Newcastle Diamonds boss happy to get points on the board

Newcastle Diamonds bounced back from a weekend defeat to Workington by claiming their first points of the Premier League season at Ipswich Witches

Speedway action
Speedway action

Former Diamond Richie Worrall, Ipswich’s new number one, shot through the tapes in heat one to be replaced by Ritchie Hawkins in a re-run.

It was won in fine style by Lewis Kerr over Gino Manzares and Hawkins who swapped places with Stuart Robson before taking the point from the Newcastle skipper in a shared 3-3.

Chris Schramm made a superb gate in heat two but fell down the back straight when challenged by Hawkins, the Newcastle man excluded from the re-run expertly won by young Lewis Rose.

Rose was taken out of heat four, leaving Christian Henry to battle it out against Rohan Tungate and Hawkins -, but it proved too tough a task as Ipswich broke the stalemate with a home 5-1.

Robson righted his wrong from heat one with a stylish heat-five win backed up well by Kerr ahead of Morten Risager and Cameron Heeps to leave it at 15-15.

Schramm had been withdrawn from the meeting, but it meant Rose’s rides were going to be stretched - resulting in a second race where Newcastle went with one rider only with Henry again on his own in heat six.

Kerr’s spectacular heat eight win again levelled the scores, Rose taking third ahead of Hawkins to log a Diamonds’ 2-4.

Ipswich again took a four-point lead with Henry finishing third to Risager, who passed him on the opening lap and then Heeps who reeled him gently in over the four laps in heat nine.

Henry was out again in heat 10 as the rider-replacement for the injured Anton Rosen but soon found himself in last with Lindgren passing Manzares to reduce the maximum to a home 4-2.

Risager took his third win in the 12th just nicking the win on the line from Kerr but, with Rose having fallen on the opening lap ,the Witches took a 4-2 to go back to six up, 39-33.

However, an engine problem for Tungate took him out of heat 13 - allowing Robson and Henry a chance to grab vital points.

They took first and second well from the gate over Hawkins and Worrall.

Lindgen kept his best until last, winning heat 14 just when he needed to and, with Rose taking third on the line over a tiring Hawkins, the 2-4 levelled the match again 42-42 with one race to go.

Again a lifeline was handed to the Diamonds with Tungate suffering engine trouble again at the gate and having to go off the 15-metre handicap.

Lindgen rode a magnificent four laps to take the win but Tungate soon reeled in his handicap and passed Kerr on the run to the finish line again in an excellent race to share the heat and the match.

It ended a draw, giving Newcastle their first two Premier League points of 2014.

Team manager George English said: “I always believed we had a point or two in us for this match and the lads pulled out the stops and proved they are not as bad as they have appeared to be of late and at last we have points on the board.

“There are still issues and problems which need ironed out but our next match is at home on Sunday against Peterborough when we have to prove our worth to our fans.”

SCORING

Ipswich: Richie Worrall 4, Gino Manzares 8, Morten Risager 12, Cameron Heaps 4+1, Rohan Tungate 8+2, Tom Perry (guest) 1+1, Ritchie Hawkins 8+1.

Newcastle: Stuart Robson (captain) 6+1, Lewis Kerr 13+1, Anton Rosen – Rider replacement, Ludvig Lindgren 11+1, Christian Henry 7, Chris Schramm 0, Lewis Rose 8+1.

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