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Dick Barrie's picture

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Well, the season opened happily enough!

Great stuff from all our Banditos, plus good friends Theo and Matty – all in all, a fine night to begin with.

Even our match magazine earned plaudits, with a very nice e-mail coming in from Max Richardson to offer the contributors a bit of back-patting.

So let’s move on.

For the rest of the year we’ll be enjoying team action, with the Championship Shield the first objective.

This season there are three qualification sections, with the winner of each – plus ‘fastest second’ -- qualifying to the semi-final play-offs.

We are in the Border Group – there’s a Northern Group which includes Leicester, so you can see how speedway’s geography works – along with Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, who kick us off at Shielfield on Saturday night.

How will we do?

I’d suggest that three home wins are essential, plus some points somewhere on the road. But from where?

Well, if our seven can perform as well as a team as they did as individuals on Bordy night – and remembering the way our Banditos finished 2018 at Edinburgh and Ipswich – we have to be a teeny-weeny bit optimistic.

I am, anyway. I’ll be there on Saturday, as eagerly alert as a dog who has just seen you pick up a ball.

But..... There's always a "but"......

But I remember Newcastle coming to Shielfield last April and going at us with such vigour those Diamonds were TWENTY POINTS UP at the end of Heat 10!

We did recover, catch our breath and win the last five races 21-9, but the end result was long gone by then.

Matty Wethers and Ashley Morris – still there this time around -- led the Diamond Geezers’ charge that night, and the Banditos were, I regret to say, caught flat-footed (flat-tyred?) by the onslaught.

The end result pleased nobody of the Berwick persuasion (except maybe our centre-green presenter) and we have to hope this year swings the see-saw back in our favour.

What else is happening, speedway-wide just now?

Well, there’s a bounce match at Birmingham tonight to honour promoter David Mason’s career – even wee Peter never thought of that one – between the Brummies and Wolverhampton, with a guest on one side and rider-replacement on the other.

I had thought the BSPA in all their wisdom -- which at times has been shown to be less than infinite – had moved things around to avoid such happenings, giving supporters their own seven-man teams to at least start the season with.

But maybe we should just concern ourselves with getting it right up here, letting the wider world of speedway judder about, doing its thing.

To judge by Saturday’s Bordy, I’d say we seem to be getting it right. …..

All set to enjoy ourselves again this weekend?

Why not – onward and upward, Banditos!

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