Just shy of two years ago, the 28th of June 2017 to be precise, I wrote a blog on here entitled “Keeping the Faith”.
At that time the Bandits were firmly rooted to the bottom of the league table, ravaged by injury and truth be told enduring a season from hell. The thought of the Bandits in the semi finals of anything seemed a world away, a pipedream if you will.
Whilst it was obviously disappointing to see our Championship Shield dreams dashed for another year at the hands of Leicester, the fact that we were even in the semi finals of the competition is a mark of the progress we have made since then.
To get that far in the competition is a major achievement and one which we should be proud of.
Whilst nobody remembers the losers when the winners take it all, we simply have to take the positives out of it and ask ourselves if we would rather be in the position we’re in now, or the position we were in two years ago.
I know where I would rather be.
Lets take nothing away from Leicester, they are a quality side who may even sweep the board this year, and there was really no shame in losing to them. They came, saw and conquered and the better team won on the night.
Am I happy about it? No.
Should we have done better? Yes.
Are we capable of better? Hell yeah we are.
Are we still in the hunt? You better bloody believe it!
Of course I could go down the road that so many others take and point the finger of blame at certain riders, but sometimes you just have to accept the fact that sometimes it just isn’t going to be your night.
Let’s take Aaron Summers for instance, he has been superb for the Bandits all season, and he was cruising to a certain heat 13 victory when it was cruelly taken away from him by a snapped chain., that more or less summed up the night for the Bandits.
Sometimes looking at the score card simply doesn’t reflect how the meeting went sometimes, and that was certainly true on Saturday. Aaron scored five points, which is below what we would expect but there is no denying he was worth so much more on the night.
Whilst many will argue that some should have performed better, nobody will know that more than the riders themselves, and you can be sure that they are doing all they can to rectify whatever issues they may have.
It isn’t like they aren’t capable; we wouldn’t have made it as far as we did otherwise.
So what now I hear you cry?
I reckon a win over Scunthorpe this weekend is a must, and ensuring that Shielfield Park becomes a fortress once more will be a close second on the agenda.
Installing that belief back into those riders whose form has dipped is also a must, and getting behind them in their hour of need is absolutely paramount.
Look at Jye Etheridge, he hasn’t had a great start to the season and he will be the first to admit that and of course a couple of injuries have hampered him somewhat. Nobody doubted his ability though and he banged in a tremendous performance on Saturday and fair play to him.
If he can do it, so can the rest of the guys who find themselves in a slump too. You see it time and time and time again in speedway where something just clicks and it all falls back into place.
Our lads are all capable performers and I firmly believe that they will get it right and we will be challenging at the sharp end of the table come the end of the season.
We may be down but we sure as hell aren’t out, and apparently Saturday night’s alright for fighting and that seems as good place as any to kick-start our season and start climbing that league table and rattle a few cages along the way.
So bang that drum, let all the world know that the Bandits are on the fight back, get your backside trackside, bring a mate and don’t be late.
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 email@example.com 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