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Meeting Preview - COMETS v BERWICK
Photo by Dave Payne
Sun 05 May 2013 by Comets Press Office
WORKINGTON COMETS v BERWICK BANDITS (Premier League)
Monday 6th May at 7:00pm, Derwent Park, Workington

Bank Holiday Monday evening sees the Berwick Bandits make the journey over to Derwent Park for the return fixture against the Comets following Workington's last race victory at Shielfield Park on Saturday evening.

The Bandits, who are the Comets oldest rivals having been their first-ever opponents when speedway came to Derwent Park on April 3rd 1970, will be desperately seeking revenge for their 44-46 home defeat on Saturday and are sure to provide tough opposition once again.

Traditionally both clubs put up a determined display on each others' circuit, which only adds to their friendly rivalry and Monday promises to be no different.

The Comets will have Rene Bach in the side once more following his trip home to compete in the Danish Championship semi-final on Saturday. Meanwhile, coming into the side is former Comet, and indeed a former Bandit, Chris Schramm (4.68), who will be riding as a guest in place of his good mate Chris Mills (4.83), who is currently sidelined with a broken left wrist.

Essex-based Chris Schramm is currently a member of the Plymouth side under the new promotion down on the south coast and next week he races in the televised British Final at Wolverhampton, having qualified from the Sheffield semi-final just over a week ago.

Meanwhile it will be a welcome return to Derwent Park for Richard Lawson who made his return from injury at Berwick on Saturday evening (scoring 14+2 from six rides) having been out of action for ten days with back and chest injuries following his crash at Birmingham while riding for Lakeside in the Elite League.

Berwick have injury concerns of their own, with their number one rider, Ricky Ashworth (8.71), currently ruled out with the effects of concussion following two high-speed crashes at Glasgow and then at Edinburgh in the British semi-final.

Coming in to replace him will be Somerset's Australian rider Nick Morris (7.98), who had a mechanically challenged evening in that position at Berwick on Saturday evening and will be hoping for better fortune at Derwent Park. Morris has a good recent record around the Workington circuit and is sure to provide a stern test for the Comets top-end.

Providing support to Morris will be another Australian, the all-action Bandits skipper Kozza Smith (7.23), who is making good progress again following the accident back in Australia in the winter of 2011/2012 that resulted in him suffering a badly broken thigh during the Australian Championships.

Occupying the third heat leader berth in the Bandits side is Sweden's Robin Aspegren (6.63). The former Newport rider put in some very impressive performances around Derwent Park last season and is expected to be a threat on this occasion too, as is the in-form 19-year-old French rider David Bellego (5.37) who began his British career with Glasgow before switching to the Bandits last season.

Joining the Bandits this season, following many years at Edinburgh, where he enjoyed a successful testimonial season last year is South-Australian rider Matthew Wethers (5.77) who is relishing the new challenge offered to him by the Bandits

At reserve the Bandits have the exciting Swede Alex Edberg (4.36) who is making a successful comeback following an injury-hit 2012 which saw him miss the latter half of the season at Berwick following a crash at Shielfield Park, and Danish rider Nicki Barrett (3.75) who joined Berwick late on in 2012 and was offered a team place again this season, although bizarrely his pre-season training was interrupted by a back injury sustained in a freak accident while away on a ski-ing holiday in Austria!

Following the Premier League fixture there will be a four-heat Northern Junior League match between the Workington Meteors and the Berwick Border Raiders.

WORKINGTON ‘THOMAS ARMSTRONG' COMETS
1 Richard Lawson (Capt.), 2 Tero Aarnio, 3 Rusty Harrison, 4 Kyle Howarth, 5 Rene Bach, 6 Ashley Morris, 7 Chris Schramm (guest).

BERWICK ‘NEW HOLLAND' BANDITS
1 Nick Morris (guest), 2 David Bellego, 3 Robin Aspegren, 4 Matthew Wethers, 5 Kozza Smith (Capt.), 6 Alex Edberg, 7 Nicki Barrett.
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Last Updated :  Sun 05 May 2013, 13:54 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall