Bandits’ meeting stopped after Ricky Ashworth taken to hospital after horror smash

Last night's meeting was abandoned in the 11th heat after Berwick rider Ricky Ashworth was rushed to hospital after a serious crash

Rene Bach (left) and Ricky Ashworth
Rene Bach (left) and Ricky Ashworth

Last night's meeting was abandoned in the 11th heat after Berwick rider Ricky Ashworth was rushed to hospital after a serious crash.

Ryan Douglas and David Howe made the heat 11 gate with Bandit David Bellego storming round both Scorpions off bend two, Ashworth then squeezing past Howe on lap two but being caught Howe’s chain – causing the Scorpion to grind to a halt.

Ashworth then powered up to get on terms with Douglas on the fourth bend of the third lap but overcooked his manoeuvre and smashed heavily into the safety fence on the home straight past the point where the air fence runs out, his head seemingly taking the brunt of the impact.

The paramedics were instantly on the scene and proceeded to administer extreme medical treatment for the prone Bandit, placing him on a backboard for precautionary measures.

The Berwick favourite was loaded into the ambulance which then immediately left the stadium, the full paramedic staff accompanying Ashworth on his way to hospital.

The meeting was abandoned immediately with the score standing, although so shocked were the assembled fans no one was particularly bothered about that. Prior to the drama the meeting began with Ashworth shot from the heat one gate along side his partner David Bellego but the forceful Josh Auty split the Bandits coming out of bend two – and it was the Border travellers who took the early lead 4-2.

Lewis Blackbird and Ryan Douglas put Scunthorpe back into the driving seat after a solid heat-two maximum, although Nicki Barrett and Paul Starke did make a go of it at the back but failed to hold their points with the Scorpions now leading 7-5.

At 11-7 down after the third, Berwick skipper Kozza Smith made no errors from the gate as he shot off to lead well and take the three points from David Howe.

However, with Starke at the back, the heat could only be shared 3-3.

Bellego and Ashworth gated in heat five’s re-run but Nicolai Klindt shot round Ashworth to split the Bandits until he took a line way too wide on bend four to allow the Bandits number one to regain second and score a 1-5 to level the scores at 15-15.

Robin Aspegren and Mathew Wethers took another Berwick 1-5 from the gate in heat seven with a brief challenge from Howe on Wethers coming to nothing and shooting the Bandits into the lead 20-22.

Thomas Joregensen made a great gate to win heat eight over Bellego in a 4-2 to level the scores at 24-24, but Klindt and Douglas surrounded Smith in a home 4-2 in the ninth to put Scunthorpe back into the lead 28-26.

Auty was strong from heat 10’s gate and took a comfortable three points with Aspegren taking second after a hard battle from Jorgensen in third to extend the home lead to 32-28 before the final heat 11 took to the track.

Berwick’s team manager Ian Rae was naturally shocked as the meeting was closed.

He said: “We don’t know anything about Ricky’s situation or condition at the moment but he’s with the medical staff who are working with him to make sure he’s comfortable and make a start on recovery. The best people are with him and we wish him well and will report more to our fans as the news is released via our media outlets and the club website.

“All at Berwick Speedway wish Ricky all the very best.”

Tonight the Bandits welcome Edinburgh Monarchs to Shielfield Park (7pm) for a Premier League fixture.

Newcastle Diamonds take on the Sheffield Tigers at Brough Park tomorrow (6.30pm), also in the Premier League.

Scunthorpe: Josh Auty 6, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Nicolai Kilndt 7, Ashley Birks 1, David Howe 3, Ryan Douglas 5+1, Lewis Blackbird 5+1

Berwick: Ricky Ashworth 5+1, David Bellego 9, Robin Aspegren 7, Matthew Wethers 2+1, Kozza Smith 7, Nicki Barrett 1, Paul Starke 0

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