Bandits edge close encounter

editorial image

Berwick Bandits 46, Edinburgh Monarchs 44: BERWICK sneaked a last gasp win over old rivals Edinburgh to avenge a heavy defeat at Armadale just 24 hours earlier.

The Monarchs pushed the Bandits all the way and as they led by four points (37-41) with just two races remaining, it looked as if the visitors were about to make it a weekend double over the Borderers.

But when the chips were down the home riders rose to the challenge.

First of all David Bellego and reserve Jason King took an unexpected 5-1 from heat 14 over Matthew Wethers, who had won his opening three rides of the night, which levelled it up at 42-all.

Ricky Ashworth, who had surrendered a 5-1 to the impressive Andrew Tully and Craig Cook in 13, which had given Edinburgh their advantage, was handed the task of trying to save the match in the decider, along with skipper Lee Complin.

Ashworth made two flying starts, but twice was hauled back by referee Craig Ackroyd, which only added to the tension.

However, he made it third time lucky ahead of Theo Pijper, and with Complin producing a captain’s ride in third, keeping Tully at the back, Berwick sneaked the narrowest of victories, although Edinburgh left with a losing bonus point.

As neither side had a serious chance of making the League Cup semi-finals this was in effect a meaningless fixture.

Only pride was at stake - the Bandits wanted to avenge their Armadake hammering from the night before and of course they did not want to lose in front of their own fans.

Ashworth and Lubos Tomicek had got Berwick off to the best of starts with a 5-1 in heat one, a feat they managed to repeat in six when Tully was handicapped 15m for breaking the tapes, and this