Monday briefing: Team-mates face-off

Published on 1st July 2024
Author George Dodds
Bandits’ skipper, ex-Spire, temporary Tiger

No Jewson Bandits action again this weekend but there’s plenty going on with our riders.

Indeed two of them will be in action on Eurosport’s live meeting tonight after a hectic weekend of transfer activity.

Until the weekend Bandits’ skipper Lewis Kerr was an Oxford Spires second string. Having began the season in good form at reserve for the Premiership newcomers he then suffered ankle damage which ruled him out of both leagues for six weeks.

Lewi would probably admit that his return from injury has not been smooth and, coupled with a switch to the main body of a Spires team winning at home but weak on the road, points have been hard to come by.

But he was still surprised by the text message informing him that Oxford were making a change.

“I can’t deny it’s not been easy but I gave it my everything,” he said.

Who’s calling Drew?

Drew Kemp knows what it is like to be suddenly released from a Premiership spot having been axed by Leicester and replaced by Craig Cook in May.

But he got an altogether happier phone call from Oxford promoter and Berwick co-owner Jamie Courtney offering him a spot in a Spires side currently filling the fourth and final play-off spot but just a point clear of Leicester and with King’s Lynn resurgent and with meetings in hand.

“I didn’t see that one coming at all,” Drew admitted.

“When I saw that it was Jamie my first thought was ‘what the hell is he ringing for!’.”

As a teenager Drew became involved, via long-time sponsor Barry Cross, in the SaveOxfordStadium campaign to save the Midlands track from the developers’ wrecking ball.

He has only ridden there four times previously with Scunthorpe and Poole and guesting for Birmingham last year, and was testing and practising in Poland when the call came, necessitating some emergency flight booking.

Tonight he makes his debut at number two against Sheffield and will face the man he replaced in the evening’s first race.

Sheffield lost both Tai Woffinden and Jack Holder to injury during Saturday’s SGP in Gorzow. Birmingham are the only Premiership side not in action tonight and with Tom Brennan and Steve Worrall already guesting for Ipswich and King’s Lynn respectively, they turned to a man with extensive knowledge of the Oxford circuit over the past two seasons. Yes Lewis Kerr guests for the threadbare Tigers!

And you thought football was a funny old game.

Moving on … Bastian

Meanwhile another Bandit looking for a new club is Bastian Borke.

He is currently sidelined of course and was at hospital in Denmark on Monday undergoing more tests on his damaged knee and still awaiting a date for an operation on the damaged ligaments suffered at Poole.

Bastian, who was in fine form for usebefore that huge spill at Wimborne Road, has been struggling to get regular track time with Grindsted in his native Denmark and has now negotiated to cancel his contract, making himself available to any club in the Metal League once he is fit again.

It’s a big decision to leave the club he joined from Slangerup during the winter but with Kenneth Bjerre, Nikki Pedersen and Prem Pawlicki in their line-up chances in the five-man team have been scarce.

“It was a decision made before my injury and was necessary as I needed to be able to continue my development and I was not getting the rides I needed at Grindsted.

“I’m coming back strongly from this lay-off and want Danish clubs to know that I’m available.”

A welcome return to BSN duties for our injured skipper Rory Schlein who was back behind the microphone for Thursday night’s KO Cup semi-final between Sheffield and King’s Lynn.

It was his first appearance since crashing out of our heavy defeat at Scunthorpe on June 7, suffering neck and shoulder injuries in what, he admits, was an innocuous looking crash.

“I’m all taped up, glued up and back in one piece, the main discomfort is from the soft tissue damage,” he explained.

“It didn’t look much … but it hurt. It seems that I aggravated an old injury from last year that I wasn’t even aware of!

“Anyway that’s season done for me.”

CAB DIRECT CHAMPIONSHIP  
(including 01 July)
Team P W D L F A Ag Pt
Oxford 8 5 1 2 397 321 3 14
Scunthorpe 8 5 0 3 364 354 2 12
Workington 8 5 0 3 359 361 1 11
Poole 5 4 1 0 251 199 1 10
Glasgow 6 4 0 2 281 258 1 9
Redcar 10 4 0 6 437 462 0 8
Berwick 10 3 0 7 416 482 1 7
Plymouth 6 2 0 4 261 278 1 5
Edinburgh 7 2 0 5 289 340 1 5
 
PICTURES: TAYLOR LANNING

 

George Dodds
George Dodds

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