Berwick Bandits make long trip south in search of third win of disappointing season

Berwick Bandits again call on teenager Luke Killeen as they prepare to visit patched-up Plymouth Gladiators in the battle of the wooden spoon on Tuesday night (September 5).
Luke Killeen guests for Berwick Bandits at Plymouth on Tuesday. Picture: Nia MartinLuke Killeen guests for Berwick Bandits at Plymouth on Tuesday. Picture: Nia Martin
Luke Killeen guests for Berwick Bandits at Plymouth on Tuesday. Picture: Nia Martin

The 17-year-old Aussie-born Brit replaces injured reserve Connor Coles as Berwick travel to Devon hoping it’s third-time lucky after two last-minute rain-offs this season. Having been released by Oxford following their signing of whizz-kid Ashton Boughen, Killeen has been a popular guest for a number of Championship teams, appearing for Edinburgh in Devon last week.

Plymouth have also been ravaged by injuries, with Ben Barker suffering a shoulder injury against Glasgow and Dan Gilkes damaging a wrist riding for Sheffield at Peterborough.

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Birmingham’s Justin Sedgmen – who scored 14 points in the Brummies’ early-season win at Plymouth – guests in place of Barker in both fixtures, with rider-replacement covering for the unlucky Gilkes.

Australian James Pearson was also in the victorious Birmingham side in May, his performance persuading the Gladiators to snap the Belle Vue asset up when he was released from Perry Barr, and they have been rewarded with some big scores, albeit in losing causes.

New Poole signing Joe Thompson guests in place of his brother Dan, who has yet to ride for his new club after suffering a shoulder injury riding for Ipswich during a period where Plymouth suffered seven consecutive rain-offs in a period bookended by Berwick’s two cancelled trips.

Thompson’s status as an eligible National League guest enables him to replace his twin on Tuesday night, Belle Vue’s Matt Marson filling the role when the teams meet in Tweedmouth on Saturday.

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Edinburgh were the latest to make the long trip home with the points in the bag, back-to-back 5-1s in heats 14 and 15 turning last week’s meeting on its head when it appeared that the combined efforts of Kyle Howarth and Richie Worrall had set up only their third win of the season.

It was not to be and their eight-point victory over Scunthorpe on the first night of their Championship campaign and the victory over Redcar remain their only victories.

For Berwick it’s the last chance saloon to rescue a disappointing season results-wise and, with a trip to Scunthorpe on Friday night and the return fixture against the Gladiators an opportunity to distance themselves from the foot of the table,

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