With just three play-off meetings left for qualification for the Premier League Title Grand Final, and Redcar having already beaten Newcastle on Teesside 10 days previously by a substantial margin the only way to keep a finger in the Championship pie was to take as big a win over the Bears last night.
With matches with the tough Somerset Rebels still to race it was absolutely critical to make every point count last night, but with the out of touch Micky Dyer calling off sick and former Newcastle skipper Mark Lemon coming is as his replacement nothing was a certainty for the Diamonds aspirations.
That determination was on display right from the off with Richie Worrall blasting from the gate to lead an win well followed by Lewis Kerr over former Newcastle skipper and Redcar guest for the ill Micky Dyer, Mark Lemon in the perfect 5-1 start.
Chris Schramm made the gate in Heat Two but it was Kerr who swooped away to lead and take the win as Carl Wilkinson and Schramm battled hard for all four laps, the Bear splitting the Diamonds in a home 4-2.
Ludvig Lindgren has had a reputation for making slow starts to home matches, but not in Heat Three last night when he was next to jet away from the gate an ride a brilliant race to take the three points with Andrew Tully taking third behind the fast Ulrich Ostergaard in another 4-2 to move the score on to a good Newcastle 13-5 lead.
Aaron Summers made no mistake in getting a shared heat in Heat Four by winning well from the gate over Kerr and Anton Rosen before Lindgen and Tully made another superb effort to skin Lemon decisively from the tapes who had no answer in the Newcastle maximum 5-1 taking the score to 21-9.
Worrall and Kerr teamed up for another 4-2 in Heat Six before Redcar nominated Ostergaard as a tactical ride for double points in Heat Seven which he magnificently won from a massive gate leaving Rosen and Schramm in his wake in the 3-6 result which narrowed the score to 28-17.
Lindgren and Kerr were dominant in the extreme from the start in Heat Eight to easily score a solid 5-1 over Hugh Skidmore and Max Dilger with another 5-1 that pushed Newcastle’s lead to 13 points at 33-18.
Summers then came out as a tactical ride in Heat Nine - the Bears’ last chance of double points, and again he made no errors in blasting Tully and Lindgren’s challenge to pieces in the 3-6 result narrowing the score again to 36-24, which went up to 41-25 after another solid Worrall/Rosen 5-1 in Heat 10.
Heat 11 was a shared race won by Rosen over Lemon, as was Heat 12 won by a mile by Ostergaard with the score now 47-31, but Newcastle still needed a better race-points difference and had to hammer a few more 5-1s in to the pot which Worrall and Rosen did wonderfully well from the gate keeping Lemon and Summers well under control.
Lindgren and Kerr made light weather of seeing off Matej Kus in Heat 14 for another 5-1 and going into the last race the gap was 24-points at 57-33, and in the final
Summers did a wall-of-death move to keep on his bike on bend two of the last race after Lindgren moved him very wide but the Swede ran hard and took the win in the 4-2 to end the match at 61-35 to sincerely help their play-off hopes.
Team manager George English said: “We had to race with a high level of determination and that’s just what they did and took a good sizeable win which will have helped our cause, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”
Individual Riders’ Score Chart:
Newcastle: Richie Worrall 13, Stuart Robson - Rider replacement, Andrew Tully 7+1, Ludvig Lindgren 16+1, Anton Rosen 10+3, Chris Schramm 2+1, Lewis Kerr 13+4
Redcar: Mark Lemon (guest) 4, Hugh Skidmore 1, Ulrich Ostergaard 12, Matej Kus 1, Aaron Summers 14, Carl Wilkinson 3+1, Max Dilger 0