Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
28/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 4
Still Flying High
Your Feedback
 
21/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 3
Harold MacNaughton
Your Feedback
 
14/02/2021
Olle Nygren
2020 Review - Part 2
Your Feedback
 
07/02/2021
2020 Review - Part 1
Your Feedback
 
31/01/2021
Debut: Joe Screen
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
24/01/2021
Review: Blood & Cinders
Your Feedback
 
17/01/2021
Tai Deserves a Gong
The J.A.P is Modern Art
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
03/01/2021
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Snapshots of Yesteryear
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2020
The Polish Problem
Mauger, Nielsen. World Finals.
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
16/12/2020
Simon Wigg Racing Plus!
 
10/12/2020
Review: Saving Speedway
 
06/12/2020
Great Races of the 70s/80s
The BLRC 1984
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
22/11/2020
Book Review: Dave Jessup
The BLRC 1983
Leif "Basse" Hveem
Your Feedback
 
15/11/2020
When Did it Start to Decline?
The BLRC 1982
Tracking Down the Swagman
Your Feedback
 
08/11/2020
Review: Before Air Fences
THE BLRC 1981
Dagenham
Your Feedback
 
01/11/2020
Review: Who Gates Wins
The BLRC 1980
Owlerton in the Sixties
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
25/10/2020
Doyle's Triple Crown
The BLRC 1979
Your Feedback
 
11/10/2020
New Cross Album 1936
The BLRC 1978
Your Feedback
 
04/10/2020
Sheffield 60s & 70s
The BLRC 1977
John Pilblad
Your Feedback
 


A Bandits' Dozen

Martin Dixon

How many riders do you need for a four-team tournament side? Four? Perhaps five if you want to have a reserve?

Sometimes you need a few more, let us tell you the remarkable story of the Berwick Bandits in the Northern Section of the Premier League Fours in 1998.

The series kicked off on 16th May on a misty night at the Bandits' own home at Shielfield Park. The Bandits managed only 21 points from the sixteen heats, some 13 points behind the Edinburgh Monarchs. Kenny McKinna (in his final season) was the star of the show for the Monarchs with a maximum and a new track record. The four Bandits on duty that night were Scott Lamb, David Meldrum, Peter Scully and Craig Taylor. Jorg Pingel and Rene Madsen would have been in the quartet but were missing due to foreign commitments.

Just eight days later the tournament carried on down the A1 at Brough Park in Newcastle. Pingel and Madsen were available this time while Scott Lamb, Peter Scully and Craig Taylor ensured some continuity from the first round. Taylor's night came to an abrupt end in heat four when he crashed out with a broken ankle. Jorg Pingel scored 6 of the Bandits 13 points, while Rene Madsen failed to trouble the scorers from the three rides he took to replace the unfortunate Taylor. Edinburgh again won the round, despite a 12 point maximum from home youngster Nicki Pedersen, surely the highlight of the lad's career?

Shawfield in Glasgow was the next stopping off point on 21st June. The Bandits had been juggling their resources as the averages allowed and had slipped Scott Robson into their line-up. He joined Messrs Lamb, Meldrum, Scully and Madsen as they collectively scored 19 points. The Bandits were again unlucky on the night as they lost Peter Scully in a collision with Sean Courtney, referee Will Hunter was alone in holding Scully responsible and excluded him from the re-run.

The fourth round was abandoned at Armadale on 17th July and lasted just 8 heats. In those races the Bandits managed to give debuts in the competition to another three riders - Martin Dixon, David McAllan and Wesley Waite. Wesley is the son of promoter Peter Waite and reputedly named after Peter's old Weslake.

The Armadale meeting was not restaged until 12th August, some three months after the opening round and in marked contrast to the years in which this Northern group would be staged over a single weekend.

The long gap between rounds had offered the Bandits further opportunity to strengthen their team. Scott Robson, Martin Dixon and Peter Scully were now joined by James Grieves and David Walsh. Both had recently been released by Elite League sides Wolverhampton and Coventry respectively.

The new look side picked up a respectable 26 points as the Bandits ended up with a total of 79 points. This placed them in fourth behind Edinburgh (118), Newcastle (103) and Glasgow (84).

If you've been keeping count you'll have noticed that the Bandits used an astonishing 12 riders in the series. Surely a roll call of sufficient length to pique the interest of Norris McWhirter?

The Bandits' individual contributions in each round were as follows:

 

This article was first published on 22nd April 2018

[ Use Mobile Version ]
 

 

Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

   Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole