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Erik and Ricky in front in the last heat Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Comfortably through to the next round

REPORT Saturday 30th June 2018, 11:51pm

by Mike Hunter

We hoped after Friday's good performance that there would be no scares in the second leg of the KO Cup quarter final, and so it proved as we took control in the early stages at Shielfield and really were never in danger.

Alex Harkess said "We did what we came to do which was qualify, and we avoided any stress by doing well in the early stages of the match. It was a nice evening but I don't think there was a lot of excitement for the crowd."

The final score was a 48-42 home win for Berwick leaving the Staggs Bar Monarchs as winners on aggregate by 99 – 81.

The most notable thing about tonight's match was its almost total uneventfulness. The riders were no doubt working hard, but there wasn't the slightest hint of an overtake after the second bend, and each race was simply a case of waiting for time to pass as the riders completed the four laps.

The first five heats virtually ensured that we would go through as we added six points to our first leg advantage. Ricky Wells was once again in imperious form and won heats 1 and 5, and to our great pleasure new boy Victor Palovaara backed him up both times for two 5-1s. Add in that Joel Andersson won heat 2, Erik Riss won heat 4 and Mark Riss took second place in heat 3.

Thereafter with qualification being the main goal of the weekend, we let things slip away a bit and lost 5-1s in heats 6, 8, 12 and 14 before Ricky and Erik took a maximum very easily out of heat 15. Erik had had one third place off the unproductive gate 1, and Ricky's only blemish was an engine failure due to damaging clutch plates in heat 13. In fact this was his third set damaged during the evening.

While we were pleased to go through without any heart failure, we can't be completely happy with the fact that we almost cornered the market in last places against the solid Bandits, taking 12 of them during the evening (Max Ruml had four in another disappointing away match for him).

Mark Riss fell three times during the evening, including an awkward one when holding third place in heat 10. He was a bit battered but should be OK for tomorrow's Fours at Redcar.