Rye House Rockets54
BERWICK went down to a 15-point defeat at Rye House on Sunday when they literally bit the dust in very hot and dry conditions.
The Bandits travelled to Hertfortshire in high spirits after a good home win over Ipswich the previous week.
And they couldn’ty have got off to a better start, with the Swedish pair of Sebastian Alden and Alex Edberg recording an opening heat 5-1 for the Borderers after Jordan Frampton burnt out his clutch mid-race.
Luke Bowen headed Mitch Davey and Jade Mudgway in two, and when Chris Neath re-passed Josef Franc on the last bend on heat three the gap was cut to 8-10.
And it was all-square after four with Steve Boxall taking the flag in a hiome 4-2.
Conditions were so dry that huge dust clouds were being created by the bikes and this resulted in several stoppages throughout the afternoon to allow the water cart to dampen down the surface.
It was the home suide who adapted best and when Alden and Edberg were beaten by Neath and Ritchie Hawkins in five the Rockets took the lead for the first time.
Neath went on to score a fine 14 points for the home side, only missing out on his maximum in his final race.
As the match started to slip from Berwick’s grasp, Edberg was used as a double-pointed tactical ride in eight.
This required four starts to complete, but with Rye House eventually taking a 5-1 they moved 31-17 in front.
Kozza Smith gave the visiting camp something to cheer when he won heat ten, and when Alden did likewise riding as a tactical in 11, his six-point victory cut the deficit to 39-30.
Rye House again started to exert their authority with a run of race wins and at 47-31 after 13 they effectuively had the meeting won.
Heat 14, however, proved the Bandits can even shoot themselves in the foot, for with Tyson Nelson already penalised by the referee for exceeding the two-minute rule, Franc was subsequently also penalised for then delaying the re-run, which he was visibly displeased about and decided to argue with the starting marshal.
With Franc supposed to be lining up on a 15 metre handicap, his remonstrations with the official went on so long that the referee excluded him completely from the race as he again exceeded the two minute time allowance.
With a 4-2 finally coming from the 14th, Heat 15 also required a re-run with Smith being excluded for falling whilst Alden scorched away in the second attempt to share the heat and hold Berwick’s margin of defeat 54-39.
Rye House - Neath 14, Bowen 11+1, Boxall 8+3, Frampton 7+1, Brundle 7, Hawkins 4+1, Nelson 3+1. Berwick - Alden 14, Smith 8, Mudgway 4+2, Davey 4, Complin 4, Franc 3, Edberg 2+1.