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Bandits push Sheffield all the way in great show.

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Sheffield "Window Centre" Tigers 46
Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 44
SGB Championship

TazMcd Photography Image: Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen locked in battle with Kasper Andersen

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Following the tightest of tight Berwick victories at Shielfield Park the night before against the Sheffield Tigers (46-44) the Bandits minus the injured Jye Etheridge and Coty Garcia, but with rider replacement and guest Jordan Stewart took to the Sheffield shale yesterday afternoon with Sheffield also without Ty Proctor and Zaine Kennedy, drafting in Nathan Greaves and Cameron Heeps.

The Bandits took Owlerton by storm hitting two away 1-5s in on the opening races to go an amazing 2-10 ahead, extending their lead in Heat Three to 4-14 after Dany Gappmaier held a determined Cameron Heeps at bay in second for the whole race, and skipper Kevin Doolan taking third over Drew Kemp in the 2-4.

Heats four and five were shared before Sheffield hit back in Heat Six Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen fell at the first attempt, getting lodged under the air fence, causing his exclusion and a re-run in which Danny King and Kyle Howarth made light work of defeating Stewart in a Tigers' 5-1 narrowing the gap to 15-21.

Berwick were on the wrong end of a 4-2 in Heat Seven until the leading Howarth shed a chain on lap two to grind to a halt allowing Gappmaier to take the three points and Busk Jakobsen taking one split by Broc Nicol in a Berwick 2-4 to extend the visitors' lead to eight points, 17-25 before Kasper Andersen and Greaves took advantage of Doolan and Leon Flint from the gate to hit another home maximum and close the gap to 22-26.

Sheffield 4-2s in Heats Nine and 11 shut the differential to zero with the scores 33-33 with four races to go, and after a Heeps-won Heat 12 3-3, the sides exchanged 5-1s, 13 going to King and Howarth over Aaron Summers while Gappmaier and Stewart took the Heat 14 five from the gate over Nicol and Kemp who suffered engine issues on the opening lap, and so with one heat to go it was still tied 42-42.

For the second night running the sides were facing a last heat decider, but with Summers sitting astride an obviously sick machine, his power was down to finish last, but as King took Gappmaier for the win the 4-2 was enough to give Sheffield the thrilling win 46-44 in a mirror image of the score 24 hours earlier.

Team manager for the Bandits, Gary Flint said: "We are naturally disappointed not to win being 10 points ahead so early on, but to only go down by two at Owlerton against Sheffield is an amazing feat and one we should be justly proud of, This has been a cracking couple of days for us and sets us up nicely for a decent run in this years' Championship! "

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Sheffield "Window Centre" Tigers 46

1 Danny King R,3,3,3,3 = 12
2 Kasper Andersen 1,3,0,N = 4
3 Cameron Heeps (guest) 2,3,3,3 = 11
4 Drew Kemp 0,F,1,R = 1
5 Kyle Howarth (c) 3,2*,R,3,2*,1 = 11+2
6 Broc Nicol (r) 1,2,1,1 = 5
7 Nathan Greaves (r) R,F,2*,R = 2+1

Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 44

1 Aaron Summers 3,1*,2,1,0 = 7+1
2 Kevin Doolan (c) 2*,1,2,1,0 = 6+1
3 Dany Gappmaier 3,3,2,1*,3,2 = 14+1
4 Jye Etheridge - Rider replacement
5 Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 2,Fx,1,2,0 = 5
6 Jordan Stewart (guest) (r) 3,1,0,1*,2,2* = 9+2
7 Leon Flint (r) 2*,1*,0,N = 3+1