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Berwick v Comets - Meeting Preview!
Photo by Dave Payne
Fri 02 Jun 2017 by Comets Press Office
Berwick Bandits v Workington Comets (SGB Championship) - Saturday 3rd June 2017 at 7:00pm.
There is no speedway action at Derwent Park this weekend, with the Comets away in SGB Championship action at Berwick on Saturday evening, with the racing getting underway over at Shielfield Park at 7pm.

Berwick have endured a torrid start to their season with a succession of injuries blighting them from the very start of the campaign and, despite making several team changes, their luck has not improved as some of the newly introduced riders have also picked up injuries; including reserve Lee Payne and comeback-man David Howe, who suffered concussion in a spill in the Bandits home meeting with Redcar last Saturday. As a result the Bandits take to the track with two guest riders and rider replacement!

Nevertheless the Comets go into the meeting on the back of a confidence-building four successive victories and a strong desire to keep that winning run going. However, they will have to do so without second reserve Rob Shuttleworth, who sustained concussion and a thumb injury in a crash with Ipswich's Nathan Greaves at Derwent Park last Saturday evening.

Deputising for Rob Shuttleworth will be Scottish-based National League rider Ryan MacDonald, for whose help Comets team manager Tony Jackson is very grateful for, as he explained:

“We are the latest club to discover just how hard it is to replace an injured two-point reserve as quite simply it is almost impossible; in fact I genuinely feared that we wouldn't get anyone after making endless telephone calls.

“There are five eligible riders in the Championship but out of those five two are already riding, one is ineligible as he guested there for Berwick last weekend and two have other commitments.

“Then, when you look into the National League and of the clubs that aren't riding there are also several ineligible riders so you end up with almost nobody to turn to and, of those many are based very far south and bringing them all the way up to Berwick is not ideal for what is a difficult role to fill. So, with Ryan being Scottish-based and having previous experience of Shielfield Park it made perfect sense to use him in this situation.

“It was never easy replacing three-point assessed riders but now that their averages have been re-graded at two points for 2017 you have effectively halved the supply of riders eligible to deputise as the riders with an actual average of between 2 and 3 points are now excluded.

“As the season progresses and injuries and retirements kick in I can only see this reserve guest situation getting increasingly difficult to resolve!”

Meanwhile, for another Comet it will be something of a home-coming as heat leader Thomas Jorgensen spent the past two seasons at Shielfield Park before joining the Comets for 2017.

Thankfully any concerns he had regarding his left shoulder as a result of his heat 13 crash last Saturday have been allayed and he is fit and raring to go against his former club on Saturday!

The two teams will line up at Shielfield Park as follows:

Berwick ‘Olympus Marquees' Bandits:
1 Nick Morris, 2 Rider Replacement for the injured David Howe, 3 Todd Kurtz (guest for Dany Gappmaier), 4 Kevin Doolan (captain), 5 Lewis Bridger, 6 Jye Etheridge, 7 Nathan Greaves (guest for the injured Lee Payne).

Workington 'Thomas Armstrong' Comets:
1 Craig Cook (captain), 2 Mason Campton, 3 Ty Proctor, 4 James Sarjeant, 5 Thomas Jorgensen, 6 Matt Williamson, 7 Ryan MacDonald (guest for the injured Rob Shuttleworth).
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Last Updated :  Fri 02 Jun 2017, 16:50 UK
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Photography
Dave Payne, Adrian Randall