Bandits’ fence fund meeting attracts huge crowd

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The 2012 speedway season at Berwick roared into action with a win for Peterbrough’s Olly Allen at Shielfield Park in the curtain-raising Fence Fund Challenge meeting. All competitors took no wages and every penny made through the gate will go right into the fund to pay for the new polyfoam safety fence.

Allen won with 15 points ahead of Berwick’s Lee Complin on 13, with Josef Franc of Sheffield third on 12 points. But the night was more about raising money for the safety fence and the huge crowd delighted Bandits co-owner John Anderson.

He said: “The turnout was massive and I thank everyone who came out making our fence fund challenge a huge success. I also have to thank all the riders who took no fees for their efforts, and they were big efforts judging by some of the thrilling racing, some of which looked like they were battling for vital league points not just self-pride and glory. It was a magnificent show by all concerned.”

In front of a huge opening night attendance the pre-match favourite, Elite League rider, Davey Watt from Lakeside suffered a tricky start having made a brilliant gate to lead well, but coming into bend four his machine spluttered, grinding the Aussie to a halt leaving him with an instant handicap to overcome.

Early leader Josef Franc, Lee Complin, Adam Shields and Oliver Allen all won their first races, but come Heat Five, Alden just failed on horsepower as Elite start, and Allen took the win to make it two out of two.

Complin chased his former team mate, Franc hard throughout Heat Six, just easing his way in fighting style round the Czech to take a superb win and move on to five points.

Complin made it three out of three, again the hard way, with a wild outside pass round Glasgow Tiger Josh Grajczonek in Heat Nine, meaning that following Allen’s Heat 12 win, way ahead of new Bandit Filip Sitera, they remained the only two unbeaten with eight races left on the card.

Watt tinkered with his settings and come Heat 13 had taken two solid victories to throw himself right back into the mix, but with four rides gone each, Allen was the only remaining unbeaten as Complin had succumbed to new Berwick number one Ricky Ashworth who finally got into the groove to take Heat 16 with a big win.

Heat 19 saw Complin and Allen up against each other, but a rocket of a gate from Allen shot him into the lead, which despite some great chasing from Complin gave him the win and as a result the championship gold medal as well.