Dick Barrie's picture


It’s been a busy old week.

Last Wednesday I was at Somerset’s Oak Tree Arena to watch Jye doing his stuff for Belle Vue (ably assisted by spannerman-for-the-night David Howe he got 5, paid 6 and gave Jason Doyle a scare in Heat 6 – probably getting closer to him than any other Ace on the night) and enjoyed myself hugely at a venue I always like to visit – they’re nice people.

The next day, after a longish haul over to Suffolk, it was to be Ipswich, to see our KLS Bandits.

Except, I didn’t see them.

Arriving in town about 3pm after a sun-kissed 4-hour, 250-mile safari, I noted a few spots of rain spitting as I popped into my chosen ‘digs’. Nothing to worry about. Had a rest, up again about five and out for a meal.

It had been raining, the streets were wet but it was obviously clearing up.

Then, while I was getting myself outside a nice steak in a pub close to the track about half-past five, my phone suddenly erupted with a number of texts – the meeting was off!

Well, I was right there -- the rain hadn’t been much and was all cleared up before six.

Indeed, it turned out to be a lovely warm, dry evening.

But without any speedway. Which made me grumpy.

But that’s what happened, and we’ll be going back there in August to try again. By which time the Witches might be at full strength, with Danny King and Roo-boy fit and available. Just saying……

The next night I was back in God’s Country, and – along with John Anderson and Dennis McCleary among others – watched as Glasgow went down by just two points in the first leg of their KO Cup-tie at Armadale.

Leaving the stadium, I think we were all fairly certain that would be enough to see the Tigs through to the quarter-final against the good guys at the end of June. Aye, right!

Saturday night, with no Shielfield action – the sport really is in a mess just now, well and truly Bustered fixture-wise – it was the telly, and playing “spot the Bandits flag” as the cameras panned the Marketa. Not the greatest GP maybe, but certainly one of the great finals!

On Sunday I was broadcasting to the nation (www.crystalfm.co.uk) as usual, casually watching updated scores from Ashfield and noting that the home side were indeed easing ahead of the capital crew.

However, just I was observing the Tigs were still 36-29 ahead with just four races remaining, the gods were quietly slipping a horseshoe into fate’s boxing-glove.

Checking again when I came off air, I realised the Monarchs, not the Tigers would be our quarter-final KO Cup opposition.

I mean, who saw that coming? Funny old game, speedway……..

Last night (Monday) I was back in front of the gogglebox, checking out Spud and NBJ in action for Rye House.

No complaints there – in the so-called ‘big league’, both Bandits collected 8 good points (worth noting their illustrious team-mates, former GP regulars Krzysztof Kasprzak and Chris Harris scored less).

I believe that was Nikolaj’s last outing for Rye as stand-in for Stuart Robson, but I look forward to his continuing to pull in the points for the KLS good guys for the rest of the term.

Starting on Saturday. Against the Geezers. With whom we have a Shielfield score to settle. Oh yes…….

Want to disagree with Dick (as so many do?). He is always happy to hear from interesting people at dick@crystalfm.co.uk