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Unpredictable Bandits take fine win over top-dogs

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Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 49
Lakeside Hammers 41
SGB Championship

This is a topsy-turvy season for the Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope of Wooler), winning unexpected victories, losing easier options, and that trend certainly continued much to the home fans' delight on Saturday night.

The match against the high-flying Lakeside Hammers was always assumed - by many - would be a win for the visitors, but the Berwick Bandits have been going through rigorous planning and training and it certainly showed as captain Kevin Doolan, pointless last week, soared round Nick Morris to take up the lead and a fine win, and with Aaron Summers taking third over Ben Morley, Berwick were 4-2 ahead.

That doubled to 8-4 after Heat Two won from the gate by Dany Gappmaier, as Jye Etheridge fought well for a third place point after his serious crash the night before but the meeting suffered a major hold up when Ulrich Ostergaard reared violently off bend four while in a 1-5 with Kyle Newman, and clattered heavily into the fence.

He was duly excluded, and the heat awarded a shared 3-3, the same score as Heat Four when Chris Harris rounded the fast gating Gappmaier taking the score to 14-10 which was reduced to a two-point lead after Morley shocked the crowd with a win over the chasing Howe who was in turn being chased down by Morris for the 2-4 score line.

Doolan passed Harris in Heat Six for a fine win with Summers taking third in the 4-1 before Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen soared away to win Heat seven by a mile backed up by Etheridge in a home 5-1 to extend the Bandits' lead to 25-17 as it was announced Ostergaard had been withdrawn with a collar bone injury.

Morris was brought in to replace Wajtknecht as a tactical substitute along side Harris as the pair jetted away from the gate leaving Lindman and Howe to fend for themselves at the rear in a stonewall 1-5 to take the scores to 29-25 before Summers shot round from third to first off bend two of Heat 10 to join Doolan up front in a solid 5-1 to restore the eight point lead.

Lakeside hammered in another 1-5 of their own in Heat 11as Morris and Morley, the latter having his best Shielfield meeting in memory, over a hard chasing Jakobsen, but with four to go Berwick led by 35-31.

Newman moved at the first running of Heat 14, before Bowtell was excluded for a fall, then Newman moved again at the third attempt which resulted in his disqualification and a 15 metre handicap leaving a clear run to the first bend for Howe and Etheridge to take a match winning 5-1 with the score 46-38.

Team manager Scott Courtney said afterwards: "What a great win that was tonight and all the hard work we've put in this week as a team has really paid off with the good improvements easy to see and our skipper, Kev proved he's still a teenager at heart by scoring almost a maximum tonight including a win over Chris Harris of all people. The whole team weighed in tonight with six of them taking wins or paid wins while John Lindman looks to be improving too as his second place in Heat 12 showed him up to be a far more confident rider that we've seen so far. We can do this.... as a team pulling together ... we can do this!"

Individual Riders' Score Chart

Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope of Wooler) 49

Aaron Summers 1,1,3,0 = 5
Kevin Doolan (c) 3,3,3,2*,2 = 13+1
John Lindman 1*,0,1,2 = 4+1
David Howe 2,2,0,3 = 7
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 1*,3,1,3,1* = 9+2
Jye Etheridge (r) 1,2*,0,2* = 5+2
Dany Gappmaier (r) 3,2,0,1* = 6+1

​​Lakeside Hammers 41

Nick Morris (c) 2,1,3,3,1*,3 = 13+1
Ben Morley 0,3,2,1,2* = 8+1
Ulrich Ostergaard (guest) Fx = 0 (injury rider replacement) withdrawn injured
Kyle Newman 3,0,0,3,1 = 7
Chris Harris (guest) 3,2,2*,2,0 = 9+1
Zach Wajtknecht (r) 2,0,1*,Ts,0 = 3+1
Alfie Bowtell (r) 0,0,1,N,Fx = 1