BERWICK suffered two defeats in two nights, leaving them rooted firmly at the foot of the Premier League table.
The Bandits went down at Somerset on Friday and then lost out at home to Leicester on Saturday when new reserve Mickey Dyer became the latest rider added to the ever-growing injury list.
ANOTHER home defeat ... and yet another injury ... the problems continue to mount for ‘jinxed’ Berwick.
New signing Mickey Dyer became the latest in a long line of Bandits to make a trip to hospital.
He had won his opening race on his home debut with some style, but in heat 12 took a nasty tumble on the first bend, the result being a gouge out of his his right thigh, possibly caused by broken spokes, which may have resulted in muscular damage.
Dyer is now the eighth rider sidelined in eight meetings - a record no team ever wants.
Leicester arrived confident that they could take advantage of Berwick’s injury woes and leave with something from the meeting.
The fact that they literally led from start to finish shows just how much a struggle it was for the Borderers.
They conceded a 5-1 in the opening race when David Bellego fell whilst leading, bringing down guest team-mate Nick Morris, and that was an incident from which they never really recovered.
A second 5-1 in three saw the Lions roar into 12-6 lead, and despite a great ride from Seb Alden in four when he passed both Jan Gravesen and Magnus Karlsson to hit the front, it wasn’t until Morris and Bellego took a 5-1 from six that they managed to get themselves back in contention at 17-19.
But Leicester, who had been reduced to six men themselves when Jari Makinen fell on his own at the back in heat five, bounced back with a 5-1 of their own in seven from former Bandit Linus Eklof and the impressive Lasse Bjerre.
And with the home side then failing to provide another heat winner until heat 13, Bandits, despite the use of new signing Nicki Barrett as a tactical ride, looked as if they were always on the back foot.
A great ride from Alden and Morris’s in 13, who both forced their way from the back, overturning 1-5 into a 5-1, gave Berwick some hope.
But Dyer’s injury took the sting out of their charge, and when Eklof won heat 14, with Gravesen finishing ahead of the disappointing Klaus Jakobsen for the vital third place, Leicester were assured victory.
Morris won 15, inflicting the only defeat of the night on Bjerre, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Bandits slipping to their fourth home defeat in their last six Shielfield outings.
Berwick: Morris 11+1, Alden 9, Barrett 7+1, Aspegren 6+1, Bellego 5+1, Dyer 3, Jakobsen 2+1.
Leicester: Bjerre 12+2, Nieminen 11, Eklof 9+1, Graversen 7+1, Karlsson 7, Makinen 2+1, Blackbird 1+1.
THIS return fixture marked the Berwick debuts of Nicki Barrett and Micky Dyer, the Bandits securing the services of Stuart Robson as guest replacement for Ashworth at number 1, while the Rebels went into the meeting missing three of their own septet, all of whom were riding in the third round of the World U21 Championship at Coventry.
In truth, although the score-line was decidedly closer than it had been at Shielfield Park just 6 days earlier, the Rebels always had too much in hand for the Bandits to cause an upset though Robin Aspegren once again showed his liking for the Oaktree Arena with a 12 point haul to his name, this including a 4-point tactical ride,
Other than that, the Rebels were far too strong, the defeat leaving Berwick anchored firmly at the foot of the table..
Somerset: Wright 15+1, Doyle 13+1, Monberg 11+1, Davies 8, Wilkinson 6+1, Sarjeant 0.
Berwick: Aspegren 12, Dyer 8, Robson 5+1, Bellego 5, Alden 5, Barrett 3+1, Jakobsen 3+1.