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Bears expect fierce challenge from Bandits.

Byline: KEITH MCGHIE

JADE Mudgway has warned against complacency when championship chasing Redcar entertain lowly Berwick Bandits at the Media Prima Arena tomorrow nigh.

The Agilia Bears have won their last four meetings and six of their last seven to climb into the fourth and hold final play-off spot in the league table with a three-point cushion and a match in hand of nearest rivals Sheffield.

Berwick have languished in the bottom two for much of the season and have yet to win away, with just a single point to show for their efforts on the road.

Bears' team manager Mudgway, who during his racing career appeared 78 times for the borders club between 2011 and 2012, stressed: "I don't think it should be our toughest match but, like everyone that comes to Redcar, we can't afford to underestimate them.

"We have a very fair track which almost all riders seem to enjoy racing on and that always makes it difficult.

"Half of their team used to ride for Redcar, so they are packed with people who know the quickest way around our place.

"And they will want to get some points from us as we beat them at their place and destroyed their unbeaten home record a couple of weeks ago.

Ex-Redcar skipper Aaron Summers - who spent four popular years on Teesside up until 2014, scoring 1,359 points - fellow Australians Kevin Doolan and Jye Etheridge, plus Argentinian Coty Garcia have all spent time with the Bears, while the Bandits bring in another South American, and another track specialist, Nico Covatti, as a guest for Dane Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen, who hurt his shoulder in a crash at Berwick on Sunday.

The Bears are at full strength, although German star Erik Riss also took a tumble while riding for Premiership side King's Lynn at home to Peterborough on Monday.

Mudgway reported: "It was a nasty first bend crash, but Erik is healing up pretty well I understand.

"It's always a concern when you have riders who compete for other teams in other leagues, but it's something I try to put to the back of my mind."

Riss had won his first three races in Norfolk and Michael Palm Toft, who also represents the 'Stars' in the upper tier, scored ten, while Bears recently crowned British Champion Charles Wright accumulated 8+1 for the Panthers, despite a tapes exclusion in his second outing.

Redcar have lost just once on home shale this year - to Scunthorpe on July 12th - and that was with a hugely understrength team, minus number one Riss and Australian Under-21 International Jordan Stewart, and with no adequate cover for either.

Mudgway admits he still harbours a soft spot for the Bandits but that won't any difference to his resolve to come away with three point tomorrow evening. He added: "Berwick have been taken over since I raced there and most of the people I knew have moved on, although it was a strange feeling the other week - the first time I've ever been to Shielfield Park and not wanted to see the Bandits win!" Riss and Wright have been announced as Redcar's representatives in the Championship Individual meeting, which features all of the leagues top riders, at Sheffield's Owlerton Stadium on Sunday, September 1. It has also been confirmed that Tom Woolley, who has struggled for points at reserve since being signed mid-season and was rumoured to be in danger of being dropped, has been guaranteed his place in the team for the rest for the campaign.

AGILIA BEARS: Erik Riss, Kasper Andersen, Michael Palm-Toft, Jordan Stewart, Charles Wright (captain), Tom Woolley, Nathan Greaves. BERWICK BANDITS: Aaron Summers, Dany Gappmaier, Nico Covatti (guest for Nicolaj Busk Jakobsen), Kevin Doolan (captain), Jye Etheridge, Coty Garcia, Leon Flint

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Jade Mudgway

Redcar Bears have won their last four meetings
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2019
Words:640
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