Edberg ruled out for season with broken ankle

Three new riders from Berwick Bandits: Mitchell Davey, Alex Edberg and Sebastian Alden.
Three new riders from Berwick Bandits: Mitchell Davey, Alex Edberg and Sebastian Alden.

BERWICK’S celebrations after winning the Fours at Peterborough on Sunday were in marked contrast to the feelings running through the camp less than 24 hours earlier.

And indeed to those of 24 hours later, after it was revealed that Alex Edberg had been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken ankle and another broken collarbone.

The Swede, who was making his comeback after suffering facial and internal injuries last season, had spent a month on the sidelines after breaking his shoulder and collarbone at Rye House earlier this year.

He made his comeback in the 56-36 defeat at Edinburgh on Friday, but on Saturday evening was withdrawn from the home league defeat at the hands of Sheffield when he fell in his second ride.

He was taken from the track by ambulance, and his injuries were diagnosed on Monday after being examined by doctors.

Team manager Ian Rae said: “I am absolutely gutted for Alex, it just seems like he has no luck.”

After watching his side go down to a second successive home defeat on Saturday, Rae said it was ‘unacceptable,’ hinting that team changes may be inevitable for this Saturday’s home clash against Workington. and away trip to Newcastle on Sunday.

With Edberg now being ruled out it would now seem highly likely that changes will be imminent.

Berwick threw away a 12-point lead in the 46-47 home reverse to Sheffield and Rae fumed: “It’s the manner in which we were defeated which hurts most, as in certain quarters there seems to be too little determination or desire to win and it’s a situation we as a management team are fully aware of and we’re also in full agreement that it’s a situation that we cannot, in any way shape or form, allow to continue.

“It has to be halted and we’ll be looking at every way to get this sorted so we can deliver the sort of results our fans are looking for.”

Berwick, who lost heavily at home to Ipswich in the cup a fortnight earlier,had been hoping to bounce back against the Tigers and when they led 27-15 after seven heats it looked as if they were on the road to victory.

But they lost their way in the second half, trailing 43-44 going into the last race, an added complication being the loss of Edberg.

Ricky Ashworth, who scored a 15-point maximum against his former club, was nominated with Seb Alden for the last heat decider, in which they needed an advantage to get out of jail.

“We had a plan,” said Ashworth, “but it didn’t work. “We both went for the same piece of track, and as I was in front I left Seb with nowhere to go, and I feel sorry about that, but things like that happen when you are racing.”

Following the Ipswich defeat Ashworth said the riders were determined to put things right. “We wanted to show everyone we were better than that,” he said. “The fans turn up expecting to see us win our home meetings, but at the moment it just isn’t happening and they deserve better.

“The club also cannot afford for us to be losing meetings like this at home.”

Rae said the meeting would be remembered for the heat 15 incident, but it should not have got that far.

“Yes, everyone will remember the farcical way heat 15 proceeded,” he said, “and I’m sure sensible discussions between the team members will wipe out the chance of that sort of thing happening again, but to be absolutely honest heat 15 should not have mattered anyway – we should have had that match easily won way before then!

“We know what our season goals are, and at the moment we’re not aiming high enough to achieve them, so we will be working on things very quickly indeed. There is some serious talking to be done.”

Berwick are due to take on high-flying Workington at Shielfield this weekend. It promises to be another tough match for the Bandits, but what the make-up of the Borderers side will be remains to be seen.