Bandits into final to face Rockets

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Glasgow Tigers 42, Berwick Bandits 48: BERWICK travelled to Glasgow on Sunday for their last Premier Challenge Trophy qualifying match, knowing that they needed to avoid defeat by fewer than 12 points if they were to progress to the final.

BERWICK travelled to Glasgow on Sunday for their last Premier Challenge Trophy qualifying match, knowing that they needed to avoid defeat by fewer than 12 points if they were to progress to the final.

In the end they came through with flying colours, recording a rare away win, setting up a final clash against Rye House, which will bring the curtain down on their season next weekend.

Glasgow, who earlier in the week announced a take-over bid to secure their immediate future, fielded a make- shift side with guests Kevin Doolan, Ryan Fisher, Matthew Wethers and Charles Wright helping make up their team.

Berwick, still missing the injured Ricky Ashworth, used Edinburgh’s Theo Pijper as a guest, with young Ben Reade filling in at reserve in place of Klaus Jakobsen, who had returned home to Denmark.

Berwick made the brighter start and 1-5s in heats four (Seb Alden and Nicki Barrett) and five (Pijper and Micky Dyer) helped them establish a six point lead at 12-18.

With home riders winning each of the next four races, the Tigers managed to haul themselves back into contention at 27-all after nine.

But Berwick provided three heat advantages in a row, a 2-4 and two 1-5s in 11 and 12, courtesy of Pijper and Dyer again and Robin Aspegren and the impressive Barrett, and at 31-41 they knew they already had one foot in the final.

Glasgow hit back with a 5-1 of their own in 13 (36-42), delaying the inevitable, but a win by David Bellego in 14 guaranteed the Bandits’ win on the day and their progression to face the Rockets.

A drawn heat in 15 when Bellego and Barrett finished behind Fisher, who dropped only one point all afternoon, completed the victory, meaning the Tigers ended their season in a losing note.

After the meeting a jubilant team manager Ian Rae said: “At last, after this appalling season thanks to the massive number of injuries we’ve suffered, we finally show our true potential and make the season-ending trophy final against the Rye House Rockets next Saturday at home and then at Rye House on Sunday evening when hopefully we can add this piece of silverware to our Four Team Championship trophy from the summer.”

Glasgow: Fisher 13+1, Doolan 8, Grieves 7, Wethers 6+1, Wright 5+1, McBain 3, Bager rider rep.

Berwick: Barrett 12+1, Bellego 8+2, Alden 8, Pijper 8, Aspegren 7+1, Dyer 5+3, Reade 0.