Bandits denied by the weather

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Berwick were denied by the weather at the weekend when their home meeting against Ipswich was postponed due to a waterlogged track.

Heavy rain on Thursday and Friday left part of the Shielfield circuit flooded with a large pool of water on the fourth bend.

It appeared as if one of the drains had blocked, and with the rest of the track also in a wet and dangerous condition the decision to call off the meeting was taken early on Saturday morning.

Following a dry morning and afternoon some fans still turned up at the stadium expecting to see some racing and they were obviously disappointed to learn the meeting had been cancelled.

But a spokesman said the decision had been taken with everyone’s best interests in mind and every effort had been made to inform supporters of the postponement.

Bandits’ team manager Ian Rae said: “There was a large pool of water on the fourth bend where one of the drains was blocked. The rest of the track was also very wet and heavy due to all the rain which had fallen over a 48 hour period and we feel that the right decision was made to call it off.

“We could have tried to make the track raceable but there was no guarantee we would have been successful. And even if we had, who knows what the quality of the racing would have been like.

“Bearing all that in mind an early decision was in everyone’s best interests.

“Ipswich had a long way to come, and of course we also had riders like Seb Alden who were flying in from the continent, so yes, whilst I am sure it was frustrating for everyone concerned, we feel it was the right decision.”

In some respects both teams will be happy the meeting was off as they were both due to take to the track with understrength sides.

Berwick had Alex Edberg and David Bellego away on World U21 duty and Ipswich were without Taylor Poole and Dakota North.

No date has yet been set for the re-staging.

Berwick will now hope to regroup for this weekend’s home meeting against last year’s Premier League winners Glasgow.

Edberg and Bellego will of course both be back in the fold, and it will give Jason King and Lubos Tomicek additional time to recover from the knocks they picked up in the big home win over Redcar in the Bandits’s opening league fixture a fortnight ago.

King took a bang to the head and Tomicek twisted his knee when they both crashed heavily in a three-rider pile-up at the start of heat eight.

Both had declared themselves fit to ride in the home meeting against Ipswich, but from the wording of a press release issued by the club a few days earlier it was obvious there were still some doubts as to whether or not they were 100 per cent.

“Saturday’s call-off will have given Jason and Lubos extra time to recover,” admitted Rae, “and so we expect to be at full strength for the meeting against Glasgow.

“But we know we cannot underestimate the Tigers, even though we beat them at Shielfield just a few weeks ago in the League Cup.

“Since then they have made changes to their team, dropping our own Jade Mudgway and Robert Ksiezak, replacing them with Chris Mills and Filip Sitera.

“As everyone knows, Filip was in our team at the start of the season, but he lost his place when we brought in Jason and Lubos.

“This will be his first meeting back at Shielfield since then and I am sure he will come with a point to prove.

“After our big home win over Redcar it’s important we maintain the momentum and try to keep the points flowing at the start of our Premier League campaign.

“Glasgow will be a tough nut to crack, especially with the likes of Joe Screen and Josh Grajczonek, but we know that if we remain focused and go about our business in a professional manner we have the riders capable of pulling off another home win.”