Border Raiders 51 Dudley Heathens 41: It was the chance for youth to shine when Berwick hosted a meeting which was a departure from regular league racing at Shielfield.
The National League’s top side, Dudley Heathens were the guests, with the Berwick Border Raiders skippered by local schoolboy Liam Carr.
As expected, Redcar’s Micky Dyer, a former Bandit, was the mainstay of the home side, racing to a 12-point maximum in his four finishes, but there was an eye-catching display from Hungarian Tamas Sike, another former Berwick rider, who is making a return to racing, and his burst from last to second to complete his paid maximum was particularly entertaining.
For the visitors, back from injury Adam Roynon, Berwick reserve Paul Starke and Newcastle’s Steve Worrall managed to keep the Heathens in contention throughout the meeting, but in the main it was a comfortable home victory.
The Raiders got off to the best possible start with two 5-1s to put them 10-2 in front. Starke won in three but Worrall ground to a halt in four and when Carr clipped the fence after drifting wide and was excluded, Max Fricke won the re-run for a 3-2.
Sike flew round Worrall in six for a shared 3-3, and at 22-13 the Raiders were in the driving seat.
Roynon won tapes to flag in seven (24-17), but when Sike and the Carr burst past Nathan Greaves in eight the Raiders increased their lead to 29-18, which enabled Dudley to use Worrall as a double pointed tactical in nine, which he won for a 2-7, reducing the deficit to 31-25.
Another Raiders’ maximum in ten was followed with another victory for Roynon in 11 which took the score to 39-29 with four races remaining.
Starke forced his way through ahead of Carr in 12, but Roynon’s bike failed him in 13, letting Dyer through ahead of Worrall, a 4-2 putting the Raiders in an unassailable position at 45-35 with only two races remaining.
Berwick promoter John Anderson was pleased with what he’d seen, saying: “This was an exciting venture for us and to welcome the best team in the National League to our stadium was indeed an honour.
“A decent sized crowd turned out on not the warmest of June nights, and thoroughly enjoyed the racing and got right behind the teams – and it was good to see a good number of travellers from the Midlands coming up to join the fun.
“The racing was good again proving you don’t need the huge speed to get the thrills and all the lads out there tonight really put in the efforts to entertain and succeeded admirably.”
Event organiser Gary Flint, who also acted as team manager for the Border Raiders, said:
“It’s not very often we get a chance to put on an event like this at Berwick, giving younger riders the chance to show what they can do. For that we are grateful to Berwick for the use of their facilities and we would like to thank everyone, including the riders, fans, and of course everyone connected with the club who made it possible to put the meeting on. We would also like to thank Berwick Rangers for their reduced rent for the meeting.”