Berwick Bandits 52
Birmingham Brummies 39
For the fourth time in eight days, the Berwick Bandits came to the tapes for championship points – this time at home to the Birmingham Brummies, who boasted ex-Berwick hero Tero Aarnio.
However, down to six men before the start, with Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen on the injured list and rider replacement covering his races, heat one stopped before the first bend.
Aaron Summers became entangled with Adam Ellis, with the Bandit straightening up and hammering at full speed 90 degrees right into to the polyfoam fence, smashing the back board behind the polyfoam to pieces and two fence posts to boot!
Summers was withdrawn, taking the Bandits down to a five-man team before a race had been completed, although his injuries were nowhere near as bad as they could have been (right foot).
Injury rider replacement came into play and Coty Garcia replaced him in the re-run, which Ellis won with no trouble in the 2-4 result.
This was reversed in heat two, with Garcia racing away for the three points over Lawson, who was almost overhauled by Leon Flint on the run to the line. But 6-6 it was after two.
Aarnio took the third with ease as part of a Brummies’ 2-4 but an Etheridge and skipper for the night Flint solid 5-1 over Jason Garrity in heat four gave the Bandits a 13-11 lead.
Following a shared heatfive, Gappmaier came in for the injured Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen and Etheridge for Summers against Garrity and Josh Embleton. Again, despite Garrity’s efforts, the Bandits’ pair took the 5-1 taking the score to 21-15.
Aarnio had already been warned for moving in heat three and moved again in heat seven, which resulted in him coming out for the re-run off the 15-metre mark.
From this he couldn’t recover, as Garcia and Etheridge shot away for the 5-1, putting 10 points between the sides, which widened to 14 after heat eight 5-1.
Paco Castagna and Aarnio blasted away from the heat 10 tapes to take a straightforward 1-5 maximum over Gappmaier and Flint but the Bandits still had good lead, 37-23. Following a shared heat 11, heat 12’s 4-2 won well by Gappmaier gave the Bandits sufficient points for victory, which moved them up in the league table from ninth to eighth.
Team manager Gary Flint was full of praise for all concerned saying: “The guys, the five who were left, won this for Aaron as they all pulled together to make sure the points would be ours. We only hope Aaron will be fit for the return on Wednesday night. Everyone pulled together, from the riders to the track staff and all our volunteers who make these meetings happen week after week, or this week three times in a week.”
Berwick ‘Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd’ Bandits (powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 52, Birmingham ‘Edwards Plumbing’ Brummies 39.