LEICESTER LIONS 54, BERWICK BANDITS 39
Berwick slipped to a 15 point defeat at the hands of Leicester when the teams met in Premier League action on Sunday.
The Bandits had a good record at the midlands track in recent seasons, but on this occasion, inspired by a paid 18-point maximum from Swede Magnus Karlsson, the Lions roared to a comfortable victory.
Former Berwick rider Kevin Doolan and home number one Lasse Bjerre were also both in fine form, paid for a further seven wins between them.
This left Berwick to try and scrape something from the meeting with two wins apiece for Robin Aspegren, including one as a double pointed tactical, and reserve Paul Starke, whilst Kozza Smith provided their only other race victory.
Leicester got off to a good start with a 5-1 from Bjerre and Karlsson in the opening race after Sebastian Alden retired at the end of the first lap.
The next five races were all drawn 3-3, with wins for Starke in heat two and Smith in heat six, as the score moved on to 20-16, and Berwick were still in contention.
But a 4-2 and 5-1 from heats seven and nine saw the home side extend their advantage to 32-22, which enabled Berwick to use Aspegren as a tactical ride in ten and a tapes to flag victory (3-6) saw the deficit reduced to 35-28.
Wins for Karlsson in 11 and 13, split by a second race win for Aspegren in 12, produced another two heat advantages for the Lions, and at 46-35 the home side were virtually home and dry.
Starke, who earlier in the day had also raced for Dudley against Buxton in the National League, completed a busy Bank Holiday Sunday with a second race win in 14, but there was no stopping Karlsson, who went on to complete his unbeaten six ride paid maximum in 15 ahead of team-mate Bjerre, Aspegren and Smith.
After the meeting Berwick manager Ian Rae said:
“We had a few mechanical issues to come to terms with and points were just not coming our way but the racing was good and we at least provided the fans with some good exciting speedway to cheer which is better than nothing.
“We rode with spirit, but the points were hard to find.”
L Bjerre 3, 1’, 3, 2, 2’, 2’ 13+3
K Nieminen R/Replacement
K Doolan 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 13
J Graversen 0, 0, 2’, 1’, 2 5+2
M Karlsson 2’, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3 17+1
R Douglas (G) 2, 1, 1, 1’ 5+1
J Sarjeant 1’, F, 0, 0 1+1
S Alden R, 1’, 2, 1 4+1
D Bellego 1, 2, 2, 0 6
R Aspegren 2, 0, 6!, 3, 1 12
M Wethers 1’, 2, 0, 0 3+1
K Smith 2, 3, 1, R, R 6
N Barrett 0, 0, R 0
P Starke 3, 1’, 1’, 1, 3 9+2