Bandits take the spoils

The Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles suffered a second successive defeat on their Northern Tour, losing 52-38 to the Berwick Bandits. Despite keeping the scoreline relatively close up to heat seven, the home team took advantage thereafter, dominating the second half of the meeting. The Eagles guest, Nick Morris, top scored for the Sussex side with 11.

Bandits 58: Garcia 10+1(5) Flint 9+3(6) Busk Jakobsen 9+1 (4) Summers 8+1(4) Doolan 8+1(4) Gappmaier 7+1(4) Etheridge 7(4)

Eagles 32:  Morris 11(5) Lawson 7(5) Kerr 6(5) Newman 5+2(4) Edwards 3(5) wood 0(3) Bowtell 0(3)

Here’s how our reporter Kevin Ling saw the action unfold:

Here now live a Shielfield Park – The Eagles set to go head to head with the Berwick Bandits – weather been fine for most of the day but now, typically, dark clouds overhead and rain in the air but riders have just been around on parade and we are set to go racing.

Bandits take 1 and 3 in heat one

Bandits: 1 Summers 2 Etheridge 3 Dany Gappmaier 4 Kevin Doolan 5 Nikolaj Busk Jacobsen 6 Coty Garcia 7 Leon Flint

Eagles line up as per programme 1 Nick Morris 2 Georgie Wood 3 Kyle Newman 4 Lewi Kerr 5 Richard Lawson 6 Alfie Bowtell 7 Jason Edwards

Riders now out for heat one:  Arran Summers (r) Joe Etheridge (b) Nick Morris (w) Georgie Wood (y)

Heat1 Etheridge rolled into starting tapes – Leon flint comes in in blue

Heat 1 Great opening ride for Morris who posts a gate to flag win over summers – at the rear of the field Georgie maintains pressure on Flint throughout but just couldn’t make it stick 3-3 3-3 time 65.8

Back at tapes now – here we go folks

Heat 2 Garcia (r) Flint (b) Bowtell (w) Edwards (y)

Bandits duo leave the traps in one and two, Garcia ahead, with Flint in pursuit and Alfie giving good chase – third bend of lap three sees Alfie come to grief unfortunately – up and okay but race awarded as a 5-1 to the hosts – 5-1 8-4 no time

Heat 3 Gappmaier (r) Doolan (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y)

Heat 3 Doolan gates – Lewi challenges hard round the outside on the opening lap but to no avail, the Bandits captain taking the win – Lewi and Kyle tuck nicely in for second and third leaving Gappmaier trailing 3-3 11-7 time 66.7

Heat 4 Jakobsen (r) Flint (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y)

Heat 4 One hell of a first two corners sees Richard emerge ahead and he would win by the proverbial street – Flint follows in second with Jakobsen shielding his back from the ever pressing Jason 3-3 14-10 time 66.6

Heat 5 Gappmaier (r) Doolan (b) Morris (w) Wood (y)

Heat 5 good gate from Georgie but he has his run into the first bend bend cut off but Gappmaier – Morris swiftly establishes another good lead ahead of both Doolan and that is how it stays a fourth 3-3 in the five races so far 17-13 time 66.2

Heat 6 Summers (r) Etheridge (b) Lawson (w) Bowtell (y)

Heat 6 Summers wins the battle into the first bend with Richard and the Aussie holds on for the three points that would realise a home 4-2 and increase bandits lead to 6-points (21-15) Etheridge rode a wide first two bends to come hard round the outside to get the better of Alfie. time 66.0

Heat 7 Jakobsen (r) Garcia (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y)

Heat 7 Jakobsen fastest from the start and it was pretty much job done as he hit the back straight – Lewi and Kyle held firm in second and third leaving reserve Garcia chasing shadows for a share of the spoils 3-3 24-18 time 66.7

Heat 8 Etheridge (r) Flint (b) Wood (w) Edwards (y)

Heat 8 Good gate from Jason, buts it’s Etheridge who hits the front and it’s he who takes the victory – Georgie keeping Flint honest for the full four laps but it wasn’t to be and it’s the bandits who secure the 4-2 to take them 8- points clear 28-20 time 67.9

Track grading currently taking place

Heat 9 Gappmaier (r) Doolan (b) Lawson (w) Morris (t/S) (y) replacing Alfie

Unfortunately the master plan failed to bear the hoped for fruit and despite Richard momentarily the holding the lead this time it was Gappmaier who surged through into the lead down the back straight and into the lead – Morris trailed Doolan and then disaster struck as he parted company with his machine on turn three – another 4-2 to the bandits though the important factor was that nick was soon to his feet – match seemingly slipping away however with the hosts now 10-points to the good 32-22 time 57.0

Heat 10 Summers (r) Etheridge (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y)

Heat 10 Etheridge takes the lead on turns one and two with Kyle and Lewi again occupying second and third – Summers wasn’t about to settle for that however and he comes through hard to join his partner for the 5-1 down the back straight – Etheridge taking the win from Summers with Kyle back in third and Lewi trailing 5-1 37-23 time 67.1

Apologies time for heat nine was 67.0 – not a supercharged track record – apologies folks

Heat 11 Edwards replaces wood in yellow

Heat 11 Jakobsen (r) Garcia (b) Morris (w) Edwards (y)

Heat 11 Another flying win for nick with Jakobsen in second – Jason challenges hard down the inside back straight on lap one and looks to have the beating of Garcia but it was the Bandit who would take third place 3-3 40-26 time 67.4

Heat 12 Gappmaier (r) Flint (b) Newman (w) Bowtell (y)

Heat 12 Gappmaier powers ahead in the early part to bank his second consecutive win – for a time it appeared that Flint might join him but Kyle rallied to snatch second place – a 4-2 it remained however and enough to give the bandits the win on the night the scores now reading 44-28 time 67.6

Heat 13 Summers (r) Jakobsen (b) Morris (w) Lawson (y)

Heat 13 Morris hit the front once more but Jakobsen would soon have his measure on the inside run down the back straight – summers was busting a gut to join his partner but Nick held firm to take second – not so joyful for Richard sadly – he would pull up and onto the centre green at the tail end of lap two 4-2 48-30 time 67.5

Heat 14 Doolan (r) Garcia (b) Kerr (w) Edwards (y)

Heat 14 Garcia takes the wide line and Doolan follows suit on the inside leaving slim pickings for Lewi who is unable to prevent bandits third 5-1 of the evening 5-1 and that puts Berwick over the half century – scores now 53-31 time 68.6

Heat 15 line up Etheridge (r) Jakobsen (b) Lawson (w) Morris (y ) Eagles in gates 1 and 3 in the final race

Nasty crash follows in heat 15 – Lawson leads from Etheridge out of bend two, Nick tries to go around Jye down the backstraight – they collide leaving the Eagles guest in the fence in the middle of the back straight – the momentum then sees Etheridge and Jakobsen come together and they both fall ending up on the centre green – Morris swiftly on his feet as was Etheridge – ambulance on circuit with paramedics tending to Jakobsen – hopefully precautionary as he is sitting on the stretcher – awaiting further announcements

Riders back out on track – I have to say inexplicably (to me at least but I can only call it as I see it) but Richard is disqualified – from where I was standing he was the only rider not involved – but I’m not the ref

Heat 15 Revised line up Garcia (r) Flint (b) Kerr

Heat 15 well the reserve duo have the home fans celebrating as Garcia and Flint outpace Lewi for the final heat 5-1 to set the final score at 58-32 68.9

Image: Eagles top scorer Nick Morris. Credit: Mike Hinves