New signings hope to lead by example

Sebastian Alden of Berwick Bandits
Sebastian Alden of Berwick Bandits

by Keith Hamblin

BERWICK are hoping that Friday’s abandoned meeting at Newport is a sign of things to come from their new Swedish signings of Sebastian Alden and Alex Edberg.

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.

For the Bandits’ newcomers, who only joined the club a fortnight ago, both won their opening races in Wales, only for the meeting to be abandoned after only four heats because of heavy rain.

It turned out to be a very frustrating trip all round for the Borderers, as four of their riders were caught up in motorway traffic on the way to the meeting and arrived late.

Alden, partnered with Kozza Smith, stormed to an impressive 5-1 in the opening race, whilst Edberg held off the challenge of former Berwick rider Charlie Gjedde to win heat three.

However, with the weather closing in there was no alternative but to call a halt to proceedings, and now the teams must do it all again at a date to be fixed.

Saturday’s return visit to Shielfield was also postponed because of the weather. Heavy rain over-night and throughout the morning left the Berwick promotion with no option but to call it off shortly before lunch-time. Again no date has yet been announced for the re-staging.

A club spokesman said: “It was obviously very disappointing to lose both meeings against Newport to the weather.

“It’s a long way down to Wales, and for the meeting to be called off after only four races is always frustrating.

“But we have to take the positives from the trip, and that had to be the form of Seb and Alex in their opening rides.”

It’s understood that the Swedish duo have expressed a wish to be paired together, and this is something the Bandits are considering carefully.

Whether or not that actually happens for this weekend’s visit of Ipswich to Shielfield remains to be seen.

But there can be no doubting that the arrival of the pair, along with new reserve Mitchell Davey, has breathed new life into the club and management and fans alike are hopeful that they can help kick-start their season again.

Promoter John Anderson has made no secret of the fact that so far this season he has been disappointed with some of the performances and results, particularly away from home.

“That’s why changes had to be made,” he said. “Hopefully we can now start to turn things around again and give the fans something to cheer.”

Meanwhile, Berwick’s Jade Mudgway is throwing a free party for supporters at The Albion in Spittal this Friday (June 17) starting at 7pm.

“Absolutely everyone is invited,” said Jade, “and we would hope that as many fans as possible will come along and join in the evening.

“It’s just a chance for people to meet up, to have a chat and a drink.”

Berwick are also running a special promotion this weekend for the visit of the Witches - anyone who turns up at the stadium with a copy of the 1970 Cup Final programme will be admitted for only £10.

* Berwick Bandits Supporters Club will be running a bus to Newcastle for the meeting against the Diamonds on Sunday, July 17. The price will be £10 for members - see Lisa Youngman as soon as possible to book your seat, or give her a ring on 07773759864.