BERWICK BANDITS 32-28 REDCAR BEARS

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This was a meeting which will live long in the memory, but is one Berwick will be wanting to forget.

Already without David Bellego - he was away riding in the semi-finals of the Grand Prix Qualifiers - Bandits were further hampered when reserve Matej Kus was forced to withdraw after heat six due to taking ill after feeling breathless and dizzy. He had recently had an operation on his wisdom teeth.

But racing was unable to continue when the meeting paramedic reported feeling unwell and he too was withdrawn.

Dr Alan Fortune was called, but there was a 50 minute delay until he arrived.

At the time Berwick were 20-16 in front, the Bandits having opened up the meeting with two 5-1s in the opening races, courtesy of Claus Vissing and Kevin Doolan, and Kus and Liam Carr.

Redcar hit back immediately with Jan Gravesen and Carl Wilkinson aking a 1-5 in heat three, Wilkinson and Berwick skipper Matty Wethers passing and repassing each other for second place.

Kus won his second race in four, Doolan passing first time visitor Rafal Konopka for third behind Aaron Summers, but when Wethers and Steen Jensen lost their second 1-5 in five, this time from Richard Lawson and Hugh Skidmore, suddenly the Bears were back in contention at 16-14.

Vissing won again in six, Kus finishing third behind Summers, but then it all kicked off.

A county ambulance was called to take Kus to hospital, and it was back at the track later on, when, just two races after the re-start, Wethers took a nasty looking tumble.

He was following a more impressive-looking Carr out of the fourth bend when the young Bandit suddenly locked up in front of him. Wethers clipped his back wheel and he and the bike cartwheeled in the air before falling heavily on the track.

Carr was excluded as the primary cause, the race awarded a 2-4 (25-23), but there was another lengthy delay as Wethers received on-track treatment from Dr Fortune and the other medical staff.

It transpired he had a sore hip and head and was withdrawn from the meeting, leaving the track by ambulance, but with the 9.30pm curfew approaching it was obvious the meeting was not going to run its course.

Referee David Dowling said he would try to push ahead with two more races to get a result, and that’s exactly what happened.

In heat nine Summers and Konopka took a 2-4, split by the chasing Jensen, and that made it 27-all going into the last heat decider.

The Danish duo of Vissing and Jensen made the gate and led from start to finish, giving Bandits a 32-28 victory. It was two match points for Berwick and one for Redcar, but this was a meeting which will unfortunately be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Afterwards, joint team manager Ian Rae said: “In all the years I have been involved in speedway I have never known a night like that. It was just unbelieveable.

“Thankfully, Dr Fortune saved the day, but our thoughts at the moment are with the two Matties.”

Berwick 32

Claus Vissing 3,3,3 9

David Bellego – Rider replacement

Steen Jensen 0,1,2,2* 5+1

Matthew Wethers 1,0,2 3 withdrawn

Kevin Doolan 2*,1,2 5+1

Liam Carr 2*,1*,X,0 3+2

Matej Kus 3,3,1 = 7 withdrawn

Managers Ian Rae and George Hepburn

Redcar 28

Richard Lawson 0,3 3

Hugh Skidmore 1,2*,3 6+1

Jan Graversen 3,3,0 6

Carl Wilkinson 2*,0,1 3+1

Aaron Summers 2,2,3 7

Matt Williamson R,0 0

Rafal Konopka 1,0,1,1 3

Manager Brian Havelock