Published on 7th July 2022
Author Sarah Charalambous

Life can be challenging in many aspects.

I have a very tough job, working with people going through some of the worst times in life that they’re likely to experience.

You’d think with this that my choice of hobby would be something like putting my feet up with a glass of wine and a book… but no, that wouldn’t be me.

No, I choose to put myself through being a supporter of the Berwick Bandits.

Quite why I put myself through supporting the Bandits sometimes is something I regularly ask myself… but then I give myself a shake and think of the true happiness that following this club has brought me.

The friendships, the memories of away trips over the years…. meeting my now husband!

Times are tough on track right now…. we sit languishing at the bottom of the league but we do have matches in hand. The Brummies to be fair, seem to be wanting to battle us for bottom spot!

We were at Wimborne Road last week and oh, how agonisingly close we came to taking points away!

A few dubious decisions dare I say, most notably being the exclusion of Leon from Heat 13 in which, IMO anyways, he was left nowhere to go!

I ask myself, and I’m sure others also have, what exactly was Leon to do? The air was certainly blue in this house as the likely 5-1 it would’ve been to us (Bomber and Leon being unbeaten up till that point) would’ve had us level after Heat 13.

I don’t like criticising others but it was totally clueless at best from the referee, who Mr B has apparently named Simon Humpty-Dumpty! He will be at Shielfield next month for the double-header with Plymouth, and I hope he’ll be in better form.

As disappointing as it was to narrowly miss out again, there were some plus points to last week’s meeting! The first was undoubtedly the form of Bomber. I’ll be surprised if he is with us next year so I think we just need to appreciate seeing our #1 ride as effortlessly as he does for maximum points; his form and liking for Poole certainly does bode well for the upcoming Championship Riders individual meeting which is being held at Poole on August 24th!

Could we see yet another Bandit on top of the podium?

Second plus point has to be our new boy Jonas; a very, very solid 7&1 from five rides in his first-ever UK match! He appears to have settled down lovely already; he’s young, hungry to do well, very cheerful, polite and clearly got a bright future ahead.

It’s going to be a treat watching him this coming weekend make his home debut (FINALLY!).

Third plus has to be the form of Leon! He’s been put to the difficult number 5 position but he showed he is more than ready to make the step up to heat leader! You can see his desire to want to score; his will to win whilst representing his home-town club…. his fight to score points…. Seven Riders with the desire of Leon is what this club needs! The promotion deserve it and so do the fans!

Leon will be one of the favourites for the British U-19 title – it’s difficult to remember just how young he still is – which will be held at Redcar later this month (21st) which is a Thursday, a nice switch back to the Bears’ traditional race-night.

This coming Friday night also sees us head to Tees-side as we look for revenge against Redcar, who surely cannot experience the luck they’ve enjoyed against our Banditos in recent years. It was our home league defeat to Redcar when the wheels of our season started to come off…. it’s time to make amends for that!

Obviously Redcar face a different team on Friday; they face a Berwick team with seven fit riders!

But we also face a Bears team with yet another familiar face in the ranks as our Bullet captain and recently departed Bandit, Kyle Bickley, has signed up to replace Adam Roynon (who in turn has signed up at Scunthorpe, who will themselves be back at Shielfield on August 27th, to race the washed-out match from last month).

Kyle will no doubt want to show us that dropping him was a mistake and I’m sure he will take every opportunity to do so! Redcar have dropped out of the top 6 and therefore find themselves needing to win this meeting as much as we do!

Saturday night will see us attempt to gain some revenge against Poole following the result next week; hopefully the weather will play ball as we again go live on the BSN!

Poole have changed their line up and see Drew Kemp move into the top 5 with Ben Cook dropping down. No doubt he’ll score a few but I’d have personally been worried had Poole come with Kemp at reserve.

Those with good memories will certainly remember the damage he did against us whilst riding for the Monarchs last year. Those of you with selective memories/ dementia…. 32-58 is all I’ll say.


And I must end this with mentioning the fact I got to speak on-line with my all-time favourite Bandit for the first time in quite a while. Mr Adrian Rymel!

The man has not aged one year…. still makes the heart flutter 😂 (and yea, my husband knows 😂).

I must once again thank Paul Capaldi for giving me the opportunity to be a part of his podcast… it’s been great talking about this sport I love the most with like-minded people!

Anyways peeps… get those backsides trackside and remember it’s later start time this Saturday… 7:30!

‘Mon the Bandits!!!

Disagree with Sarah? Contact her on: – if you feel brave enough!

Sarah Charalambous
Sarah Charalambous

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