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Bandits run Brummies close in tough battle

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Birmingham Brummies 46
Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 44
SGB Championship

​The Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) put up a cracking show at the Birmingham Brummies last night in Championship action, and while they did pick up one league point, three of the four they desperately needed just slipped through their fingers as they went down by an agonising two points, 46-44.

The loss of those three points basically drew a curtain over their slender play-off aspirations, but what a way to bow out, and with a match at Glasgow on Saturday (8.15pm approximately as part two of a double header which starts at 6.30) the Tigers need not think the Bandits will be a push over, oh no, far from it.

Birmingham roared away to an early lead of six points after two heats, but Coty Garcia won the third as a tapes replacement for Tomas H. Jonasson and stormed the race from the gate ahead of Kevin Doolan over Tero Aarnio and Paco Castagna in a Berwick 1-5 tightening the score to 10-8, however two home 4-2a later and the gap had been restored to six once again.

​Leon Flint, a former top Birmingham rider in the National League, took Heat Eight by the scruff of the neck and hammered away for three points, fending off a serious challenge from Tobias Thomsen as Garcia took third in a Berwick 2-4 narrowing the difference to four points.

Jye Etheridge made a lightning start in the ninth to lead and win over Aarnio and Castagna, while Adam Ellis took the 10th well over Jonasson and Doolan maintaining the Brummies four point lead until Jason Garrity took Heat 11 ahead of Berwick guest Ben Barker while Tom Perry worked hard to keep Dany Gappmaier at the back taking the scores to 36-30. Jonasson made the Heat 12 gate to keep Aarnio in second as Garcia took third in a further Bandits' 2-4 making the gap four again at 38-34.

A couple of exchanged 4-2s left the score with one heat to go at 44-40, and Barker leapt from the gate to lead, but Aarnio tucked into second and held Jonasson in third to clinch the home win, albeit by only two points.

Bandits' boss Gary Flint said: "Again these guys battled so hard for what it means to be a Berwick Bandit, and just missed out on the win which they are all gutted about, but we have a final blast at Glasgow on Saturday and the Tigers had better watch out, we've got our hunting heads on!"

​Individual Riders' Scores:

Birmingham Brummies 46

1 Adam Ellis 3,3,3,3 = 12
2 Tobias Thomsen 1,R,2,0 = 3
3 Tero Aarnio 1,3,2,2,2 = 10
4 Paco Castagna 0,1,1*,2 = 4+1
5 Jason Garrity 3,3,3,1,0 = 10
6 Nick Agertoft (r) 3,0,E,0 = 3
7 Tom Perry (r) 2*,1,0,1,0 = 4+1

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

1 Ben Barker (guest) 2,2,2,2,3 = 11
2 Dany Gappmaier 0,0,0,N = 0
3 Tomas H. Jonasson E,1*,2,3,1 = 7+1
4 Kevin Doolan 2*,2,2,1*,3 = 10+2
5 Jye Etheridge E, 1*,3,0 = 4+1
6 Coty Garcia (r) 1,3,2,1,0,1 = 8
7 Leon Flint (r) 0,0,3,1 = 4