Monday briefing

Published on 13th May 2024
Author George Dodds

Friday 17 May: Cab Direct Championship Knockout Cup quarter-final, second leg. Scunthorpe Scorpions v Jewson Bandits, powered by Keenwood Karpets. 7.30pm. Bandits lead 54-36. Admission £20 adults, £18 concessions. Livestream available. Buy livestream

Saturday 18 May: Cab Direct Championship. Jewson Bandits, powered by Keenwood Karpets v Plymouth Gladiators. 7pm. Early bird tickets on sale from today, £18 until midnight Friday, £20 on the day (£18 concessions and students) accompanied under-16s free Buy tickets

 

What a difference a week makes.

Seven days previously we had been silently cursing, in the nicest possible way, Richard Lawson after his match-winning heat 15 ride for Poole, now we stood to applaud as he kept Charles Wright and Dan Thompson at bay to ensure that the Bears could not take the meeting to a Superheat.

Victory completed the first Bandits double over the Bears since 2015 when we won 52-38 at Shielfield in May and then 51-39 in Cleveland three weeks later.

Impact (Taz McDougall)
Aftermath (Keith Hamblin)
Bloodied but unbowed (Taz McDougall)
Back at the front (Keith Hamblin)

Despite the Bandits’ victory it is an opposition rider who made the “play of the day.”Jason Edwards’ huge crash impact with the Polyfoam after finding himself outside the skipper on turn one looked destructive to man, machine and barrier with a panel lifted from its moorings.

During the winter, the track team removed the previous board and stake back wall with a mesh and wire fence which, arguably, had a little more give while still protecting the rider.

Edwards was able to get back on his feet and assure the medical staff that he complied with protocol allowing him to walk back to the pits.

To then don a new helmet – having written his number one lid off in the crash – climb aboard his second bike and win the rerun was astonishing.

Keith Hamblin

Both teams provided 15 heat winners over the weekend, each winning eight on their home track.

Charles Wright took six chequered flags for the Bears, Edwards three while the Bandits shared it around more, Rory’s four the best followed by three for Jye and the guest combination of Richard Lawson and Tom Brennan, two apiece for Danyon and Drew and Bastian providing the other Berwick winner.

Danyon Hume was named rider of the night by match sponsors DH Design and Print.

Berwick have now won the last three meetings against the Bears after a run of 13 without a victory.

Danyon and Dan Thompson will renew their rivalry on Saturday. (Keith Hamblin)

The Bandits have only won once at the Eddie Wright Raceway, 52-39 in 2016, drawing 45-all two years later. The only previous KO Cup clash between the sides was a first round tie in May 1976, Berwick winning the first leg 45-32 and then fighting back from a ten point deficit at Quibell Park, eventually losing 35-43 on the night but winning 80-75 en-route to a final appearance against Newcastle.

37 points is the magic number to progress into the KO Cup semi-finals for the first time since 2009. Berwick have failed to reach that score on their previous four visits – 32, 30, 36 and 34 the paltry haul. The draw for the semi finals will be made live on BSN after the fourth team has been confirmed.

Plymouth are the next visitors to Shielfield on Saturday, a track the Gladiators have never won, or indeed the club in its previous guise as Devils. The nearest they came was a 45-all draw in 2015.

Rory Schlein was the Berwick Bandits’ Supporters Club Rider of the Month for April

Freddy Hodder has been drawn in the number 12 position for the British under-21 Final at Glasgow on 2 June.

Charles coming through, the Bears skipper battles with Jye (Taz McDougall)

Quote, unquote

Stewart Dickson: “At the end of the day we had enough character to get over the line on Saturday.

“After winning at Redcar on Friday perhaps people’s expectations were that it would be an easier task but that was never going to be the case.

“We will need to up our game with bigger tests to come but I asked for a reaction to the Poole defeat and we took the maximum five points. There’s not much more I could have asked for.

“There is still a bit of inconsistency but that just underlines how much potential we have to improve.

“Danyon had a tough night at Redcar but on Saturday he was pretty close to getting the call for heat 15.”

Danyon Hume: “It was good to overcome a bad performance personally at Redcar. We have yet to have a meeting when all seven of us fire on the same night.

“If we do we’ll be unbeatable.”

Winning pairing … Jye and Drew had a good weekend together (Taz McDougall)

Drew Kemp: “Last night (Friday) was good, tonight not so much but I was still able to make a contribution and delighted that the team won.” A man of few words before heading for Stansted Airport to catch a flight to Poland.

Bastian Borke: “Indescribably dissatisfied with my own efforts last night (Saturday). Ended up in a lot of unfortunate situations that I just should’ve handled differently but unfortunately sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Now the bike needs to be gone though and probably have a lot of new parts as it’s simply not high enough standard.”

Richard Lawson: “I guess I owed you one after last Saturday. Redcar ran us hard as you’d expect from Charles and the team but we got there.”

Just chillin (Keith Hamblin)
Blair and Barrie … or is it Lloyd and Harry? (Keith Hamblin)
Super guest Richard Lawson settles the nerves in heat 15 (Keith Hamblin)

 

George Dodds
George Dodds

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