Bandits hope to end season with cup win

editorial image

BERWICK are through to the final of the Premier Challenge Trophy and they will face Rye House over two legs this weekend.

The Bandits secured their place against the Rockets with an impressive win at Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.

They will race the first leg at Shielfield on Saturday (October 27) with the return at Hoddesdon on Sunday (28th).

Promoter John Anderson was naturally delighted to win through and he said that if they were to go on and lift the trophy it would be the perfect way to end what has been ‘a truly aweful season.’

“I know we won the Fours,” he said, “which was the highlight of our year so far. But we have been crippled by injuries, the weather has been dreadful and crowds haven’t been great.

“It’s no secret we have lost money this year, and I think I can safely say I will be glad to see the back of this season.

“But for all that it would be nice to end by winning something and after Sunday, when they rode so well at Glasgow, I know the riders are definitely up for it.

“Hopefully we can build up a big enough advantage at home on Saturday to take down to Hoddesdon for the second leg.”

Berwick, who are also due to race their outstanding Premier League fixture at Workington on Friday (26th), have drafted in newly crowned Premier League Riders’ Champion Craig Cook of Edinburgh as a guest for the injured Ricky Ashworth on Saturday.

But at the time of going to press it still had to be confirmed who will wear the number one race jacket on Sunday, or who will ride at reserve in place of Klaus Jakobsen, who has returned home to Denmark.

Meanwhile, despite confirmation last week that Berwick had been awarded the prestigious BEN Fund meeting at Shielfield next March, Anderson said this did not mean the club was in a position to definitely say what its plans are for 2013.

“We want to run, no question about that,” said the Berwick boss, “but at the moment it is entirely down to whether or not we can line up a new main sponsor or associated sponsors.

“It would break my heart if we don’t run, but the bottom line is we need to raise further income if we are to survive.”

Anderson says Berwick will make their declaration of intent to run at the AGM in mid-November, but it is on the proviso a new sponsor can be found to replace A and J Scott, who have backed the club for the past three years.

“Hopefully we can find a new sponsor,” he said, “we certainly won’t leave any stone unturned in our attempts to find one.”

Over the past few weeks Berwick have introduced reduced admission prices in a bid to attract more fans through the gate, but this has only met with limited success.

“We have a good core base of about 500 fans,” said Anderson, “but speedway is an expensive sport to maintain.

“We have a level of income we need to balance the books as we have rent to pay, riders’ wages etc. We’re struggling to meet that at the moment which is why everyone connected with the club is currently doing their utmost to ensure we survive.”