launch has been gratifying, with many people having already contacted the promotion – on stars@berwickbandits.co – and simply asking “what can I do, how can I help?”

I accept there are many loyal followers who are not in a position to personally donate funds, but this need not stop willing and interested fans doing a bit of fund-raising, by organising tombola stalls, coffee mornings or the like with a view to passing on the proceeds to STARS.

Just think about it. You know it makes sense.


Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk