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Moving Swiftly On
JEFF KING
Thursday 29th June 2017
What is a blog anyway and does anyone ever read it?
 
Should it be a light-hearted fun look at what’s been going on or a full-on rant about something that seems somewhat of an injustice? Perhaps it’s about being able to speak as an independent although through official sources?

I know not the answers to these questions, perhaps it’s a combination of all? But one thing I do know is that I enjoy writing the various ramblings and I hope I give those that read it food for thought and something worth discussing or considering.

I don’t profess to be a wordsmith, professional purveyor of words or anything in the slightest league of professionals but, I have a space and until someone tells me otherwise I’ll continue to fill it with words/thoughts of my choosing, I hope.

So I take you back to Sunday. Now as I was on the road coming back from Harrogate having spent the weekend with the wondrous Mrs King celebrating our 32nd Wedding Anniversary I confess to not being able to concentrate fully on my driving.

My thoughts were on the West Coast and with The Guys as they rode out the first leg of Sunday’s epic two-legged encounter. Confession #1, I genuinely thought we had to be within ten points to have any chance of progression.

Imagine my dismay then when I got home, logged on and found out that we had sixteen points to pull back. Confession #2 I didn’t think we could pull that back although I wasn’t about to express that publicly.

On arrival at Brough, there seemed a serene confidence about The Guys, they certainly weren’t talking or acting like a beaten team. Add in a blistering speech from Co-Owner Alan Hedley to the team and hey-ho, who knows.

A 4 – 2 from The Comets in the first with Cookie flying around in the fastest time of the season and things looked ominous. Then off flips Robert in Heat 6 and he’s out for the meeting. Now we were doomed, weren’t we?

During that delay I spoke with someone within the camp about Sunday’s Match Day Magazine for the Berwick home match. My “Spotlight” was meant to be Robert but he had far more important things to sort out and was away well before the crescendo of a finale.

I suggested Ludde, my conversational partner felt it might be better to wait and see what happened and that George/Alan were probably a better bet as perhaps they needed to voice a few things in response to some of the Social Media comments flying around.

We settled on a wait and see policy and concentrate on watching things unfold. Not often we make a constructive, sensible and ultimately informed decision but there you go.

So, Robert out = Diamonds out? Oh ye and the vast majority of others of limited faith. Unless of course you’re First Bend Billy the Tweak who had confidently predicted a 55 – 35 home win!

The drama unfolded, Ash was magnificent after a first ride doughnut, Lewi was right in the mix all night producing hugely important contributions, Stevie was Stevie and in Ben we found a reserve to pick up those all important points when we needed them.

And then to add to our efforts enter Injured Rider Replacement which certainly helped. Falls, ESSENTIAL and requested gradings from referee and riders and I was beginning to wonder if I’d make it home for breakfast!

Kudos to The Ranting One who kept people entertained and engaged in his definitely unique and flamboyant style aided and abetted by his wonderful sidekick Wee Elliott W!

Slowly but surely we edged back in it and then when Ben and Ludde went Hawaii 5 – 1 in Heat 14 we were suddenly 1-point up on aggregate with one race to go and all hell was being let loose on the terraces. Were The Diamonds going to pull off The Great Escape?

Tapes-up and a roaring in to the first bend we go where, IMH and uneducated O, Tommy Gun took his skipper out and both ended up sprawled on the track as Ludde and Steve went streaking away. On came the red lights, race stopped and surely Tommy-G excluded?

Nope, all four back was the decision and after what seemed like an eternity whilst all and sundry wanted to speak with Referee Wilson, the two-minute went on. Stevie and Ludde were ready as was Jorgensen but where was Cookie?

Excluded he be as the two-minutes expired. More delay ended when the two-minute warning sounded again much to The Diamonds fans surprise. Thing was Worky had the option to put Cookie back on albeit of 15 metres.

The clock ticked down and then went another exclusion klaxon and The New British Champion and GB Skipper was out altogether. Huge almost relief and celebrations rang out on the terraces. With only one Comet on line and the realisation that we were, baring a disaster, through!

George was out and amongst his riders. Ben sprinted down the greyhound faster than any dog I’ve ever backed with fuel for Stevie and it’s game on, Ludde and Stevie streaking away to a match-winning 5 – 1 to send us through to the next round and Lawrence even found the music from The Great Escape just to confirm it.

Unusually for me I watched this drama unfold from the terraces and not the centre green or pits. Mind you I’m pleased I wasn’t in the pits as knowing my luck I would have been hit by Cookie’s flying helmet, without the wet celery!

Various stories emanated from the sanctity of the riders enclave and quite a few different versions at that. Who am I to say but, surely there should have been some way of getting The British Champion on track and ready to try and turn the tide back in Worky’s favour?!?!

I do want to say that Sunday’s meeting and result shows how fast moving this sport is in more ways than one. Was it really only a week ago that the same fans, well some of them anyway, that roared Ludde and Stevie home jubilantly were critical of the same two after the Glasgow defeat?

The fickle finger of fate does indeed point in some strange directions at times.

But, as I say, Speedway is a fast moving sport. Already since Sunday Cookie and Supa have teamed up for The Aces to sink The Pirates at Poole. Robert and Ludde went head-to-head in Sweden with Ludde the victor, Lewis put in a great shift for The Stars at Wolves on Monday and Ben raced against The USA at Kent.

The Kings Lynn v Belle Vue clash was called off last night which was bad and good. Bad as three of the GB 4 for Saturday would have go invaluable practice, good because they were due to race each other and we all know what that sometimes means.

As well as Robert and Stevie having that major commitment on Saturday at Lynn for GB, Ludde is in action in The Swedish Final on Saturday night before jetting back to Brough. We, of course, wish them all well.

So, Sunday see’s The Bandits come a-raiding from the Borders. It’ll be an interesting one with Robert and Stevie out and Nick Morris also missing from the injury-ravaged Bandits. Perhaps the match should be re-billed as Glascastle/Newgow v Berwick Select 7?

Who knows but if it’s half as dramatic as last week you’d be silly to miss it.
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9.18

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8.93

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7.67

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7.03

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4.64

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2.00

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