Battered, Bruised But Ultimately Better

Published on 25th July 2022
Author Mythman

As the weeks go by and the end of the season draws that little bit closer, it has to be said that results haven’t been what the Bandits fans, the management, or the team would have been looking for.

I realise that is probably an understatement given the Bandits haven’t won a meeting at home since April, but me criticising anyone doesn’t change a thing and that simply isn’t my style.

I’ve always maintained that win, lose, or draw that I would always support my team through the thick and the thin, it’s just what fans do.

But that isn’t what I want to talk about today.

Things didn’t really go to plan for the Bullets at the weekend either as they fell to their first ever home defeat at the hands of the Leicester Lion Cubs, which given the strength of their side wasn’t a huge surprise in all honesty.

That isn’t to say that there wasn’t positives in it from the Bullets side of the fence, the performance of Ace Pijper in particular was very pleasing. He rode with passion and with a fire in his belly and his heat 15 nomination was truly deserved.

In fact, the meeting itself was a brilliant advert for National League Speedway overall with two sides giving it everything, there was great racing, excitement and there were a few crashes too…which is sort of what I want to talk about.

Now, there is always plenty of folks who will tell you speedway isn’t what it used to be, or that the racing isn’t as good as it used to be. Are they right? I don’t know, I guess there can be an argument made for an against but one thing that is unquestionably better in the modern era is the safety fences.

That my friends is a fact.

 If you don’t believe me, I mentioned that there had been a few fallers in Saturdays meeting between the Bullets and the Lion Cubs, and every one of them walked away.

Ben Rathbone, Mickie Simpson, Ace Pijper, Tom Spencer, and Greg Blair all hit the deck at varying speeds and every one of them was able to walk away from their crashes. Now admittedly, some of these were slide offs but all were at high speed, and all were varying levels of awkwardness in terms of the landing if you like.

There is an argument to be made that perhaps all these guys would have walked away having ended up in the old wooden boards, but there is no way that you’ll convince me that Greg Blair would have walked away from his alarming spill had it been the old wooden boards.

Granted, according to the man himself he was a little beaten up and a little sore and that is to be understood. If he hadn’t bailed off his machine when he did, there is little doubt that his injuries may have been worse. In fact, it reminded me a little bit of the crash that Alex Edberg had a number of years ago, or at least shades of it.

The point I am making is that while Greg may be a little second hand, he was ultimately able to walk away and hitting the foam would be exponentially better than hitting the old wooden boards.

So the next time anyone tells you speedway was better in the old days, you can correct them and remind them that had Saturdays meeting taken place at a time before air or foam fences, the meeting wouldn’t have reached its conclusion before the curfew.

With lots of contentious talk about medical cover at various tracks, it would be safe to say that in the old days of wooden boards, the medical staff would have been stretched like a guitar string and riders would have been injured.

Of that, I am sure.

Of course if you wish to agree, or disagree with the Mythman, have an idea for a feature, or you simply wish to chew the fat over all things speedway, you can email me or get in touch via the JB Speedway Media Facebook page. If your compliments, or indeed gripes can be contained to limited characters you can tweet @Mythman666.

Until next time…and there will be a next time.

Right, I’ll hae’tae gan.



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