BERWICK BANDITS 46, WORKINGTON COMETS 43: Berwick held out for a slender three-point win over old rivals Workington at Shielfield on Saturday, but both sides will probably think they deserved to take more from the meeting.
Bandits collected two league points, whilst the Comets picked up a losing bonus point, following another close encounter at the Border track.
After the meeting skipper Lee Complin said Berwick had needed to get back to winning ways after two successive home defeats. He was pleased they had managed to achieve it.
“It wasn’t as if we weren’t trying our best in the two meetings we lost,” he said, “but it was still nice to get back back on track with a win.
“I think it was important for us to show the fans that we can win on our own track.
“The promotion decided to make changes in the past week and Robin Aspegren came in and did well in his first meeting. I think once he settles in he will be a useful addition to the side.
“Young Liam Carr has effectively been thrown in at the deep end at short notice, and I’m not sure it is the best thing for him, but it was all the club could do at short notice.”
After two successive home defeats - one in the league and one in the cup - Berwick were desperate to get back to winning ways, and in many respects this was a must-win meeting as far as they were concerned.
But with new boy Robin Aspegren making his debut, as a replacement for the injured Alex Edberg, and local teenager Liam Carr drafted in as a temporary reserve following the departure of Lubos Tomicek, the Tweedsiders knew the high-flying Comets would be no push-over.
And so it proved, with the Cumbrians recovering from a first retrial by Richard Lawson when he was leading, and a 5-1 from Lee Complin and David Bellego in heat three, to overturn a four-point deficit and lead 14-16 after six.
And when they increased that to 19-23 after seven, the alarm bells were starting to ring in the Bandits’ camp.
But Aspegren, who had seen an engine seize on him on the line in his second race, jumped on his second bike and won his first race in the black and gold in eight, although Jason King, who had earlier won his first ever race in a Berwick race jacket, was forced to retire in a scoring position.
Bellego and Complin then restored the Bandits’ advantage with their second 5-1 of the night, and when Ricky Ashworth and Aspegren repeated the doze in ten the home side gave themselves some breathing space at 32-27.
But Workington, and Lawson in particular, we’re not finished yet, and his wins in 11 and 13 kept the visitors in contention.
And when Kyle Howarth and Tero Arnio took a 2-4 in 14, split by Bellago, it was 43-40 and another last heat decider was on the cards.
The Comets needed a 5-1 to sneak a win, Berwick. 5-1 to take all three Mach points.
Seb Alden, who hadn’t won a race up to that point, made a superb Gollobesque start and with Complin following him through into second it looked as if the home side were set to steal maximum points.
But there was still time for a late twist, and on the third lap Alden slowed up the back straight and ground to a halt, leaving Lawson and Kenny Ingalls to come through for a drawn heat.
After last week’s heat 15 antics with Ashworth, it was another bitter pill for the Swede to swallow, and his frustration was clearly evident as he threw his bike to the track as he trudged his way back to the pits.
Berwick: Complin 11+1, Ashworth 9+1, Bellego 8+1, Alden 8, Aspegren 6+2, King 4, Carr 0.
Workington: Lawson 11, Ingalls 9+2, Roynon 6, Howarth 6, Bach 5, Aarnio 4, Morris 2+2.