Doolan finishes season with the fans

With the Berwick Bandits now closed for the winter, ahead all eyes were focused on Sheffield’s Owlerton Stadium for the Premier League Riders’ Championship.

The Bandits had their skipper Kevin Doolan in harness, but he made the worst of four gates in heat four in a well spread-out race won by Sheffield’s own Simon Stead.

Heat five was Doolan’s next outing and was up against Steve Worrall of Newcastle as well as Sam Masters of Edinburgh and David Bellego of Redcar, and it looked like the Monarch was up for the win early on before Bellego flew round all three opposition to take a very fast win leaving Doolan with one point and Worrall empty handed.

Sadly for the vocal Berwick support, Doolan effectively ended his challenge in heat 12 as home man Kyle Howarth took a dive under the Bandits’ skipper, relegating him to the back to give him one point from three rides, but he did make his best start of the night in heat 14, sadly to be passed by Glasgow’s Aaron Summers on the second bend to take his total to three.

With one race left each, the joint leaders were Glasgow’s Richard Lawson and Stead on 11, with both Bellego and King on nine, while at the end of the fifth round of qualifying Doolan closed his account on five after a tremendous heat 19 victory over Holder, Auty and Vissing.

Doolan promptly left the track and joined his adoring Berwick fans on the terracing.

With Lawson and Stead straight into the final, Bellego, King, Masters and Holder were out first to contest the semi with the top two also making the final, and joining Lawson and Stead were former Bandit Bellego and Edinburgh’s Masters.

In the final, Masters took the early lead with home man Stead chasing hard before diving hard up his inside line to make the pass and hold the lead and the title to the end after some hard retaliation from second-placed Masters ahead of Bellego in third and Lawson.