Crunch two days for Berwick Jewson Bandits as they look to progress in two competitions

Bandits' Drew Kemp, right, battling with Edinburgh Monarchs' Max James. Picture: Keith HamblinBandits' Drew Kemp, right, battling with Edinburgh Monarchs' Max James. Picture: Keith Hamblin
Bandits' Drew Kemp, right, battling with Edinburgh Monarchs' Max James. Picture: Keith Hamblin
Having tasted defeat for the first time this season, Berwick Bandits must bounce back strongly in this weekend’s double test.

They travel to Edinburgh tomorrow night knowing they need a victory over the Monarchs if they are to progress into the knockout stages of the BSN Series competition.

That follows their 40-50 defeat at Glasgow last Friday, the Tigers also taking the aggregate point as former Bandit Claus Vissing top-scored with 13 points, guesting for Leon Flint, who was on Great Britain duty.

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Vissing, along with Chris Harris, 12, and Steve Worrall, nine, recorded nine heat wins between them as the Bandits’ struggled to overcome the middling return of their guest, Justin Sedgmen.

There were encouraging signs with Drew Kemp rattling off three victories and reserve Bastain Borke adding another eight points to his impressive tally for the season, all earned from the back as the young Dane continues to cement his place as a fans’ favourite.

But with the rest of the side generally missing the spark which had seen them win their first four matches of the season, Berwick never seriously threatened to break a losing streak at Glasgow which stretches back to 2014.

“It’s disappointing but the mark of where we are as a team is how we bounce back,” team manager Stewart Dickson said.

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“Qualification is still very much on the cards, but we have to do our bit by winning at Armadale on Friday. We did it last year in the BSN and there is no reason we cannot do it again.”

With number one Lewis Kerr still recovering from a broken ankle, Dickson will again be negotiating for a guest to cover both the BSN Series crunch match but also the Knockout Cup quarter-final first leg against holders Scunthorpe at Shielfield Park on Saturday night.

Berwick won the cup in 1980 and 1989, reaching a further five finals but their record has been modest in recent years.

“We still haven’t hit our straps as a team. Some such as Bastian have done more than we could have hoped for, the rest of the team have had their moments but need to find a bit more consistency,” Dickson said.

“There’s the opportunity to put ourselves on the front foot in both competitions. It is up to us to take it.”

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