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Match Date: Sunday, September 10, 2017

Bandits 49 - Edinburgh 41

SGB Championship

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Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 49
Edinburgh "Parsons Peebles Monarchs" 41
SGB Championship

Local derby action with the Edinburgh Monarchs at the Berwick Bandits' Shielfield Park home rarely goes off quietly and reservedly, so expectations were running high before last night's SGB Championship league match with the Monarchs having already won in the Borders 42-48 back in April, the Bandits craved revenge.

The meeting would not have gone on, however, had it not been for the sterling work put in all day by Ian Rae and George Hepburn after the weather forecast proved incorrect with a mass of overnight and early morning rain leaving the track flooded at 6am, with the pair working continuously from early morning right up to start time to get a brilliant track surface to race on, and with the race times generally faster than the average - their tireless work was well worthwhile.

It was a tight start with Nick Morris bouncing off Mark Riss' side, but battled well into the front to lead and win will in a shared 3-3, the same score as Heat Two, but for a while it looked like Berwick were on a 4-2 with Jye Etheridge out in front and Ryan Terry-Daley holding a great third over Mitchell Davey until the Berwick guest shut off too soon on the run to the flag with Davey whipping through to share the heat.

Edinburgh broke the pattern when Ricky Wells jetted away to take the win in the third over Kevin Doolan on his second machine, as Dany Gappmaier fell on the third bend of the opening lap to end stone last in an away 2-4 taking the score to 8-10.

A fine gate and win from Erik Riss saw David Howe relegated to second place in another away 2-4 as Edinburgh moved four up, However Kevin Doolan shot from the Heat Five gate as Lasse Bjerre overhauled Gappmaier off bend two the first of two Berwick 4-2s was in the bag, with the second coming from Morris making the gate over Erik Riss as did Etheridge, until the Monarch shot back round Etheridge off the fourth bend of the second lap to level the match 18-18.

Morris' gating gave him a fine launch to lead the eighth heat well as Mark Riss took his chance to pass Etheridge off bend two, but that 4-2 put the Bandits into the lead 25-23 while a shared heat nine won by a mile by Erik Riss over Doolan kept the gap at two points whereas a brilliant fourth win for Morris left Wells standing, although the Monarch did keep Doolan in third for a 4-2 to extend the Berwick lead to 32-28.

Etheridge rode the race of his night in Heat 12, gating over Wells and Gappmaier taking a third to again record a Bandits' 4-2 and move them further forward 39-33 while Heat 13 started with Morris missing the gate and ending up at the back as Howe shot away to lead and win over Erik Riss and Bjerre to share the heat, leaving Berwick six ahead with two races to go.

Doolan went from third to first off bend two in Heat 14, and despite Etheridge losing a place to Pickering, the 4-2 was enough to seal the win for Berwick with one to go.

Team manager Gary Havelock said: "Well we were desperate for the win over Edinburgh and the guys went out and rode out of their skins to get it as that's all I've heard all week.... beat Edinburgh...beat Edinburgh, and we did which was a great result, and next week we've got the league leaders, Sheffield in town, but after this tonight, our fifth home win in a row, I fully believe we have the beating of Sheffield well within us and it's going to be a fantastic way to close our first year promoting Berwick.

"Before the season started I said the worst we could do would be to win he league in our first season as that would lift what the fans would expect and make next season a hard ask, and whilst I didn't mean finish stone last, the way the fans have stood by us, understood what we're doing, its actually been a pretty good first season's business, and the crowds have stuck with us and turned up every week. We put decent foundations in this year to really build on over the future.

"Tonight saw the last races from Nick Morris for us this season as he's in the SGB PRC at Belle Vue next week but what a great signing he has been for us and the guy has been a brilliant number one for Berwick after an under-par start for him by his own standards, he really dug in deep and made for some fantastic races, and we thank him for all his efforts - the guy's a star!

"Our fans can go to Glasgow in a couple of weeks of course and cheer Nick in the SGB CRC individual when he will be representing us.

"Got to thank Razor [Ian Rae] and Heppy [George Hepburn] who worked at the track from about 6 in the morning or some godforsaken hour right through the day after the track was flooded unexpectedly. If the forecasters had got their act together and given us accurate information we'd have had the track covered on Friday but as they didn't get it right at all, we nearly lost the meeting with the flooding, but Razor and Heppy worked a miracle and we had a great track to race on. Thanks guys!"

Individual Riders Score Chart:

Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 49

Nick Morris 3,3,3,3,0,0 = 12
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen - Rider replacement
Dany Gappmaier R,1,1*,1 = 3+1
Kevin Doolan (c) 2,3,2,1,3 = 11
David Howe R,2,3,2,3,3 = 13
Jye Etheridge (r) 3,1,1,1*,3,1 = 10+1
Ryan Terry-Daley (guest) (r) 0,0,0,N,N = 0
Kieran Douglas - Did not ride

Edinburgh "Parsons Peebles Monarchs" 41 

‚ÄčLasse Bjerre (guest) 1*,2,3,1*,1* = 8+3
Mark Riss 2,0,2,0 = 4
Ricky Wells (c) 3,2,2,2 = 9
Josh Pickering 1,1*,0,2 = 4+1
Erik Riss 3,2,3,2,2 = 12
Max Clegg (r) 2,0,R,N,0,0 = 2
Mitchell Davey (r) 1*,1,N,0,N = 2+1