Bandits battle all the way but Rockets shoot into semi-finals

Berwick Bandits new boy  Dawid Stachyra
Berwick Bandits new boy Dawid Stachyra

RYE HOUSE ROCKETS 54

BERWICK BANDITS 36

(Rye House won 91-89 on agg)

Berwick’s last chance of Premier League team silverware escaped them on Monday when they were knocked out of the KO Cup by Rye House in the quarter-finals.

Bandits held a 16-point lead from the first leg at Shielfield, but they were beaten 54-36 by the Rockets at Hoddesdon, which meant they overturned the deficit to progress to the semi-finals by an aggregate score of 91-89.

Former GB international, and one-time Bandit, Edward Kennett, led the Rockets’ charge with a full 15-point maximum, and it was his win in heat 15 which sealed the Bandits’ fate.

All seven home riders were paid for at least one win, and it was that overall strength in depth which carried them to victory.

They chipped away at Berwick’s lead throughout the meeting and were all square on aggregate after 12 races.

Thomas Jorgensen, Dawid Stachyra, Liam Carr and Daniel Gappmaier all won races for Berwick, but there was no stopping Rye House, whose eight heat advantages on the day was enough to take them through to the last four.

Rye House: Kennett 15 (max), Robson 9, Lykke 7+1, Branford 7+1, Heeps 7, Lanham 5+1, Morley 4+3.

Berwick: Jorgensen 8+1, Doolan 8+1, Gappmaier 6+1, Wethers 5, Carr 5, Stachyra 3, Pijper 1+1.

WORKINGTON COMETS 50

BERWICK BANDITS 40

Berwick raced their final away Premier League meeting of the season on Sunday when they travelled over to Cumbria to take on Workington at Derwent Park.

The Bandits put up a decent showing, but eventually went down to a ten point defeat.

Skipper Kevin Doolan won heat one, and he went on to record another two heat victories, finishing the night as top Berwick scorer on 12 points.

Thomas Jorgensen (twice), Matty Wethers and Theo Pijper also all took the chequered flag during the course of the meeting, which meant the Comets had to be on their toes.

A 1-5 from Wethers and Pijper levelled the scores up at 21-21 after seven races, and it was only in the second half of the meeting that Workington pulled away, with Ricky Wells emerging as their most consistent performer, finishing on 11+1 points.

The Comets finally got over the line with a 5-1 from Wells and former Bandit Claus Vissing in heat 13.

Workington: Wells: 11+1, Jensen 8+2, Hansen 8+1, Roynon 8+1, Vissing 6+2, Campton 6, Williamson 3.

Berwick: Doolan 12, Jorgensen 7+1, Carr 7, Wethers 6+1, Pijper 5+1, Gappmaier 3+1, Stachyra 0.

q On Saturday Berwick managed to fend off Workington to win the Border Trophy by a slender 76-73 aggregate victory.

The Comets had won the first leg at Derwent Park earlier in the season 37-22, the meeting having been curtailed by rain. But at Shielfield at the weekend the Bandits triumphed 54-36, the destination of the trophy not being determined until the very last race.

Berwick led by three points overall, Workington requiring a 1-5 to snatch the silverware.

But Mason Campton fell on the second bend, being excluded from the re-run, which handed the trophy to the Bandits.

Reserve Liam Carr was Berwick’s trump card as he raced to a superb 14+3 from seven rides, the other top scorers being Kevin Doolan on 11+2 and Thomas Jorgensen on 11.

There is no racing at Shielfield this Saturday (September 3). The Bandits will instead, race on Monday (September 5) when title favourites Somerset Rebels return in a re-arranged fixture, for what will be the Borderers’ penultimate league meeting.