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Championship Shield weekender with Newcastle

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The Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) launch themselves into official action in the Championship Shield (Borders Group) with the Newcastle Diamonds - battling each other twice this weekend, home and away.

On Saturday night (at 7 of course) the Bandits are the hosts at Shielfield Park before the Diamonds welcome their northern neighbours to Brough Park on Sunday at 6.30pm, with both teams determined to get a decent advantage in both 15-heat conflicts to get themselves an early lead in the Shield group, from which the top dog and overall best second from the three national groups get to the semi finals.

Looking to fend off Edinburgh and Glasgow, also in the Borders group, its vital to get points on the board and Berwick's co-promoter, Jamie Courtney is eager to get things underway, saying: "This is our first big test of the new season and what a way to open things with a visit from Newcastle! Its a tough one to call too, as they brought back Team GB International Stevie Worrall to lead their side, and that means they're a tough ask from the top, down.

"Lasse Bjerre has had some brilliant races round Shielfield and will be gunning for big points, on both days, so our guys need to be on top form to contain the Geordies and send them off pointless, and Sunday away at Newcastle, we're not going to lie back and think of Northumberland, we're going to give it our best, even at a track we've not had consistent success at in the past, but that was the past and we're in a new era now!"

Weekend team line-ups

Berwick: Aaron Summers, Kevin Doolan (captain), Leon Flint, Dany Gappmaier, Coty Garcia, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Jye Etheridge

Newcastle: Steve Worrall (captain), Danny Phillips, Thomas Jorgensen, Simon Lambert, Max Clegg, Lasse Bjerre, Matthew Wethers