Frustration continues for Bandits on and off the track

Chris Harris, left frustrated in British Final at Belle Vue.Chris Harris, left frustrated in British Final at Belle Vue.
Chris Harris, left frustrated in British Final at Belle Vue.
It’s been another frustrating week for Berwick Bandits Speedway.

First of all, they made it seven home meetings without a win when they went down 46-41 at Shielfield on Saturday in their final Jubilee Summer Cup group match against Glasgow.

Then on Monday, skipper Chris Haris was one of three riders leading the British Final at Belle Vue in Manchester when the meeting was halted because of rain.

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Harris, Dan Bewley and Tom Brennan all had eight points from their first three rides. The meeting will now be re-staged at a later date.

The Bandits have also continued to have to do without the services of Danish star Jonas Knudsen after his visa application was again not processed in time.

Even intervention from Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan couldn’t push through the visa – which the UKVI had originally indicated would be processed by last Tuesday.

Processing applications has been delayed by a government decision to prioritise applications for those fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Knudsen was able to make his debut for the Bandits using a Permitted Paid Engagement Visa but that ran out the previous Saturday.

Berwick promoter and team manager Gary Flint said: “It’s incredibly frustrating that despite the efforts of the club and our local MP – which had Jonas’s application advanced for consideration by the Home Office – the paperwork has not arrived in time.

“The club has followed the rules to the letter regarding Jonas’ visa application but we are completely in the hands of the UKVI. We did inquire about other ways of getting temporary permission for Jonas to enter the country and ride – including a second PPEV – but nothing was available to us.”

Berwick are now hoping all the red tape can be resolved by this weekend to enable Knudsen to go to the tapes for the club’s penultimate league (Championship) meeting of the season against Plymouth on Saturday (August 6).

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After Saturday’s defeat to Glasgow, Flint said: “Some recent performances have left a bit to be desired.

"We also haven’t had any luck, but we are determined to end what has been a difficult season results-wise on a positive note.”