Bandits power to home Championship Shield victory


Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 52
Newcastle "Boiler Technical Services" Diamonds 38
SGB Championship Shield (Borders Group)

​​Berwick and Newcastle launched themselves into official speedway action last night at Shielfield Park in the Championship Shield Borders' Group and it was the home side who romped to the early lead, taking a 14-point advantage with a score of 19-5, including three Bandits 5-1s and a 4-2 in Heat Four which was briefly led by Thomas Jorgensen who passed Nikolaj Buck Jakobsen who powered up to repass the Diamond off bend two.

Newcastle made a far better stab of Heat Five with Steve Worrall and Simon Lambert chasing hard behind Dany Gappmaier until the Bandits' Austrian dramatically came to a halt allowing both Newcastle men through to take an away 1-5 narrowing the gap to 20-10, but Doolan and Summers were back on it in Heat Six over Jorgensen to restore the home side's 14 point advantage while Lasse Bjerre overcame his mechanical gremlins and took his first ride in Heat seven and took second behind Busk Jakobsen in a shared 3-3.​

In Heat Nine Newcastle replaced Clegg with Worrall as a tactical substitute, and it was Worrall who forced his way to the front round Etheridge on bend two to take an easy win as part of a Diamonds' 2-4 with Jorgensen to take the score on the night to 35-19 before Bjerre and Wethers tightened the match up again after a solid gate in Heat 10 over the usually dominant Summers/ Doolan partnership to go into the interval 36-24.​

Out of the interval and Worrall was battling hard with Garcia off bend two when the Bandit appeared to shed a chain and ground to a halt allowing Newcastle to take a 2-4 to edge back within 10 of he Bandits, but the home side's Gappmaier rocketed to a fine win in the 11th after an initial battle with Bjerre over the first lap, going 12-up again for Berwick.​

Worrall won the tightest of battles on the opening bend of Heat 13 pulling ahead of Summers who came round Jorgensen for second and again put jus 10 points between the sides, but Etheridge, blasting wide off bend two round Wethers and Garcia teamed up for another Berwick 5-1 in Heat 14 putting the result, and the full three Shield points into the Bandits' coffers.​

Jamie Courtney, Berwick's co-owner/promoter saw a team ready to shine, saying: "Our first real test as a seven-man team really showed us that there's so much potential in these guys who could easily surprise a good number of other teams this season. Most people thought tonight would be a tighter result, but 14 points does me, thank you very much!

"Sunday at Newcastle is going to be naturally tougher, but we've got that determination to make a great start to the season and the away is all part of our plans."

Newcastle's team manager George English added: "We had issues from the off and lost Lasse Bjerre's first race because his cut out had failed on his bike, yet when he got going he took seven good points! Stevie Worrall was exceptional and only dropped points in his opening race to take a stunning 16 total, and while there was excellent effort from Thomas Jorgensen, Matthew Wethers and Simon Lambert, sadly points didn't come their way.

"We are out to make amends on Sunday, so Bandits beware, we're after swiftly inflicted revenge, Byker-style!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart:​

Berwick "Mike Hope of Wooler Ltd." Bandits (Powered by Clear Energy Consulting) 52

Aaron Summers 3,2*,0,2 = 7+1
Kevin Doolan (c) 2*,3,3,1,2 = 11+1
Dany Gappmaier 3,R,0,3 = 6
Jye Etheridge 2*,1,2,3 = 8+1
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 3,3,2,0,1* = 9+1
Coty Garcia (r) 3,0,R,2* = 5+1
Leon Flint (r) 2*,1,2*,1 = 6+2
Newcastle "Boiler Technical Services" Diamonds 38

​1. Steve Worrall (c) 1,3,3,3,3,3 = 16
2. Simon Lambert 0,2*,1,1 = 4+1
3. Lasse Bjerre N,2*,3,2 = 7
4. Matthew Wethers 1,1*,2*,1 = 5+2
5. Thomas Jorgensen 2,1,1,1,0 = 5
6. Max Clegg (r) R,R,R,Ts,0 = 0
7. Danny Phillips (r) 1,0,N,0,0 = 1