50 not out for the Bandits

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Berwick Speedway will launch their 50th anniversary season this weekend with an individual event which the club is hoping will whet the appetite of supporters.

An entertaining field has been assembled, and there will also be an added bonus for fans with several riders from years gone by expected to put in an appearance.

The line-up for Saturday’s 50th anniversary opening meeting is: Bandits’ Kevin Doolan, Lewis Bridger, Dimitri Berge, Claus Vissing, Liam Carr, Dany Gappmaier and Ryan Blacklock; Glasgow’s Aaron Summers, Richie Worrall and James Sarjeant; Edinburgh’s Ricky Wells; Newcastle’s Stevie Worrall; Peterborough’s Ulrich Ostergaard; Wolverhampton’s Adam Skornicki; Sheffield’s Josh Grazjoneck and Redcar’s Jason Garrity.

The meeting is being sponsored by Grant Henderson Tankers, of Hamilton, and promoter Scott Courtney said: “Grant is a great guy who loves his speedway and we look forward to welcoming him and his family to Shielfield Park.

“We are also very excited to be welcoming some very special guests! I’m led to believe there will be several Bandits’ legends from seasons gone by in attendance on the evening.

“Quite a few heroes from the last 49 seasons will be joining us to celebrate all things Berwick Speedway. We are pulling out all the stops to make it an event to remember.”

The 2017 Bandits took to the track for their annual press and practice event at Shielfield on Saturday.

And three of their riders – skipper Kevin Doolan, the returning Claus Vissing and newcomer Lewis Bridger – were all in action at the annual season opener, the BEN Fund meeting, which this year was held at Glasgow on Sunday.

Doolan scored seven points (1, 2, ex, 3, 1), Vissing also scored seven (2, 1, 1, 0, 3) and Bridger six points (1, 2, 2, 1, ef).

The meeting winner was the home-based Richard Lawson (11 points in heats), who in the grand final beat Chris Harris (12), Richie Worrall (14) and Ricky Wells (12).

Meanwhile, Liam Carr is relishing the chance to prove his worth in the main body of the team with his home town club, Berwick.

Carr, who recently turned 21, starts the 2017 season riding in the top five for the first time, and it is a challenge he is looking forward to.

He said: “I realise it is a big ask moving from reserve, especially as I will be riding at two, which is always a difficult position, but it’s something I have to do. It won’t be easy, but I think this year is one when I have to start and make strides in the sport. My long term aim is the Premiership, but to get there I have to establish myself at Championship level which is why this season is such a big one for me.

“I am taking it seriously. I have been training hard in the gym throughout the winter and I have lost over a stone in weight.”

“I want to prove to everyone, including myself, that I can do it.”