Berwick Bandits 47-43 Kent Kings
Berwick Bandits 47-43 Kent Kings

Three superb 5-1s from Kent TouchTec’s top two of Troy Batchelor and captain Scott Nicholls saw the side battle to secure a bonus point in the first part of the double header match at Berwick on Saturday.

In a not dissimilar progression of scoring to the previous evening at Redcar, the visitors (reeling as they were from the shocking news that club team mate, Royals’ skipper Ryan Kinsley had had his van and all his bikes & equipment stolen the night before) found themselves tumbling to a couple of early heavy heat reverses and come heat six were eight points adrift.
The first green shoots of a recovery appeared in heat seven with Cameron Heeps taking the chequered flag and racing partner Paul Starke getting past Berwick’s Aaron Summers on the second lap to reduce the arrears.

The gap remained at six going into heat nine and this facilitated canny team manager Chris Hunt to be able to use the Tactical Sub rule, bringing n Batchelor to partner his skipper and as the evening before the move worked a treat, a 5-1 meaning suddenly the gap was a mere two.

Unfortunately though, the hosts’ home produced star Leon Flint was in very sharp form and his two heat wins in the next three heats (one a 5-1 with Aussie Jye Etheridge and the other a 4-2 with fellow former GB Youth Champion Kyle Bickley) brought the Bandits back up to an eight points lead by the time Nicholls & Batchelor combined together in their programmed pairing in heat 13. That too saw maximum delight for the visitors’ dynamic duo and meant that a positive outcome in the penultimate race of the match could yet see the TouchTec claim victory over the side two places and three points behind them in the SCB Championship table.

Sadly though was to end hopes of a victory as Austrian Dany Gappmaier and Danish team mate Kasper Andersen delivered a 5-1 of their own – for the TouchTec Kings it had really proven to be a case of ‘Mind the Gapp’.

There was still the possibility though of the bonus point always on offer to away sides who lose by six or less points though that would now require a third full house from Batchelor & Nicholls in heat 15 and they duly delivered; to mean that the Kings remain in eighth place in the league, with sixth place Scunthorpe next up – the North Lincs side visit Central Park on Tuesday 7th. September.

Berwick Bandits                                                        47

Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen – Rider Replacement     = 6+1

Jye Etheridge      1′, 2, 3, 2′, 0                                   = 8+2

Leon Flint            3, 3, 1, 3, 3, 0                                 = 13

Dany Gappmaier   R, 2′, 0, 3                                     = 5+1

Aaron Summers   2, 3, 0, 2, 1, 1                              = 9

Kasper Andersen   2′, 1′, F, 1′, 2′                              = 6+4

Kyle Bickley         3, 0, 2, 1                                          = 6

Kent TouchTec Kings                                                  43

Troy Batchelor    3, 1, 3, 3, 2′, 3                                = 15+1

Ben Morley         R, 0, R                                              = 0

Paul Starke          1′, 1, 1, 2                                         = 5+1

Cameron Heeps   2, 3, 0, 1                                        = 6

Scott Nicholls      2, 3, 2′, 3, 2′                                   = 12+2

Jake Mulford       1, 0, 1′, 0                                         = 2+1

Daniel Gilkes       0, 1′, 2, 0                                         = 3+1

Heat details

1 (rerun) Batchelor, Summers, Etheridge, Morley (ret.) 65.6  [3-3]

2 Bickley, Andersen, Mulford, Gilkes 67.2  [8-4]

3 Flint, Heeps, Starke, Gappmaier (ret.) 67.5 [11-7)

4 Summers, Nicholls, Gilkes, Bickley 65.5 [14-10]

5 Flint, Gappmaier, Batchelor, Morley 66.7 [19-11]

6 Nicholls, Etheridge, Andersen, Mulford 65.9 [22-14]

7 Heeps, Bickley, Starke, Summers 67.2 [24-18]

8 Etheridge, Gilkes, Mulford, Andersen (fell) 68.9 [27-21]

9 Batchelor, Nicholls, Flint, Gappmaier 67.9 [28-26]

10 Flint, Etheridge, Starke, Heeps 67.8 [33-27]

11 Batchelor, Summers, Andersen, Morley (ret.) 67.9 [36-30]

12 Flint, Starke, Bickley, Mulford 67.2 [40-32]

13 Nicholls, Batchelor, Summers, Etheridge 67.4 [41-37]

14 Gappmaier, Andersen, Heeps, Gilkes 68.0 [46-38]

15 Batchelor, Nicholls, Summers, Flint 67.9 [47-43]

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