Berwick Bandits 44, Workington Comets 46: Berwick’s disappointing start to the season continued when they were beaten by Workington in a last-gasp finish at Shielfield on Saturday.
The Bandits led for most of this match, being eight points up at one stage (16-8 after only four races) but the Comets fought their way back into contention and despite being two points down going into the last heat they managed to secure a two point victory on the night with a 1-5 at the death.
After losing two of their previous three home matches (in the KO and League Cups) Berwick were keen to follow up last week’s opening league win over Sheffield with a victory over the Cumbrians.
They drafted in Nick Morris as a guest replacement for the injured Ricky Ashworth, but he managed only three points from his four races.
Matty Wethers won two of his outings, but Kozza Smith and David Bellego, despite blowing an engine on the start line in heat eight, were the only other home riders who looked up for the fight, with the result that Workington, after clawing back a 1-5 and 2-4 in heats five and six after the track was watered, saw the visitors force their way back back into the meeting.
Heat seven produced the race of the night with Smith forcing his way past Rusty Harrison at the front and Tero Aarnio doing likewise against Alex Edberg at the back.
Richard Lawson won his second race in eight as the Comets levelled it up at 24-24, but a 5-1 from Bellego and Morris, who passed Harrison on the last lap, saw the Bandits re-establish a four point advantage after ten.
Lawson equalled the fastest time of the season in 11 but a 1-5 from guest reserve Jozsef Tabaka and Harrison in 12 levelled it up again at 36-all and suddenly it was game on again.
A Smith-Morris 4-2 in 13 saw Berwick in front again at 40-38, and they maintained the two point advantage in 14 with Wethers winning the re-run after Edberg fell on the first bend.
The result was still in the balance, but it was Workington who stole the victory with Harrison and Lawson coming up trumps against the chasing Bellego.
Nick Morris (Guest) 0 EF 2* 1 3+1
David Bellego 3 2 EF 3 1 9
Robin Aspegren 2* 0 1* 1 4+2
Matthew Wethers 3 1 2 3 9
Kozza Smith 3 3 2 3 0 11
Alex Edberg 2* 0 0 0 2+1
Nicki Barrett 3 0 2 0 5
Manager Ian Rae
Richard Lawson 1* 3 3 3 2 2* 14+2
Rene Bach - Rider Replacement
Rusty Harrison 0 2* 2 1 2* 3 10+2
Tero Aarnio 2 1 1* 0 1* 5+2
Kyle Howarth 1* 3 3 0 0 7+1
Ashley Morris 1 1 0 2
Jozsef Tabaka EF 2 1 3 2 8
Manager Tony Jackson
Referee Barbara Horley