2022 vision – part two … May: bubbly Bullets, battered and bruised Bandits

Published on 6th November 2022
Author George Dodds
Best of young British … Leon and Tom Brennan. Keith Hamblin

Part two of our review of the season – viewed through the lenses of Bandits media team members Keith Hamblin, Taz McDougall and Nia Martin, for the Bandits began at the home of our nearest and dearest and, via too many A&E departments for our own good, saw the hopes of spring disappear at alarming speed.

For the Championship side it was raced five, lost five … three of those successive home meetings. Even the bubbly Bullets suffered their first loss of the year but would bounce back to end the month on top of the pile.

Morbid May began with Leon Flint in the pits at Brough Park just hours after the shoulder dislocated the previous night had been returned to its rightful socket. Ty Proctor’s season effectively ended three bends into the derby as he tangled with Newcastle reserve George Congreve and suffered neck and nerve damage.

Last minute adjustments for the skipper. Keith Hamblin

In his absence the Diamonds opened their account for the season with a five-point win amid complaints over the quality of the track surface. Seven days later Glasgow’s visit to Tyneside was abandoned after ten heats due to conditions and within weeks the shutters had been pulled down on Newcastle speedway.

Shielfield Park is a real home from home for Redcar, the Bears ending 2022 with a record of six wins from their last seven visits. Already without Flint and Proctor and with Harris on longtrack duty, the last thing the Bandits needed was for Etheridge to hit the deck on the first bend of heat one and inflict further damage on already oft-battered, broken and plated collarbone.

Key man down. Jye hits the deck on the night Redcar came to town. Keith Hamblin

A patched-up Bandits kept Plymouth to within eight points at The Coliseum – the following night’s scheduled visit to Poole falling foul of south coast thunderstorms. Proctor returned for the first leg Knockout Cup loss at Redcar but the following night against Glasgow he hit the deck hard in his first ride. He struggled through the night but that would prove to be it for his season and, despite a stunning return to action from Flint and the mercurial Harris the Tigers took advantage to sneak a six-point win.

Celebrating at a safe distance. Leon and Bomber showcase the updated post-race protocol. Nia Martin
Injured Bandit Ty Proctor offers a helping hand to Kyle Bickley. Nia Martin

The Bullets tasted defeat for the first time, at Oxford, but bounced back after paid maximums for Kyle Bickley and Greg Blair popped the bubble of a wildly over-confident Belle Vue side and Kent were sent packing on a night when six of the home riders were race winners but as June beckoned changes were afoot for the Championship side.

  • Just a remined that the end of season presentation night is at The Radio Rooms, Main Street, Tweedmouth on Friday, from 7.30pm. Entry is via donation on the door with the club once again raising funds for Ryan Renton and his family to support his fight against cancer. Voting for the Bandits and Bullets rider of the year remains open and can be done via https://www.berwickspeedway.com/team
  • Greg Blair deals with a pitch invader as he celebrates his paid maximum against Belle Vue. Keith Hamblin

 

George Dodds
George Dodds

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