Redcar Bears 49-40 Berwick Bandits

editorial image

Berwick claimed their first silverware of the season when they lifted the Tweed-Tees Challenge Trophy with an aggregate win over Redcar.

The Bandits who had built up a 20-point first leg lead with a 57-37 win on the opening night of the season at Shielfield, went into the meeting confident that they could return with the cup.

But with top rider Claus Vissing missing - he was riding in the Danish championships - they knew that they would have their work cut out if they wanted to try and complete the double over the Bears.

But with David Bellego winning heat one at the second attempt following a first bend spill, and former Redcar rider Matej Kus taking thenchequered flag in heats three and four, the Bandits found themselves 9-15 in front.

The next race was shared but two home heat advantages saw the Bears force their way back onto level terms at 21-all after heat seven.With the bit between their teeth the Teessiders started to exert their authority and another two 4-2s and a 5-1 saw them take a grip on proceedings at 34-26.

After the interval Bellego was excluded for a fall and Doolan won the re-run, before Kus somehow managed to hold off Wilkinson in the race of the night in 12, the Czech’s third win of the night seeing the score move on to 39-33.

In heat 13 birthday boy Bellego (he was 21) fell again and the race was awarded, a 5-1 to Redcar putting them 44-34 in front and in an unassailable position on the night.

In 14 Steen Jensen was excluded for bringing down Jan Graversen, the Dane holding off Matty Wethers in the re-run. But a win for Jensen in 15, with Wilkinson unable to find a way through, saw Bandits finish on a high, giving them an 11-point victory overall.

Redcar: Wilkinson 12, Graversen 11+1, Lawson 10+1, Summers 8+2, Skidmore 6+1, Konopka 2+1, Cang 0.

Berwick: Kus 12, Jensen 10+1, Doolan 9, Bellego 6+1, Wethers 2, Carr 1+1, Vissing rider rep.