By Keith Hamblin
BERWICK slumped to a disappointing 21-point defeat at Workington on Easter Monday, a result which leaves the Bandits languishing in 11th place in the Premier League table.
James Wright went through the card for the Comets, romping to a 15-point maximum, and with solid back-up from Rusty Harrison, who was unbeaten in his first four outings, the home side never looked to be in any danger.
Bandits, who have suffered some poor results on the road so far this year (six defeats in a row), simply had no answer to Workington’s overall strength in depth.
And it has to be said that had it not been for guest Adam Roynon, who top scored with 13 paid 14 in place of the injured Tamas Sike, the final margin of defeat would have been all the greater.
For Roynon, who is a former Workington rider, won three of his six starts, and with Josef Franc the only other race winner - when he and Kozza Smith took a 1-5 from heat seven - it was a night which left the travelling Berwick supporters with little to cheer.
Ian Rae’s side were not helped by another pointless away performance from reserve Jade Mudgway, whilst Hynek Stichauer was forced to withdraw from the meeting after completing only one lap of his opening ride.
He had declared himself fit and made a much earlier than expected comeback after dislocating his shoulder in the home win over Scunthorpe the previous weekend, but on the evidence of this showing it was clearly the wrong decision.
And with number one rider Charlie Gjedde again failing to deliver, achieving only three third places, it was easy to see why Berwick struggled.
Not for the first time this season Berwick conceded a 5-1 in the opening heat. Roynon won in two, but another 5-1 in three left the Bandits with it all to do.
Two more heat advantages followed as the Comets took a 22-8 lead, but a 3-4 and 1-5 in six and seven saw Berwick reduce the deficit.
But the visitors were clearly fighting a losing battle and three more 5-1s between heats 10 and 13 saw Workington ease ahead and record a comfortable victory which gave them the maximum three league points.
Workington - J Wright 15 (max), Harrison 10+2, Topinka 9, Lawson 6+2, Kildemand 6+2,Irving 6+1, C Wright 5+1. Berwick - Roynon 13+1, Franc 10, Complin 6+1, Smith 4+1, Gjedde 3, Mudgway 0, Stichauer 0.
* BERWICK’S home meeting against Workington, which was due to go ahead on Saturday, was postponed because of a waterlogged track.
Ironically, there had been no heavy rain in Berwick for weeks, but just an hour before tapes were due to go up at 7pm the heavens opened.
It was decided to delay the start of the meeting until 7.30pm, but shortly after 7pm, following an inspection of the track, it was decided the surface was holding too much water and the meeting was abandoned.
No date has yet been set for the re-staging.
GJEDDE WINS IN DENMARK
BERWICK number one Charlie Gjedde was on form at the weekend when he won his semi-final of the Danish Championships in Glumso.
Gjedde was due to miss the Bandits’ home meeting against Workington, which was subsequently postponed
But he scored an excellent 14 points, which put him equal top on the night with Jesper B Monberg.
Third was Workington’s Peter Kildermand (who had also been due to miss the Shielfield meeting), who scored 13, whilst Lasse Bjerre was fourth on 12.
Due to track conditions the race-off to decide the meeting winner was not held, but Gjedde qualifies for the Danish Final in any event.
PLYMOUTH’S FIRST VISIT
PREMIER League newcomers Plymouth are due to make their first-ever visit to Shielfield this Saturday (April 30).
The Devils haven’t actually raced a competitive meeting yet - they are due to take on Sheffield at home tomorrow (Friday), before making the trip north to face the Bandits on Saturday and Glasgow on Sunday.
“They will be a bit of an unknown quantity,” said a Berwick spokesman, “but that’s not to say we can under-estimate them,
“They are led by Ben Barker and Jason Bunyan, two very experienced riders, and they normally go quite well at Shielfield, so we will have to be wary of them.”