Berwick Bandits 50, Edinburgh Monarchs 39: Lee Complin scored a maximum of 15 points as Berwick Bandits kept up their good start to the season with victory over Edinburgh in the first leg of the Cock O’ The North Trophy.
Bandits went into the meeting without new No1 Ricky Ashworth, who was recovering from a back injury, but skipper Complin led by example with a top-class performance.
The Borderers had to come from behind in what was their final warm-up match before the real competitive action begins, Monarchs going four up after heat two.
The Bandits will hope to have Ashworth back for home and away League Cup fixtures against Glasgow next Saturday and Sunday, and with Complin in this form Ian Rae’s men have every reason to be optimistic about the season ahead.
Charles Wright and Micky Dyer of the Monarchs took a massive 1-5 in heat two to put the visitors four up whilst an equally big win for Berwick skipper Complin in the third, but with Filip Sitera stuck at the back the home deficit remained the same.
The Complin/Sitera partnership took full advantage of an Andrew Tully first bend fall to take a solid 5-1 over Derek Sneddon which levelled the match score 15-all at the end of heat five but a Monarchs’ 2-4 to Craig Cook over guest David Howe to again ease the visitors back into the lead 17-19.
Two 3-3 shared races followed in heats seven and eight leaving the two point gap intact 23-25 with the Bandits still playing catch up, but with Cook excluded from a fall at the start of Heat nine it gave the Bandits a two to one advantage in the re-run which Dyer also fell on the third bend of the second lap, gifting the home side a 5-0 pushing the Bandits ahead 28-25.
Complin took heat 12 with ease but behind Theo Pijper and Alex Edberg engaged in a terrific battle with the Monarchs’ Dutchman taking a well deserved second place in a Bandits’ 4-2 extending their lead to 37-34.
Tully suffered a puncture half way through Heat 13 and hit the fence hard, but the polyfoam did the job as he was unharmed but he was excluded for his efforts with the Bandits taking a solid 5-1 in the re-run moving the score on to 42-35.
Matthew Wethers made light work of moving up from last to first in the re-run of heat 14 after Wright crashed out in the eventual 3-3 which with one race left took the score to 45-38.
Heat 15 provided Berwick with a formality of a maximum, taking the win on the night by a decent margin of 11, delighting team manager Ian Rae who said: “The team is really coming together right now and Filip Sitera is getting things to slot into place for him now and changed his bike after his second ride which made a good difference. Things are falling into place nicely as we move into the official section of the season.”
Individual Riders’ Score Chart
Berwick Bandits 50
1. David Howe (guest) 3,2,2,3,2* = 12+1
2. David Bellego 0,F,2,0 = 2
3. Lee Complin © 3,3,3,3,3 = 15
4. Filip Sitera 0,2*,2*,2 = 6+2
5. Sebastian Alden 3,3,2,2* = 10+1
6. Alex Edberg ® F,0,1*,1,1* = 3+2
7. Adam McKinna (guest) ® !,0,1*,N = 1+1
Edinburgh Monarchs 39
1. Andrew Tully 2,R,3,Fx = 5
2. Derek Sneddon 1,1,3,F = 5+1
3. Theo Pijper 2,1*,3,2,0 = 8+1
4. Matthew Wethers © 1*,2,1,3,1 = 8+1
5. Craig Cook 2,3,Fx,1 = 6
6. Micky Dyer ® 2*,1,F,0 = 3+1
7. Charles Wright ® 3,1*,R,Fx = 4+1
Berwick Bandits fixtures
Sat 7th Home v Glasgow Tigers (League Cup) 7pm
Sun 8th Away v Glasgow Tigers (League Cup) 4pm
Thu 12th Away v Sheffield Tigers (League Cup) 7.45pm
Sat 14th Home v Scunthorpe Scorpions (League Cup) 7pm
Sat 21st Home v Sheffield Tigers (League Cup) 7pm
Sun 22nd Away v Newcastle Diamonds (League Cup) 6.30pm
Sat 28th Home v Newcastle Diamonds (League Cup) 7pm