Berwick Bandits 55, Ipswich Witches 39: The Bandits put their recent Shielfield hoodoo behind them at the weekend to enjoy revenge over their East Anglian guests.
Berwick moved up to ninth in the league table on Saturday and in doing so clinched a place in the end of season Premier League Challenge Trophy.
However, Ian rae’s team might have been forgiven for going into their final home league fixture with some trepidation, because Ipswich had won on their last two visits to Shielfield with some ease, in the league fixture, late in 2011 and the Cup tie in June this year.
The Bandits need not have worried. Still requiring points to ensure a place in the lower section end of season play-off’s, they totally dominated this fixture from the start, putting together as good a performance at homea stheir fans have seen for some time.
Ideal racing conditions contributed to some excellent speedway and Berwick made use of it to steamroller there way home and up to ninth in the table.
Team Manager Ian Rae’s astute use of Redcar’s former Ipswich rider Kevin Doolan as guest for Ricky Ashworth paid off too.
Doolan had left Foxhall Heath several weeks ago and has been hitting big scores for his new team recently. It was always likely that he would be up for meting out punishmen to his former employers, and so it proved. The likeable Australian collected a four ride paid maximum.
Star of the show, however, was Berwick’s Sebastian Alden who put in some awesome rides. The Swede did not necessarily make the starts in several of his races but was soon powering through into the lead, cruiing through inside and outside lines with ease.
Alden had good back up too, from the aforementioned Doolan, fellow Swede Robin Aspegren (who was a steal for Bandits when he joined on an average under six), David Bellego (despite a horrific crash in Heat eight) and Micky Dyer (a revelation since his move down the A1 from Edinburgh). Dane Nicki Barrett was good value for his points too, battling in every race. A move to reserve now will surely be of great benefit to him.
Only Klaus Jakobsen never got into the points for the Bandits, his only score being a third, something of a gift, in heat two after Byron Bekker fell.
The Bandits had a stroke of luck in heat three as well, when Taylor Poole came down in a scoring position, but really Ipswich can have few if any complaints and sadly, for them, they miss out on a top six place.
Dakota North looked sharp early on but locked up coming out of bend two in the opening lap of heat eight, with Bellego, left with no room, ploughing into the fallen Australian. After a lengthy delay both made it back to the pits under their own steam but North was forced to withdraw with a wrist injury. Bellego bravely soldiered on with two further paid wins.
Team manager Ian Rae said: “To get a win tonight was very satisfying, but as it was over Ipswich who took us apart in the Cup it was especially sweet and we all rode brilliantly to take the deserved success.”
Berwick: Kevin Doolan 11+1 Bonus (4); David Bellego 6+3 (4); Nicki Barrett 3+1 (4); Robin Aspegren 12+1 (5); Sebastian Alden 15 (5); Klaus Jakobsen 1+1 (3); Micky Dyer 7+1 (5).