On-form Bandits flying high and leading the way at the top

Action from Redcar. Picture: Colin Poole Photography
Action from Redcar. Picture: Colin Poole Photography

BERWICK BANDITS 51

REDCAR BEARS 38

Are you sitting comfortably, then I will begin! This North-East clash had it all!

A strong vocal visiting support, plus home fans on a high after a run of excellent recent Shielfield meetings, spiced with the knowledge that a win would take their Bandits top of the Championship table, albeit at this still fairly early stage.

Add to this some feisty racing between two teams going at it hammer and tongs!

And yes Heat 13! Never in recent memory can a race have taken almost 40 minutes to get a result!

SEVEN re runs, yes SEVEN, before Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen (excellent on the night) eventually saw off the only other rider, ex-Bandit Thomas Jorgensen, who picked himself up from the shale after three falls in initial stagings of the heat.

We had three re-starts after first bend falls, a tape exclusion for Ty Proctor, a call back after a jump start, then a crashing fall entering the back straight with Nathan Greaves excluded as Jorgensen laid it down at high speed! At this stage fans were no doubt thinking what next? Eventually it got finished with appropriately ‘Hallelujah’ playing over the Stadium PA!

The rest of the meeting had plenty to offer too. The new look Bears had seen off Berwick 48 hours earlier at Redcar and many thought they would give Bandits a real test. Did they not have ex Bandits Jorgensen and Dimitri Berge on board plus a track expert in guest Ty Proctor?

However, Berge never really got going nor did recent high scoring reserve Jordan Stewart, nor Mikkel B Andersen until his third ride. Andersen was involved in a huge spill in Heat 11 when Theo Pijper powered through on the third bend from the back.

The following Ty Proctor laid down but at high speed with a machine then mounting the top of the polyfoam safety fence!

As for Bandits, what a difference a year makes! This time in 2017 they couldn’t buy a home win! There were no weak links as has been the norm of late.

The missing Jye Etheridge (injured at Redcar) was well covered by rider replacement which gleaned seven points, with Dany Gappmaier in particular motoring to win his opening three rides. Ride of the night? Perhaps David Howe’s third to first burst in Heat 14 when he passed Jonas Andersen and team mate Theo Pijper.

A good night weather wise, a good crowd with plenty visiting fans, controversy, good racing and their team top of the table. What more can Bandits fans ask for?

BERWICK BANDITS 51

A Summers 2,1*,0, X = 3+1

K Doolan (c) 1*,2,2,3 = 8+1

Rider replacement- Jye Etheridge

D Howe 3,1,2,2,3,0 = 11

N Busk Jakobsen 2*,3,1*,3,3 = 12+2

T Pijper 1,2*,1,0,2,1 = 7+1

D Gappmaier 3,3,3,0,1* = 10+1

No.8 Kieran Douglas - Did not ride

REDCAR BEARS 38

T Proctor 3,2,1,3,T, = 9

M B Andersen 0,0,3,X= 3

D Berge 0,0,2,0 = 2

J B Andersen 1,2,1*,2,2 = 8+1

T Jorgensen 1,3,3,2,1* = 10+1

N Greaves 2,0,1,3,X= 6

J Stewart 0,0,0 = 0

Redcar Bears 50

Berwick Bandits 40

Berwick went down by ten points when the sides met at Redcar on Thursday.

The Bandits will look to the withdrawal of Jye Etheridge after a fall in his second ride - they were only two points down at the time - as a contributing factor, and they will consider of the loss of the losing bonus point as a blow.

But Redcar led virtually all the way through the meeting.

After Etheridge’s fall, the Bears took two successive 5-1’s which opened up a ten point gap at 32-22. Berwick managed to reduce the arrears with 2-4 and 1-5 which cut the deficit to four with only three races remaining.

But it was a 5-1 from surprise packet Jordan Stewart (who won three races) and Jonas Andersen in heat 14 which took the meeting beyond Berwick’s reach.

Berwick were best served by Aaron Summers who netted 15 points from six rides, which included three heat wins.

David Howe and Theo Pijper were the only other visiting riders to take the chequered flag, however, with one win apiece.

Stewart, with ten points at reserve, emerged as Redcar’s match winner, but in a solid all round tram performance there were also useful contributions from Jonas Andersen and two former Bandits in the shape of Thomas Jorgensen and Dimitri Berge, who both scored eight.

Redcar: J Andersen 11+3, Stewart 10, Jorgensen 8, Berge 8, M Anderson 6+1, Proctor 6, Greaves 1+1.

Berwick: Summers 15, Howe 7, Pijper 7, Jakobsen 4, Doolan 3+2, Gappmaier 3+1, Etheridge 1+1.