Tigers roar to end Berwick’s unbeaten home league run

Berwick Bandits44

Glasgow Tigers46

BERWICK lost their unbeaten home league record when they were beaten by Glasgow in a thrilling last heat decider at Shielfield.

The in-form Tigers had targeted this as a potential victory, and in keeping it close throughout - there were never more than four points between the sides all night - they always gave themselves a chance.

In fact, the visitors never trailed until the Bandits overturned a two-point deficit after heat 12, two 4-2s giving the home side the lead for the first time after 14 at 43-41.

Suddenly Berwick had a chance of victory. But it was snatched from them when, first of all, Kozza Smith made the start only to be hauled back by referee Peter Clark for anticipating the tapes.

In the re-run, as so often happens, it was the visitors who took advantage with James Grieves racing away for his fourth win of the night, joined by guest rider Matthew Wethers for a 5-1 which gave Glasgow the spoils by the narrowest of margins.

Both sides fielded changed sides - Berwick used Edinburgh’s Craig Cook as a guest for the missing Charlie Gjedde and gave a debut to Swede Alex Edberg in place of the injured Hynek Stichauer, whilst Tigers used rider replacement for the injured Christian Henry and drafted in Wethers to replace fellow Aussie Josh Grajczonek, who was riding in a World U21 qualifier.

With Smith and Jade Mudgway winning the first two heats it was level at 6-6, but Glasgow pulled ahead with two successive 4-2’s in three and four, Wethers and Grieves taking the chequered flag as the visitors moved 10-14 in front.

A 5-1 from Smith and Cook over Grieves in six levelled it up at 18-all, before a run of four drawn heats moved the score onto 30-30.

During this period Smith won his third race in a row whilst Edberg, who got better with each passing race, picked up his first points for his new club. Glasgow, however, were not to be underestimated, and Grieves and Wethers kept the pressure on, before Joe Screen picked up his only race win of the night in 11, despite a storming ride from the back by Lee Complin to pass Theo Pijper.

It then transpired that young Nick Morris, who had scored in each of his first four rides, had suffered a suspected broken collarbone following a fall in heat 10, and he was withdrawn from the meeting.

The pressure was on, but the evergreen Grieves was at it again in 12, only for a Complin-Cook 4-2 in 13, split by Screen, to level it up again at 39-all and it was obvious the meeting was going right to the wire.

Wethers split Josef Franc and Mudgway in 14 as Berwick edged ahead for the first time, but Glasgow knew a 5-1 from the last race would still give them victory, and so it proved in an exciting climax.

Berwick - Smith 11+1, Complin 10, Franc 9+1, Cook 5+1, Mudgway 5+1, Edberg 4, Sike 0. Glasgow - Grieves 13, Wethers 11+2, Screen 9, Pijper 6+2, Morris 6+1, Rajkowski 1+1, Henry r/rep.