Thunderstorm puts Berwick speedway debuts on hold

Berwick new-boys Jonas Knudsen and Nathan Stoneman were all dressed up with nowhere to go at the weekend.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 27th June 2022, 9:44 am
Updated Monday, 27th June 2022, 9:44 am
Jonas Knudsen and Nathan Stoneman, whose debut hopes for Berwick were dashed by a thunderstorm.
Jonas Knudsen and Nathan Stoneman, whose debut hopes for Berwick were dashed by a thunderstorm.

The pair, drafted in as replacements for Ty Proctor and Kyle Bickley, were presented with their Bandits’ race suits and were looking to make their first appearances for the club in the home Championship league match against Scunthorpe.

But a heavy thunderstorm just half an hour before the start flooded the track and left the referee with no option but to postpone the fixture.

It was a bitter blow for Knudsen and Stoneman, who had both made lengthy journeys to get to Shielfield, meaning their debuts were put on hold until Wednesday, when the Bandits were due to race away at Poole.

No date has yet been set for the restaging, but Berwick will hope to be back to full strength when the teams eventually meet.

That’s because their top rider, Chris Harris, was due to miss Saturday’s clash as he was racing abroad in a World Longtrack event.

Originally, Bandits drafted in Glasgow No 1 Craig Cook as his replacement, but just the day before the meeting the authorities deemed that as Harris’s meeting on foreign shores was ‘unofficial,’ Cook was ineligible to take his place, and instead, one-time Bandit Paul Starke, previously with now defunct Newcastle, was selected to ride instead.

Team manager Gary Flint said: “When the rain started falling it was torrential and the track flooded quickly. There was simply no way we could race after that.”

Bandits were due to race at Poole on Tuesday, but their next home fixture is not until July 9 when the Pirates visit in the Championship.

Meanwhile, the Bullets went down to a 50-40 away defeat at the hands of Belle Vue Colts in Manchester in the National League on Friday.

The Bullets went into the last race six points down, still with a chance of claiming a losing bonus point. Kyle Bickley, who top scored with 12 points, made the gate, but he was overtaken by both home riders which meant they left empty handed.

This weekend, the Bullets are in KO Cup action with a semi-final clash against Leicester Lion Cubs. The teams meet in the first leg at Shielfield on Saturday with the return at Leicester on Sunday.