Injury overshadows Berwick Bandits draw with Glasgow Tigers

Jye Etheridge broke his collarbone
Jye Etheridge broke his collarbone

Honours were shared when Berwick met Glasgow away and home over the weekend in the Championship Shield.

The Tigers won 56-34 at Ashfield on Friday with the Bandits gaining swift revenge with a 52-38 victory at Shielfield on Saturday.

The Bandits in action against the Tigers

The Bandits in action against the Tigers

However, it was not without cost as, on Friday, Berwick’s Jye Etheridge sustained a broken collarbone when he fell after crossing the finishing line at the end of heat 14.

He is now expected to be sidelined for several weeks but, with the Bandits not now back in action until May 3, when they visit Edinburgh, he is not expected to miss too many meetings.

Despite only having six riders for Saturday’s meeting, Berwick still looked the stronger side. Craig Cook was the only Tiger to pose any serious threat, with five wins in his 16-point return.

His only defeat came in heat nine, which was probably the key moment of the meeting.

At that stage, Berwick only led by six at 27-21. Cook, after winning his first two rides comfortably, was used as rider-replacement, but he outraged by Dany Gappmaier and then kept back in third by Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen for a surprise 5-1 which put the Bandits 32-22 in front.

Another 5-1 from Aaron Summers and Kevin Doolan in 10 opened up a 37-23 gap and, despite Cook and James Sarjeant taking a 1-5 in 11, another 5-1 from the impressive Gappmaier and Leon Flint, who held off Rasmus Jensen for four laps, took the Bandits into an unassailable position.

At Glasgow on Friday, Berwick went down to a 56-34 defeat when proceedings were overshadowed by the Etheridge injury. He fell awkwardly at the end of heat 14 after crossing the line when finishing second to Paul Starke, with the Aussie having taken seven points, including one win in heat seven, in his three finishes.

Coty Garcia (heat two) and Aaron Summers (five) were the only other Bandits’ race winners on the night as the Tigers ran out comfortable winners.

Home number one Craig Cook was unbeaten as he raced to five straight wins for a full 15-point maximum, while there were also solid contributions from five other members of the team, Luke Chessell the only Glasgow rider failing to score.

After Etheridge’s win in heat seven Berwick were still in touch at only 22-20 down, but then the Tigers roared away with three successive 5-1s putting them in the driving seat at 37-23.

Three more heat advantages over the closing heats saw the home side go on to take maximum points from the meeting.