Newcastle Diamonds team manager George English took the positives from yesterday’s League Cup defeat at Scunthorpe Scorpions.
The holders scraped a point after a last-heat maximum and English was bolstered by improved performances, saying: “We could have won and taken three or four points.
“Yet even going down by five I have to focus on the fact there were several improved performances which augur well for the future.
“Stuart Robson was unbeaten after a heat three two-minute penalty when he had to sort out a mechanical gremlin, ending up off the 15-metre mark.
“After than he won his last four races, including his vital heat seven tactical ride which was a superb 8-1 for us just when we needed it.
“Chris Schramm should be commended for gutsy and determined points-scoring with Anton Rosen again finding the form that helped us win many matches late last season.
“To lose was disappointing, but there were good redeeming features.”
Newcastle started unconvincingly and, with falls for Christian Henry and Nathan Greaves, the Diamonds’ National League guest to cover the absence of Lewis Rosen and the engine issues for Robson, found themselves 23-13 down after six races.
However, following the skipper’s excellent heat seven win ahead of Schramm over Scorpion reserve Ryan Douglas which took the score to a tighter 24-21, the chase was back on.
In heat nine Rosen shot away and skilfully moved Ashley Birks wide on bend one and then passed Thomas Jorgensen down the back straight, Schramm easing his way past the Scorpion on the last lap to form a solid Tyneside 5-1 and put Newcastle 28-29 ahead.
It came down to Robson and Rosen to rescue a point with a good 5-1 in the last heat..
The return League Cup encounter is at Brough Park tomorrow at 6.30pm, while the Berwick Bandits race Workington Comets – again in the League Cup (Borders Group) at Shielfield Park tonight at 7pm and at Derwent Park tomorrow, also 7pm.