Bandits blast their way to Fours victory

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Berwick were celebrating on Sunday after winning their first major trophy in ten years.

The Bandits won the Premier League Fours at Peterborough with a superb display around the East of England Showground track, completing what had been a remarkable and turbulent weekend for the Border club.

On Friday Berwick were well beaten, 56-36 at Edinburgh in the league.

Then on Saturday, at Shielfield, they went down to their second successive home defeat, when they allowed a 12-point lead to slip against Sheffield, a result which prompted team manager Ian Rae to question some of his riders’ determination and desire to win.

But on Sunday afternoon, they stormed to victory at Alwalton, turning desperation to delight.

The team, comprising of Ricky Ashworth, Sebastian Alden, David Bellago and captain Lee Complin, won their semi-final group on 16 points ahead of runners-up Plymouth (14), Newcastle (12) and Redcar (8).

They progressed to the final with Pymouth, where they came up against Workington and Leicester.

Many pundits would probably have had Berwick down as underdogs for the competition, but just like the last time they won the event - at Coventry in 2002 - they proved their doubters wrong.

They virtually led both their semi-final and final throughout, and there was no doubting that they were deserved winners.

In the final Leicester pushed them all the way, but it was Alden, who won all three of his races in the final, who emerged as the last heat hero, winning the race when a second place would have been good enough.

Final scores were: Berwick 23, Leicester 20, Workington 16, Plymouth 13.

A jubilant Rae said afterwards:“These lads wanted success for our fans, especially after two awful league performances, and they worked like Trojans to a man to give our club a national trophy to shout long, loud and proud about.

“Berwick are 2012 Four Team Champions and well deserved too. I’m a very proud man.”

Following their victory the team was congratulated with a raft of messages being posted on the Internet, including Twitter and Facebook.

One of the Twitter posts came from Paul Bentley, captain of the Bandits’ 2002 winning Fours side who said ‘Well done on your win. it brought back many happy memories.’

Berwick’s scorers in the final were: Alden 9, Ashworth 8, Bellego 5, Complin 1.