LEICESTER LIONS 48
BERWICK FTS BANDITS 41
SGB Championship League
Photo Kev Weaver
Berwick FTS Bandits, having seen off reigning champions Leicester Lions at Shielfield Park on Saturday night, were in the East Midlands on Sunday for the return league encounter at Beaumont Park and in an absorbing encounter missed the chance of victory, or even a 1 point losing bonus (needing to keep the score to a 6 point gap) when the Lions top two Aussies Nick Morris (14+1 paid max) and Ryan Douglas (11+1) continued the form they showed at Shielfield by again taking vital 5-1 heat wins in races 13 and 15 to clinch the win.
Yet, it was only on the last lap of Heat 15 that Douglas got past Berwick number one Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen to follow home his partner Morris. And earlier in heat 13, Jakobsen appeared to hit mechanical problems when well-placed for the win on the last lap, allowing the Lions another 5-1!
The meeting had many talking points including Heat 3 when both the Lions riders, Kyle Howarth and Josh Bates (back after missing Saturday) were disqualified for separate falls, with Dany Gappmaier and Jye Etheridge of Bandits taking a 5-0 after two re-runs. Berwick had now gone into a 10-7 lead and they were to hold the lead, albeit by one point after 5 with race wins from Douglas (heat 4) and Jakobsen (Berwick) heat 5.
Sadly Bandits lost a 5-1 in heat 6 to Morris and Ty Proctor over Kyle Bickley and Berwick skipper Aaron Summers. Lions led 19-16, but in a sensational heat 7 turn around Berwick’s Dany Gappmaier and Jye Etheridge sped clear of Douglas for a maximum heat win, to put Bandits 21-20 ahead.
Berwick’s talented reserve Leon Flint, who would end as top scorer including three race wins, won heat 8 but partner Gappmaier could only run last.
From heat 8 to heat 12 the match was as tight as a drum with only one point in it but for Berwick it was again the Morris/Douglas partnership who came up trumps although Berwick could look at heats 13 and 15 and state ‘What might have been’ Rider Replacement for Coty Garcia (still stuck in Argentina) only yielded 2 points.
Bandits’ boss, Gary Flint commented post-match ‘ To say I am gutted is an understatement. We fully deserved something from this match. It was a proper team performance and we were very, very unlucky’
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Leicester Lions: 48
Nick Morris 3,3,3,2*,3 = 14+1
Ty Proctor 1,2*,1*,1 = 5+2
Kyle Howarth Fx,2,3,3 = 8
Josh Bates Fx,1*,F,0 = 1+1
Ryan Douglas 3,0,3,3,2* = 11+1
Dan Thompson 2,1,0,2 = 5
Joe Thompson 1*,1,2,0 = 4+1
Berwick FTS Bandits: 41
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 2,3,1*,0,1 = 7+1
Coty Garcia – Rider replacement
Jye Etheridge 2*,2*,2,2,0 = 8+2
Dany Gappmaier 3,3,0,0,1 = 7
Aaron Summers 2,0,2,1 = 5
Kyle Bickley 0,0,1,1*,1* = 3+2
Leon Flint 0,3,0,3,2,3 = 11
LEICESTER LION CUBS 45
BERWICK BULLETS 45
SGB National Development League
Berwick Bullets went into the second half of the speedway double header at Leicester today in pole position in the National Development League, this after a 53-36 win over the Lion Cubs at Shielfield Park on Saturday. However, against the reigning NDL Champions, who included the Thompson twins Dan and Joe who like Berwick’s Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley had ridden in the earlier Championship clash, they knew it would be tough.
As it happened the match ended all square and no doubt Berwick will be happy to collect two points to Cubs’ one.
Bullets were actually 41-37 ahead going into Heat 14 but surprisingly 15-year-old Ben Trigger (who had struggled in his previous races) came up trumps with partner Tom Spencer for a home 5-1 over Kieran Douglas and the hitherto impressive Ben Rathbone to level it up.
That took it to a last race decider, but although Dan Thompson won the race the Bullets impressive duo of Leon Flint and Kyle Bickley kept Joe Thompson at the back.
Flint (3 wins), Bickley (2) and Ryan MacDonald and Rathbone (1 each) were Berwick race winners but falls in good scoring positions earlier for Greg Blair and Mason Watson cost Bullets valuable points.
Manager Gary Flint commented: “We are pleased to take a draw and a valuable 2 points which puts us five points clear at the top, but disappointed as it could easily have been all three from a victory.”
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Leicester Lion Cubs: 45
Connor Coles 2,3,3,0 = 8
Mickie Simpson Fx,1,2,0 = 3
Joe Thompson 3,2,2,3,0 = 10
Tom Spencer 1,1*,1*,2* = 5+3
Dan Thompson 3,3,2,2,3 = 13
Kai Ward 1,1,0,N = 2
Ben Trigger 0,0,1*,0,3 = 4+1
Berwick Bullets: 45
Leon Flint 3,3,3,1,2 = 12
Mason Watson 1,0,0,N = 1
Greg Blair 2,Fx,2,2 = 6
Kieran Douglas E,2,1*,1 = 4+1
Kyle Bickley 2,2,3,3,1* = 11+1
Ryan Macdonald 3,0,0,0,1* = 4+1
Ben Rathbone 2*,1*,3,1,0 = 7+2