Berwick Jewson Bandits have first leg advantage in Border Trophy after beating Workington

Danyon Hume battles with Workington skipper Craig Cook. Picture: Taz McDougallDanyon Hume battles with Workington skipper Craig Cook. Picture: Taz McDougall
Danyon Hume battles with Workington skipper Craig Cook. Picture: Taz McDougall
Danyon Hume says that his Berwick side “means business” after rattling in seven heat maximums against Workington in the first leg of the Border Trophy on Saturday.

The winter signing, one of five Bandits’ debutants on the night, top scored with 12 points and set the home side on their way with a stunning victory over visiting big guns Craig Cook and Claus Vissing in the opening heat.

Cook crashed out of the meeting with a suspected broken thumb in his second ride and that misfortune, as well as costing Workington a 5-1, put their hugely inexperienced middle order under huge pressure.

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Former Bandit Vissing, and to a lesser extent Troy Batchelor, kept Workington afloat, two 5-1s from the final three heats giving the scoreline – 56-34 – a sheen of respectability.

But while the Comets’ struggled, the Bandits showed strength in depth with reserves Bastian Borke and Freddy Hodder rattling in eight points apiece and bringing the crowd to its feet with some thrilling passes.

With Jye Etheridge also among the points, Berwick dominated despite relatively modest returns from their top two of Rory Schlein and Lewis Kerr.

They were made to work hard, all seven home riders having to ride the boards to pass Workington riders who were fairly strong from the gate but unable to stem the tide of six 5-1s in seven heats mid-match.

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Finn Antti Vuolas was the pick of their debutants and was worth much more than his four-point return. German Celina Liebmann was gifted her first professional point in Britain when teammate Sam McGurk suffered mechanical problems.

Berwick’s strength in depth has seen them feature on many tipsters’ pre-season radars and on this evidence they will expect to be in the running come the end of the season.

With the second leg of the challenge match scheduled for Workington this afternoon (Sunday), a delighted Hume said: “It was an enjoyable night both personally and as a team.

“Winning well is a good start to the season and I think we showed tonight that Berwick are a solid team unit and also that we mean business this season.”

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