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Bandits go three clear at the top of the league!

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Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 51
Redcar "Ecco Finishing Supplies" Bears 38
SGB Championship

Having gone down by 10 points at the Redcar Bears on Thursday night, the Berwick Bandits were keen to redress the balance an show the Bears the quickest way round Shielfield Park - and go clear at the top of the SGB Championship - in last night's return fixture, although without Jye Etheridge who was still suffering the effects of a fall on Thursday night.

Guest Bear, Ty Proctor made easy work of the Heat One win well ahead of a hard-chasing Aaron Summers and Kevin Doolan, before Dany Gappmaier shot through a minute gap on the outside of bend two round Nathan Greaves in Heat Two, and held it to the end despite a fine chase from the Bears' number six to put the Bandits 2-up, while a solid 5-1 from the fast gating David Howe and Theo Pijper over Jonas B. Andersen and Dimitri Berge in the third took Berwick's early lead to 12-6.

A second Bandit' 5-1 followed in the fourth from another lightning gate from Gappmaier and Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen over an unusually slow-gating Thomas Jorgensen putting Berwick 10 ahead, however in Heat Six Jorgensen rediscovered his skills from the tapes and shot away to win with Doolan on his tale early on, but the win was set in a shared 3-3 result and the score now 24-12.

Heat Seven saw Busk Jakobsen make the speediest gate from the inside and took the lead as Pijper found himself squeezed out by Berge and Jonas B. Andersen, but the Bandit reserve fought back round Berge on bend three to assist with a 4-2 result and extend Berwick's lead to 14 points.

Mikkel B. Andersen and Greaves made the sharp gate in Heat Eight but Doolan battled hard to gain second place in a Bears heat advantage, but come Heat Nine the opposition replaced Greaves with tactical substitute Proctor to partner Jorgensen against Howe and Pijper and it was Jorgensen who took the lead as both Bandits swooped round Proctor who rode a hard pass under Pijper on lap two and then chased down Howe, but to no avail as another visitor's 2-4 went into the record book taking the score to 32-22.

Heat 11 saw an horrendous spill on the third bend as Mikkel B. Andersen fell heavily as Pijper passed him, his bike landing on top of the polyfoam fence and his partner Proctor laying it down swiftly. The stricken Bear was excluded from the re-run in which Proctor won comfortably for a share of the points.

Still 10 apart, Jorgensen went down on the first bend of, what turned out to be epic of biblical proportions, Heat 13, but the referee called all four back for a re-run, only for Proctor to do the same necessitating a second all-four re-run, in which Jorgensen went down on bend one, with a third all-four re-run called as Proctor burst through the tapes, resulting in his exclusion to be replaced by Greaves in the fourth attempt to run the heat.

Summers then jumped the start and was called back for a fifth start, in which Greaves ran into the back of Busk Jakobsen which spat him off the back causing Jorgensen to lay down at speed, stopping the race again with Greaves' exclusion going into an incredible sixth re-run, only for Summers to come down off bend two with his exclusion in readiness for a record seventh re-run, won by Busk Jakobsen for a 3-2 sealing the Berwick win an placing the Bandits three points clear at the top of the Championship League Table.

Team Manager Scott Courtney said afterwards: "Top of the league? I like the sound of that! We're about half way through the season and we need to keep this momentum going to stay up there and prove the critics who predicted we'd be at the other end of the table wrong. It was an entertaining match, with a bit of everything that got the crowd going, especially that unbelievable Heat 13, but all the guys pulled their weight, and even if the points didn't come from some, their positive influence was still shining bright in the pits and as always it was a true team effort!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 51

Aaron Summers 2,1*,0,Fx = 3+1
Kevin Doolan (c) 1*,2,2,3 = 8+1
Jye Etheridge - Rider replacement
David Howe 3,1,2,2,3,0 = 11
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 2*,3,1*,3,3 = 12+2
Theo Pijper (r) 1,2*,1,0,2,1 = 7+1
Dany Gappmaier (r) 3,3,3,0,1* = 10+1
No.8 Kieran Douglas - Did not ride

Redcar "Ecco Finishing Supplies" Bears 38

Ty Proctor (guest) 3,2,1,3 = 9
Mikkel B. Andersen 0,0,3,Fx = 3
Dimitri Berge 0,0,2,0 = 2
Jonas B. Andersen 1,2,1*,2,2 = 8+1
Thomas Jorgensen (c) 1,3,3,2,1* = 10+1
Nathan Greaves (r) 2,0,1,Ts,3,Fx = 6
Jordan Stewart (r) 0,0,N,0 = 0