Berwick Bandits 52-41 Plymouth Devils

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Berwick put the disappointment of last week’s Peterborough horror show behind them when they bounced back to winning ways against Plymouth.

With the return of Matty Wethers and Matej Kus, they were back to a full seven man team, and although Wethers was not back to his best following his heavy fall a fortnight earlier, Bandits were more than competent enough to see off the Devils.

As expected, British No 3 Ben Barker was the main threat for the visitors, winning three of his races, one as a tactical ride, whilst the best support came from Kyle Newman, reserve Sam Simota, and Berwick’s own asset, Josef Franc, who had been signed on loan just a couple of days beforehand.

‘Pepe’ won two races, and on another night could have been the spoiler, but on this occasion the Bandits were just that little bit sharper from the gate, and although Plymouth kept it tight early on, once the home side got their noses in front there was no stopping them.

In the main that was down to the form of Claus Vissing, who only missed out on his paid maximum to Barker in heat 15, David Bellego, who went unbeaten in his last three races, Kus, who dropped only one point in his first four outings, and Kevin Doolan, who was paid for three victories.

Young reserve Liam Carr also played his part, scoring every time he was out, and his paid seven tally also contributed to the win.

After a comfortable win by Vissing in heat one the teams traded 5-1s between heats two and five, Plymouth taking advantage with two maximums against the Wethers -Steen Jensen partnership, to keep it tight at 15-15.

But a run of five successive heat advantages, including three 5-1s, saw the Bandits forge ahead in the middle part of the meeting, and by heat ten they had built up a healthy 38-22 lead, Franc having been on the wrong end of a 5-1 when he was going for double points.

The Devils managed some damage limitation in heat 11 when Barker, also in as a tactical ride, and the consistent Simota, took a 1-8 to bring it back to 39-30.

Franc won his second race of the night in 12, but when Doolan and Vissing made the gate on Barker in heat 13 and raced all the way to the line for another 5-1, Bandits knew they could not be beaten.

Kyle Newman took the chequered flag for the visitors in 14, but Simota fell, and a 3-3 meant Berwick guaranteed themselves the bonus.

In the final race there was nothing at stake except Vissing’s maximum, but he was denied it when Barker got the drop on him into the first bend and led all the way to the finish.

Berwick 52

Claus Vissing 3,2*,3,2*,2 12+2

David Bellego 0,3,2*,2* 7+2

Steen Jensen 1,1,3,1* 6+1

Matthew Wethers 0,0,1,2 3

Kevin Doolan 2*,3,0,3 8+1

Liam Carr 2*,1,1,1* 5+2

Matej Kus 3,3,3,2,R 11

Manager John Anderson

Plymouth 41

Ben Barker 1*,3,6^,1,3 14+1

Adam Roynon – Rider replacement

Josef Franc 3,0,1^,3 7

Kyle Newman 2,2*,2,0,3,1 10+1

Rasmus Jensen 0,1,R,0,0 1

Roland Benko 0,R,0 0

Zdenek Simota 1,1,2*,1,2,2*,F 9+2

Manager Lee Trigger