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Kevin Doolan's picture

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Back with a Bang!

It was definitely worth the wait after having a week off as the Bandits came out firing on Saturday against the Diamonds.

The win on Saturday won’t look like much on paper but there is a back story that adds to the real life drama of the event.

Firstly, Newcastle’s team is made up of several ex-Bandits, Matthew Wethers, Ludvig Lindgren, Carl Wilkinson and Tero Aarnio. Add in Ashley Morris who seems to be a regular guest against us.

Second, is the beating they gave us in the Tyne/Tweed fixture here a couple of months back and third is the issue many of us have with the Newcastle track.

All the above are parts of the puzzle we couldn’t ignore in the lead-up to last weekend.

On the plus side we had a positive finish to a tough meeting at Brough Park two weeks earlier, so we knew we had the heart and determination to out-perform them.

When the tapes went up at Shielfield on Saturday though, it was clear the Bandits were fired up. When we were unable to lead from the front, passes were made and in the end the score line was comfortable and the confidence and momentum swung in our favour going into the Sunday return match at Newcastle.

The Newcastle leg had been a long time coming for me.

I have to admit I’ve not ridden well there for a couple of years now but knowing that I have been working hard to improve my technique and my bikes. In recent weeks I’ve taken guest bookings at Newcastle for pretty basic money just to gain experience and test set-ups, all looking towards our league fixture.

As a team we had been talking about set-ups, testing at Duns and working hard to make sure we got something from Sunday’s away match.

There was a lot to overcome especially for Dany and Jye who will openly admit they can’t get their heads around the Newcastle track. Fortunately Dave and Aaron had been riding well there in recent times so we were able to gain some good feedback from them.

It was clear from the start on Sunday the hard work was paying off, heat advantages were coming our way and Dany and Jye were on pace.

I’ve said it before “speedway is a funny game” but Sunday proved that beyond doubt. I rode the best I have at Brough for maybe two years and scored the least amount of points I can remember scoring there!

I know riding well and putting pressure on opposition riders is important and the heat advantages that came from those heats boosted our team during the meeting. That said, I was fuming after my fourth ride as I couldn’t believe I had not made one start all day and despite having a little paddy to myself, that’s just racing.

We can be proud of our efforts on Sunday and taking one point off a struggling team might not sound a big deal but a lot of hard work and character went into making the best out of the situation.

We went with a winning attitude and we came away with our heads held high.