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George Dodds's picture

It’s true of so much in life: just as you begin to get good at something, find your rhythm, get into the swing then, poof, it’s all over.
Five home wins in a row – five out of six home and away – and a chance for a super six; albeit with Sheffield probably providing the stiffest of recent tests.
Mind you that’s what we said before Edinburgh arrived last Saturday.
Ian Rae and George Hepburn had performed their now traditional Saturday Shielfield transformation from Atlantis to perfect, even slightly dry, racing surface.
Nick Morris roared from the gate and looked rocket fuelled fast in heat one.
David Howe trailed in at the back – but that was fine because we knew he would get dialled in and score the points when it really mattered.
You see that’s what a winning run does for you.
Suddenly there are no fluttering hearts and jitters among fans or riders.
Simply put if a Bandit suffers a setback now then that’s fine; one, or both of his team-mates will sort it out in the next heat.
So young Ryan Terry-Daley shutting off too soon and getting caught on the line, Dany losing contact with his footrest and heading for the fence at an alarming rate of knots, Nick trailing two surprising lasts after looking untouchable in his first four outings, Jye looking a little underpowered in a couple of his rides despite jetting from the tapes – all a shame but no cause for concern.
Four of our six riders won races on Saturday – a Bandit took the chequered flag in 11 of the 15 heats.
It was domination on a scale rarely seen at Shielfield – and certainly not this season.
And this was all against an Edinburgh side which many still fancy to at least reach the playoff finals, even allowing for the injury the previous night which cost them the services of Sam Masters.
Special mention must go to David Howe for his superb victories in heats 13 and 15. I suspect that The Phoenix is another wishing that the season was not coming to an end.
And so Sheffield bring down the curtain on our 50th season this Saturday, tapes-up as always 7pm.
Respective number ones Josh Grajczonek and Nick Morris are chasing the Premiership Riders’ Championship at Belle Vue that night so the Tigers have shrewdly called in Stevie Worrall while Scunthorpe’s Ryan Douglas dons the Black and Gold number one race jacket which he has worn so well on a handful of occasions over the past couple of seasons.
No doubt about it the Tigers are tough test but they will find themselves facing a Bandits’ side which is unrecognisable to the one they comfortably beat way back in July.
It’s been a memorable season on and off the track at Shielfield.
There is just one more chance to enjoy the Berwick’s best Saturday night out in 2017.
You’d be daft to miss it.