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Bandits lose grip on Bears in last three races

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Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 43
Redcar "Agilia" Bears 47
SGB Championship

Photo: Taz Mcd Photography - Leon Flint loses his chain in Heat 12
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Entering their busiest period of the 2019 SGB Championship season, the Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ld." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) needed this get this critical period off to winning ways with the visit of the Redcar Bears, led by none other than the new British Champion, Charles Wright and new signing Erik Riss, but it was all a bit too much for the Bandits as their push dwindled over the last three races.

The first four races left the match evenly set with the score 12-12 after two 3-3s and alternating 5-1s, but Redcar reserve Nathan Greaves (earmarked as a match spoiler for the Bandits pre match) led the way individually, unbeaten by a Bandit from two rides for his 5+1 total flashing up warning signs, along with only Kevin Doolan taking the winners flag for the Bandits in Heat Three looking exceptionally fast.

Doolan and Dany Gappmaier gated again in Heat Five, but Erik Riss hit the gas and darted up and through the home pair to take up the lead off bend two and held it to the flag in another shared heat, the scores still tied 15-15 before Heat Six was hauled back as Aaron Summers was adjudged to have jumped the start and warned for the re-run, in which Jye Etheridge and Summers flew off to take a solid win over Wright in a 5-1 to put Berwick 20-16 ahead.

Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen made a brilliant gate off gate one to win the seventh well over Michael Palm Toft as Flint brilliantly passed Jordan Stewart off bend two to form a 4-2 taking the score to 24-18, and after a shared Heat Eight, tactical substitute Riss teamed up with Wright to jet ahead for a Bears' 1-5 over Doolan and Gappmaier to narrow the gap to 28-26.

Ahead of the interval Etheridge was warned for a jumped start but in the re-run Summers was first out of the gate and took the win as Palm Toft passed Etheridge to restrict the scoring to a 4-2, moving the scores on to 32-28.

With four heats to go the score had moved on to 35-31, but Doolan was took keen and took a referee's warming for jumping with a re-run called, in which it looked like a solid 5-1 for Busk Jakobsen and Flint over Palm Toft until Flint's rear chain flew off on the fourth bend of lap three flinging the teenager onto the ground hard. Thankfully he was ok, but the race was awarded a 3-3, Flint excluded for his misadventure.

Riss and Wright overhauled Busk Jakobsen and the slow gating Summers to hit a vital 1-5 in the 13th race with the scores now 39-39, but a killer blow from Stewart, who had scored nothing to this point, won Heat 14 ahead of Greaves over Gappmaier and Garcia leaving the score with one to go at 40-44 as Bandits were left needing a maximum in the last heat to draw the match.

Sadly Wright and Riss made the gate and despite Doolan and Summers passing Riss to make it a 3-3, but the win was the Bears' 43-47.

Team manager Gary Flint said: "This was a match win that just fumbled out of our hands with a couple of mechanical issues slicing points from our guys with Coty Garcia's start line engine bang, and Leon Flint's rear chain flinging him to the ground when he was set to take second place. These are the breaks that can twist a match round on a sixpence as it did for us tonight, but Redcar to their credit were there and ready to take advantage when they had to, and they did. We will move on with the same resolve to get league points and make a late season push!"

Individual Rides' Scores

Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 43

1 Aaron Summers 2,2*,3,0,1* = 8+2
2 Jye Etheridge 1*,3,3,1 = 8+1
3 Kevin Doolan (c) 3,2,1,3,2 = 11
4 Dany Gappmaier 2*,1*,0,1 = 4+2
5 Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 1,3,2,1 = 7
6 Coty Garcia (r) 2,N,R,1*,0 = 3+1
7 Leon Flint (r) 1*,0,1,N,Fx = 2+1

Redcar "Agilia" Bears 47

1 Erik Riss 3,3,2*,0,3,0 = 11+1
2 Kasper Andersen 0,0,2,3 = 5
3 Michael Palm Toft 1,2,2,2 = 7
4 Jordan Stewart R,0,N,3 = 3
5 Charles Wright (c) 3,1,3,2*,3 = 12+1
6 Tom Woolley (r) 0,0,Ts,0 = 0
7 Nathan Greaves (r) 3,2*,1*,1*,2* = 9+4