GLASGOW fought back from an early deficit to defeat Berwick 54-36 in the Championship Shield at Ashfield.
The Bandits led by six points early on and were just two adrift by Heat 9, but the Tigers then pulled clear and recorded 5-1s in the last two races.
Claus Vissing (13+1) and Richie Worrall (12+1) topped the scorechart with reserve James Sarjeant adding 10+1. Dany Gappmaier scored 10 for the Bandits, who saw Jye Etheridge withdrawn with a wrist injury after a second-ride crash.
Sarjeant said: “I've put in a lot of hard work recently so it's good that it's paid off.
“I was disappointed in my performance in the first meeting and it's been a long wait for some points - but I'm feeling happier now.
“Given the rain we've had, I thought the track was brilliant - they did the best they could and well done to the club for getting it raceable.”
Berwick boss Scott Courtney said: “We ran them so, so much closer than anyone gave us credit for and frightened the life out of the Tigers with some great points.
“But there were always going to be clouds of rust billowing about as this was our first match of the season and some of the guys were having issues.
“But our new man John Lindman has shown us his true potential and there's a lot to come from him very soon.”
LAKESIDE took over at the top of the Southern group of the Championship Shield with a 54-35 win over Ipswich.
The Hammers will clinch a place in the semi-finals if they win the reverse fixture at Foxhall next Saturday.
Skipper Richard Lawson dropped just one point from five rides with a 14-point haul, whilst Adam Ellis added 12 including a win over tactical substitute Danny King in Heat 12 – and British youngster Alfie Bowtell got the better of Italian star Nico Covatti earlier in the meeting.
King scored 12 for the Witches with reserve Connor Mountain impressing on ten, but the Witches must now take maximum points from their remaining two matches to have any chance of topping the group.
Lakeside boss Will Pottinger said: “We’re really happy. Tt was a very solid performance from all seven riders. They all put in a good shift, we didn’t have many last places and there was a good mix of points from all areas of the side.
“It’s a convincing win against a well-fancied Ipswich side, so I suppose that bodes well for us heading into the rest of the season.”
Ipswich manager Ritchie Hawkins said: “I think you could tell there was a big difference from the boys that have never ridden, and it was a really tough night for them.
“Nico hasn’t been here very often and he improved every race as did Danyon (Hume), and how Connor rode was a massive positive.
“They have learnt a lot to go into the Knockout Cup match here and that is really important to us.”
EASTBOURNE snatched a 46-44 National Trophy win thanks to a dramatic late comeback at Plymouth.
The Eagles trailed by four points with two races to go but then notched a 5-1 through Charley Powell and Jason Edwards in Heat 14 as the Devils’ Bradley Andrews fell.
The home side still had unbeaten No.1 Adam Roynon in the decider, but visiting captain Mark Baseby took the flag with Georgie Wood in third place to turn the match around.
Eastbourne boss Connor Dugard said: “This was a superb performance away from home.
“It was our first team match of the year and Mark came up trumps and inflicted a first defeat on the night on Adam, just when it mattered.
“Jason Edwards had a brilliant full debut for us. I couldn’t be more pleased. What a way to start our season.”
EDINBURGH newcomer Matt Williamson is confident of success at his former home track Workington tonight (Saturday).
The Monarchs head to Derwent Park for their Championship Shield opener, after Friday’s scheduled clash at Armadale was called off.
Williamson, who joined Edinburgh over the close-season, said: “I had a great time at Workington but we have moved on to pastures new now, and it would be nice if we can go there and win. I think we can.
“Obviously a lot of the boys are really experienced and they do know a lot themselves, but as I have had a season at Workington I can always tell them what I’ve found and offer help if they need it.”
Meanwhile Berwick host Glasgow keen to avenge a 54-36 defeat at Ashfield on Friday in a match which was a good deal closer than that scoreline suggested.
The Bandits will take a fitness check on reserve Jye Etheridge, who hurt his wrist in a second-ride crash.
Boss Scott Courtney said: “We look forward to reversing the result tonight at Shielfield Park as we were really a lot better than an 18-point defeat which didn't reflect the match in reality.
“Jye has hurt his wrist in his crash, but we'll wait to see how he feels on Saturday before deciding what happens, but we certainly wish him well.”
EASTBOURNE begin another bid for the National League title when they host Buxton at Arlington tonight (Saturday).
The Eagles have been perennial runners-up in recent years and boss Connor Dugard wants them to shed that tag in 2018.
He said: “This is a match we expect to win and get three points under our belt.
“Having said that, in past seasons Buxton have given us more trouble here than we would have expected so we must take nothing for granted.”
Buxton manager Joshua Moss said: “It’s a hard way to start our season with a difficult first meeting for myself going up against a strong side like Eastbourne.
“A lot of the Eagles side have managed to get some track time also, while only one or two of ours have been able to get any due to the weather.
“I know many people expect us to just turn up and roll over and get a hiding, but I’m hoping that we can get a result that might just shock a few people.”
SATURDAY APRIL 14:
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Berwick v Glasgow 7pm, Workington v Edinburgh 7pm
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Eastbourne v Buxton 7.30
NATIONAL TROPHY: Stoke v Coventry OFF
SUNDAY APRIL 15:
CHAMPIONSHIP: Peterborough v Redcar 5pm
CHAMPIONSHIP SHIELD: Newcastle v Scunthorpe 6.30
TRAVEL PLUS NATIONAL LEAGUE: Coventry v Eastbourne 3pm
NATIONAL TROPHY: Buxton v Stoke 3pm, Mildenhall v Plymouth 3pm
MONDAY APRIL 16:
PREMIERSHIP: Belle Vue v Poole 7.30, Leicester v Somerset 7.30, Wolverhampton v Rye House 7.30
WEDNESDAY APRIL 18:
BRITISH UNDER-21 SEMI-FINAL, Birmingham 7.30
PREMIERSHIP: King’s Lynn v Belle Vue 7.30, Poole v Swindon 7.30, Somerset v Leicester 7.30
Lakeside 54 (Richard Lawson 14)
Ipswich 35 (Danny King 12)
Championship Shield points: Lakeside 3 Ipswich 0
Friday April 13, 2018;
Glasgow 54 (Claus Vissing 13+1)
Berwick 36 (Dany Gappmaier 10)
Championship Shield points: Glasgow 3 Berwick 0
Plymouth 44 (Adam Roynon 14)
Eastbourne 46 (Mark Baseby 11+1, Jason Edwards 11+1)
National Trophy points: Plymouth 0 Eastbourne 3