2022 vision part six – September/October: the play-off push

Published on 10th November 2022
Author George Dodds
Kieran Douglas leads Luke Harrison and Luke Muff in the first leg. Keith Hamblin

With the Bandits’ Championship season done and dusted by the end of August the spotlight switched to the Bullets and their NDL play-offs.

No question their momentum was blunted by a long period with sporadic action while their opponents had more regular track time. Four weeks between their final two league fixtures – losses at rivals Mildenhall and Leicester – gave way to optimism as Luke Crang and Mason Watson engineered a 12-point lead after 10 heats of the semi-final first leg against the Fen Tigers.

But the evening fell apart in a chaotic heat 13 in which Greg Blair suffered engine failure and then skipper Kyle Bickley crashed heavily trying to make up a 15-metre penalty after ploughing through the tapes.

Mildenhall scored a 5-0 – but only because Jack Kingston pushed home for a full lap after falling during an unopposed rerun of the race.

Mason Watson in full flow at Shielfield. Taz McDougall

In the end the Bullets were happy to hold even a three-point lead from a night dogged by misfortune against visitors inspired by former Berwick Academy rider Luke Harrison, the 15-year-old scoring 11 points on his professional racing debut.

Not surprisingly the slender margin was not enough as, without Blair whose season ended due to the long-term effects of concussion from a crash earlier in the year, Harrison scoring a maximum this time as the Tigers reached the final against Leicester.

Despite defeat the Bullets once again provided top entertainment over the summer.

The skipper leading from the front at West Row. Nia Martin
George Dodds
George Dodds

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