Dick Barrie's picture

We’re spoiled at Berwick these days.

For our first forty-odd seasons there was regular league speedway here – but the very idea of the BSPA or (even more ridiculously) the FIM sending big events anywhere further from London than Coventry to entertain northern supporters was something that would have caused quite a bit of tittering.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a wee bit of tittering, of course…..

Even in 1991, when we were lured to the big league we had to qualify before we could stage the Gold Cup Final (which we won) and there was never a suggestion we would be trusted to run any other major meeting.

All this changed after the Anderson-led promotions took over from wee Peter over the 2008/09 close season.

The catalyst was the installation of the first foam-fence in the league – indeed, only the second such barrier in Britain after King’s Lynn – and tentative suggestions that we might then apply, and qualify for FIM approval.

Build it, and they will come!

And come they did. Three FIM meetings, all crucified by weather worries yet giving the borders two GP qualifiers and, in 2013, that sensational U21 Final.

Think about that – a bloody WORLD FINAL at Shielfield Park!

Regular meetings televised live by SkySports – four in all, more than any other club in the league.

A BenFund Bonanza.

Then came the national events – firstly the U19 Championship in 2015, then last year as the Courtney clan continued to push Berwick’s status forward, the British U21 title.

Which was so well-received we’ve been honoured by being asked to stage it again on Saturday!

At the bargain price – and this is a British Championship title remember, just one step below the senior event at Belle Vue on July 29th (which will be screened live by BT Sport) – of £15, with just £11 for concessions and even for this big 'un, kids under 16 just a quid!

But who’s going to be the winner? Everyone tells me it’ll be Robert Lambert again – the leading candidate from a shortlist of one!

Aye, but it will all come down to the last race of the night -- and in the qualifiers at Somerset and on the Isle of Wight, with only the first three across the line getting a place in tonight’s field, both Luke Ruddick and Henry Atkins were leading their respective finals as they passed the yellow flag, only to break down on the last lap and turn first place into fourth.

So, if it happened to Luke and Henry, who knows what might go wrong for Robert, too?

That fat old lady has to sing, y’know……

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