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Bandits lose Etheridge at Redcar but battle well

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Redcar Bears 50
Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 40
SGB Championship

The Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) raced at the Redcar Bears with secret weapon Theo Pijper in at reserve, a rider who a couple of weeks ago was a Redcar man, until they rang the changes, and at the end of Heat Four, with the score 12-12, perhaps the Bears were starting to wonder about their decision.

4-2 down after Heat One, Pijper rode a good Heat Two to tuck in behind Jordan Stewart, the Bears' stunning new find, for two points as Dany Gappmaier held new man Nathan Greaves at the back in a 3-3, and following another 3-3 in the third, Pijper went one better in Heat Four when Thomas Jorgensen dealt with the challenge of Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen on bend two, the new Bandits flew to the front to lead early on and win with Busk Jakobsen taking the point for third over Stewart, the 2-4 tied the match.

Aaron Summers made a brilliant change of directing on the second to go from being out wide to whipping tight back to the inside line to pass both Dimitri Berge and Jonas B. Andersen in one fell swoop for a fine victory, but with skipper Kevin Doolan getting stuck to the rear, the 3-3 maintained the level score.

Ty Proctor led Heat Six ahead of Busk Jakobsen and Dany Gappmaier for what appeared to be another share until Gappmaier seemed to lose speed allowing Mikkel B. Andersen to take the point instead in a home 4-2 restoring the Redcar lead, 19-17 before Heat Seven needed a re-run when Greaves and Jye Etheridge had a coming together on the third bend of the opening lap, with the Bandit taking a heavy fall although a swift lay-down from the chasing Jorgensen saved a much worse scenario.

Etheridge needed an ambulance ride back to the pits as it was announced he had in any case been excluded from the re-run. Etheridge was then withdrawn from the meeting after a blow to the head with the injury rider replacement rule coming into play allowing his fellow Bandits' colleagues a chance to cover his other races, in this case, Gappmaier and Pijper only.

The re-run was magnificently won by David Howe with Jorgensen giving him a hard time in second, to share the race and move the scores on to 22-20, but a solid Heat Eight 5-1 from Stewart and Mikkel B. Andersen over Pijper and Doolan extended the home lead to 27-21.

Heat Nine went the same way with Berge finding his feet out front with Jonas B. Andersen who held Busk Jakobsen and Gappmaier to the rear as the Bears went 10 up, and Summers was drafted into Heat 10 as a tactical substitute along side Howe, and Summers did the business over Proctor for the three points as Howe took third over Mikkel B. Andersen in two fine battles, for a 2-4 narrowing the lead to 34-26 with five races to go.

However the Bandits' weren't done just yet and took a 1-5 from Summers and Doolan over Jorgensen in Heat 11, clawing themselves back to within four points of the home side, maintained with a Heat 12 share won by Berge over Gappmaier, who only just missed the win on the finish line, and Pijper with the score 38-34, but Stewart and Jonas B. Andersen ended the Berwick challenge with a Heat 14 maximum taking the Bears beyond in a fine fought match.

Bandits' team manager Scott Courtney said: "It was another night where the "Pride of Berwick" showed up well with some good battling races from most of the guys, although the blow to the side with Jye's injury was a telling point and left us understandably shorthanded just when Redcar turned the screw, but as ever there were positives in this match for us and we are looking forward to welcoming Redcar to Shielfield Park on Saturday where we will be making amends for tonight."

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Redcar Bears 50

Ty Proctor (guest) 1,3,2,E = 6
Mikkel B. Andersen 3,1,2*,0 = 6+1
Dimitri Berge 0,2,3,3,0 = 8
Jonas B. Andersen 3,1*,2*,2*,3 = 11+3
Thomas Jorgensen 2,2,1,3 = 8,
Nathan Greaves (r) 0,1*,0,N = 1+1,
Jordan Stewart (r) 3,0,3,0,1,3 = 10

Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 40

Aaron Summers 2,3,3,3,2,2 = 15,
Kevin Doolan (c) 0,0,0,2*,1* = 3+2
Jye Etheridge 1*,Fx,Ts,N = 1+1 withdrawn
David Howe 2,3,1,1 = 7
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 1,2,1,0 = 4
Dany Gappmaier (r) 1*,0,0,2 = 3+1
Theo Pijper (r) 2,3,1,1,0 = 7