It's local derby weekend for the Berwick Bandits and Newcastle Diamonds this weekend with the Tyneside side visiting Shielfield Park tonight at 7.00pm in the SGB Championship league.
Berwick's unlucky - but recently uplifting season was sweating earlier this week on new about Nick Morris who was involved in a crash which saw Glasgow's Nike Lunna call time on his 2017 season, but thankfully soon discovered that the powerful Aussie at number one will indeed be back in his Bandits' saddle come tonight's local derby with Newcastle as Scott Courtney explained.
The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) have suffered this season in injuries, grotesque luck and a set of results which are certainly not the envy of the rest of the SGB Championship, but had the season started on August 1st, then the Bandits story of 2017 would have been a whole lot different.
The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) roared away to their biggest victory of 2017 over Workington on Saturday night with a superb 56-37 score-line to take three excellent SGB Championship league points taking their overall tally to 20, a mark that seems far, far away a month or two ago, but Saturday's win was their third in a row as the side's confidence has truly ignited.
The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) have a Workington double-bill starting at Shielfield Park tonight at 7, with the return SGB Championship league meeting at Derwent Park tomorrow at 7.30pm but as added spice the two matches will combine for the annual Border Trophy as well for the aggregate victor.
Two years and fifty one weeks ago a Bandit (Matej Kus) scored a maximum, a 20+1 paid on against Redcar, and the next one was last night when Nick Morris took a brilliant 17+1 over the Scunthorpe Scorpions in a tight match that was only settled after Heat 14 (some may say for Berwick in 2017 - "That's early!").
It was a match filled with the tightest first bends as demonstrated in the Colin Poole pic above which sees Nick Morris, David Howe, Michael Palm Toft and Josh Auty perfectly at the start of Heat 13 which had the crowd - again - on the edge of their seats.
It seems even regular guests are not exempt from the Berwick 2017 bad luck syndrome as young Jack Parkinson-Blackburn ended up in a heap on the first bend, and this after having shown what a great talent he with a massive pass round Simon Lambert off the fourth bend of the third lap in Heat Eight for a top class paid win in a vital 5-1 in a match that had everything and every point counted.
The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits powered by Mike Hope of Wooler go for a second victory over the Peterborough Panthers this season against the side they had failed to defeat for the previous 18 seasons when the side arrives in their second of three northern tour fixtures.
The Olympus Marquees Berwick Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) go into today's SGB Championship Fours at Peterborough with their only four available riders after the unfortunate situations last week which saw another season-ending injury for a brand new Bandit and a frustrating "in-out-back in again" situation that at least does see Berwick (and Scunthorpe) compete in the important national event at 2.00pm.
Tonight at Berwick the new promotion are carrying on the tradition set by the first owners of the club when the Taylor family ran the first Stars of Tomorrow championship for young up and coming riders in their third year of trading in 1971, with tonight being the 30th staging.