Berwick Bandits’ David Bellego was one of two riders taken to hospital last night following a “horrific” crash in the final of the Four Team Championships at Peterborough.
Bandits were confident of defending their title when, in the penultimate heat of the final, a challenge from Edinburgh Monarchs’ Craig Cook led to Bellego straightening up and going into Ipswich’s Rohan Tungate – the latter two riders slamming into the fence.
There was a delay while both riders were treated for their injuries and taken to hospital by ambulance.
The heat was re-run with Cameron Heeps taking the injured Tungate’s place as Cook took victory, while in the final race Monarchs’ Claus Vissing took the win as the Scottish side went on to be crowned champions.
Berwick team boss Ian Rae said: “Things were going magnificently for us; with two races to go we thought we had the strength to sneak this title for the second season running.
“Then David (Bellego) was left with nowhere to go after a hard challenge that swept his front wheel away.
“He couldn’t avoid running into Rohan Tungate, with the pair taking an horrific smash into the fence.
“At that point all meaning went out of the meeting and all our thoughts and good wishes are with David in the hope we find out he has somehow managed to escape serious injury.”
Bandits had qualified for the final as winners of their semi-final on 15 points, with Ipswich taking 12.
In the second semi-final, Newcastle Diamonds fell at the last hurdle, scoring 11 behind Edinburgh on 13 and Somerset on 14.
Diamonds team manager George English said: “We looked like we’d successfully managed to haul ourselves back into a good strong position midway through the semi-final, but an engine failure for Richie (Worrall) when he was leading heat six was absolutely devastating to our chances. Ludvig’s (Lindgren) double-zero return meant there was too much for the lads to do.
“It’s a short-format speedway meeting, and you can’t afford three poor returns out of eight in matches like these.”
:: Newcastle Diamonds’ Christian Henry is believed to have suffered two broken vertebrae and a broken finger following a crash involving team-mate Stuart Robson and Leicester’s guest Ashley Birks in the Lions’ 46-44 Premier League victory on Saturday.
Diamonds co-promoter Alan Hedley said: “The early indications point to two broken vertebrae and a broken finger. Obviously we all wish Christian a speedy recovery.”
Berwick Bandits lost 46-45 to Redcar Bears in Saturday’s other Premier League fixture.
FOUR TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL SCORING
Berwick: Kozza Smith 7, Ricky Ashworth 1, Robin Aspegren did not ride, Matthew Wethers 2, David Bellego (reserve) 6 withdrawn injured.
Somerset: Alex Davies 4, Josh Grajczonek 5, Kyle Newman 2, Nick Morris 6, Brendan Johnson (reserve) Did not ride
Ipswich: Rohan Tungate 4 withdrawn injured, Ben Barker 3, Leigh Lanham 6, Morten Risager 3, Cameron Heeps (reserve) 2
Edinburgh: Derek Sneddon 3, Theo Pijper 2, Claus Vissing 8, Craig Cook 6, Jozsef Tabaka (reserve) 2
1st Edinburgh Monarchs 21; 2nd Ipswich Witches 18; 3rd Somerset Rebels 17; 4th Berwick Bandits 16.