GHT Bullets set new levels of excitement in superb win over Belle Vue

Published on 7th May 2022
Author Lawrence Heppell
Berwick “Grant Henderson Tankers” Bullets: 55
Belle Vue “Cool Running” Colts: 35
SGB National Development League
Photos Keith Hamblin
The big-league Bandits may not have been in town tonight, and Chris Harris may have been elsewhere in the UK, but the Berwick GHT Bullets provide entertainment and thrilling passing right up with the best of their big brothers with Greg Blair stopping hearts passing round the boards in his paid maximum, Luke Crang also hammering on the power along with another maximum man, Kyle Bickley. All seven Bullets were at least paid for at least one win in a hugely enjoyable and memorable National Development League match, a league the Bullets now lead well.
The meeting opened up with two 4-2s to the Bullets, but Heat Two saw some the first of the brilliant passing, first from Freddy Hodder round Mason Watson only for the Bullet to chase hard and take the lead round Hodder to take a great win and the overall scores were 8-4 before Ben Rathbone and Blair held out a vibrant ride from Sam Mcgurk in Heat Three for a Bullets’ maximum, the score now 13-5.
Crang made a great pass round the outside of Harry McGurk off bend two on the opening lap of Heat Four to move the scores on to 17-7, Blair took Heat Five firmly by the scruff of the neck and raced hard in second place, making ground up behind Jack Smith on every bend, passing him expertly round the outside of bend two of the last lap in a shared 3-3 result, the score now 20-10.
Following a Heat Six 4-2, the Colts shot back with a maximum 1-5 from Hodder and Ablitt who held off a late challenge from Crang, who just missed out on the second place, which took the score on to 25-17, while after the tractor break, Heat Eight Pijper and Douglas returned the compliment with a home 5-1 over Sam McGurk, extending Berwick’s lead to 30-18.
Blair looked set for a last in Heat Nine after a woeful gate, a race led by Freeman ahead of Harry McGurk, but Blair never knows when to give up and blasted his way to pass his partner, Freeman and then Mcgurk on the last bend to take a brilliant win in the style of Chris Harris to bring the house down in a shared 3-3, which took the scores to 33-21.
After the 11th race, won by Watson over Smith, the score was 40-26 going into the 12th, which was led early on by Ablitt chased down by Pijper after he had passed Freeman, but Ablitt held on for the three points in a 2-4 result which narrowed the gap to 42-30, but with only three heats to go, the match was in the bag of the Bullets, but the fun wasn’t over with first Crang then a quarter lap late, Bickley passing Smith for a 5-1, the score now 47-31.
Blair was at his best again in Heat 15, delightfully missing the gate (thankfully) but then again hit the gas on the high line, but even the most optimistic Berwick fan honestly thought with Ablitt and Smith shielding the winners’ points, this time he’d left too much to do, but no… oh no, not a chance, again he passed one and then on the last lap defied logic, the odds and every form of sensibility to whip up round Ablitt to again take a triumphant chequered flag. Utterly breath-taking speedway!
Team manager Gary Flint said: “We did everything right tonight and got the just win we deserved, but also we go into these NDL wanting to progress from one to seven, and we did that comfortably, and we also go out to have some fun, and I don’t think any fans would disagree that that tonight was top-level fun! Such a great meeting tonight.”
Individual Riders’ Scores:
Berwick GHT Bullets 55
Kyle Bickley (c) 3,3,3,2*,3 = 14+1
Kieran Douglas 1,1,2*,0 = 4+1
Ben Rathbone 3,0,0,0 = 3
Greg Blair 2*,3,3,3,2* = 13+2
Luke Crang 3,1,1,3 = 8
Mason Watson (r) 3,0,3,F = 6
Ace Pijper (r) 1,1,3,2 = 7
Belle Vue Cool Running Colts
Jack Smith (c) 2,2,2,1,0 = 7
Sam McGurk 0,1,1*,1,0 = 3+1
Nathan Ablitt 0,2*,2,3,2,1 = 10+1
Rider replacement (Jack Parkinson-Blackburn)
Harry McGurk 2,2,2,1*,0 = 7+1
Archie Freeman (r) 0,0,1*,1 = 2+1
Freddy Hodder (r) 2,0,3,0,1* = 6+1
Lawrence Heppell

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