BERWICK BANDITS 60-33 SCUNTHORPE SCORPIONS

Kevin Doolan who just missed out on a paid maximum.
Kevin Doolan who just missed out on a paid maximum.

Berwick got their Premier League campaign off to a winning start with an emphatic home victory over Scunthorpe at Shielfield.

Despite the loss of Anders Mellgren, who aggravated his knee injury, the Bandits were dominant throughout, and it was only the efforts of Carl Wilkinson, and to a lesser extent Ryan Douglas, who put up any sort of serious challenge.

The Scorpions were also hampered by the loss of Alex Davies mid-meeting, a lack of form by Zdenek Holub and Josh Auty, and the fact that their reserves were simply no match for their Bandits’ counterpart, Matty Wethers, who was the meeting’s top scorer with 16 paid 17 points.

Berwick drafted in Premier League Riders’ Champion Ulrich Ostergaard as a replacement for the injured Thomas Jorgensen, but the Dane got off to an inauspicious start, failing to score first time out as the visitors took a 2-4 lead, with Wilkinson winning the first of his three races.

Bandits soon got into their stride, however, taking four 5-1s in the next six races to lead 27-15, although Douglas and Wilkinson did manage to win heats three and five.

Wilkinson then raced to a double pointed tactical victory in eight, a 2-7 cutting the deficit to 29-22.

But Bandits rattled off another four 5-1s in the next five heats to power 52-29 in front after 13, with Ostergaard, Wethers and Seb Alden and Kevin Doolan all to the fore.

Douglas was unlucky when he fell in second place on the last lap in 14, but in 15 Bandits hit the 60 mark with Ostergaard making it three wins in a row, although Doolan missed out on his paid maximum, dropping his only points of the night to Wilkinson after Douglas suffered another fall.