Super Swedes fail to save Bandits from mauling

Ipswich Witches 58

Berwick Bandits 36

BERWICK raced their first away fixture for several weeks when they travelled to Ipswich last Thursday.

New Swede Linus Eklof, who had seen his debut at Shielfield cut short with a first race accident five days earlier, bounced back in style with a fantastic 14 point haul.

He was only beaten once in his first four outings, finishing second behind Taylor Poole in heat ten.

He also picked up a double-pointed tactical victory, but unfortunately his only back-up was provided by fellow countryman Sebastian Alden, who also won three of his five starts on the night.

The five other Berwick riders, including guest Lewis Blackbird, who was racing in place of the injured Mitchell Davey, failed to even pick up a second place between them, and as a result the Bandits went down to a hefty 22 point defeat.

Alden won heat one and with Eklof doing likewise in three it was 9-9 early on.

But Bandits then lost three successive 5-1s as the Witches gained control and at 24-12 the Borderers started to lose touch.

Eklof was nominated as a double-pointed tactical in seven, which he won, but Josef Franc, who had a poor night by his standards, fell and was excluded, which meant Berwick were only able to close the gap by three as the score moved on to 26-18.

Three more successive heat advatgates, including another two 5-1s, saw Ipswich go within touching distance of victory as they moved 40-22 in front.

Alden finished second behind Lasse Bjerre as a tactical rider in ten (44-26), and Eklof and Alden went on to win in 12 and 13, but with no back-up Ipswich already had the meeting won at 50-32.

Jerran Hart won for the home side in 14, and Alden took the chequered flag in 15, a race which saw Eklof draw a blank for the only time after he was passed by Morten Risager.

Overall this was a disappointing performance from Berwick. Five of their riders were simply not at the races and had it not been for Eklof and Alden the margin of defeat could have been all the greater.

Ipswich, by comparison, were solid throughout with their lowest scorer, former bandit Kevin Doolan, weighing in with paid eight.

After the meeting team manager Ian Rae said: “The most pleasing aspect about this disappointing result was the superb form shown by new boy Linus Eklof, who, right back from a nasty fall on Saturday last weekend, put together some spectacular races, including some magnificent wins proving his recommendations from our other three Swedes were right on the money and we’re delighted Linus has joined our side.

“He was tremendous tonight, a standard sadly too many of our lads fell short of tonight.”

Ipswich - M Risager 10+3, J Hart 10+1, T Poole 9, M Tresarrieu 8, L Bjerre 8, C Mills 7+4, K Doolan 6+2.

Berwick - L Eklof 14, S Alden 13, L Lindgren 3, L Complin 3, J Mudgway 2, J Franc 1, L Blackbird 0.