Newcastle Diamonds 62 Sheffield Tigers 34
(League Cup semi-final second leg – Newcastle Diamonds win 105-81 on aggregate)
Newcastle Diamonds are celebrating reaching the final of the League Cup following last night’s emphatic second-leg victory at Brough Park.
The Diamonds had worked hard on Thursday night to restrict the Tigers to a four-point lead, but knew there was even more hard graft over the last 15 races of the tie on home shale.
Stuart Robson forced his way up round Joe Haines off bend two to link with the leading Christian Henry in heat one.
He fended off a stiff battle from Tigers’ guest Richard Lawson behind to take a 5-1 which on aggregate wiped out Sheffield’s lead with the score 48-48. A dominant reserves’ race saw Lewis Kerr and Chris Schramm blow Damien Koppe and Facu Albin’s challenge to bits to slam home a second maximum to take the score to 10-2 and overall Newcastle now led 53-49.
Ricky Wells took the three points chased by Andrew Tully in heat three’s share.
Richie Worrall and Kerr then shot from the gate to again demoralise their Tigers’ opposition to extend the lead to 18-6 on the night and 61-53 overall.
Sheffield’s manager placed Lawson on a tactical ride in heat five and he took the race with ease from the gate.
However, behind him his partner Joe Haines was unable to score, restricting the double-points in a 3-6 result and slightly narrowing the score on aggregate to 64-59.
The fourth 5-1 was hammered home in no uncertain terms in heat six by Henry and Robson over Roynon and Albin, and the Tigers utilised their second and final tactical ride in heat seven on the head of Wells. Again the responsibility of double points worked wonderfully well, wild-riding Wells winding on the power to storm a fine win over Worrall in another 3-6 heat score, taking the score on the night to 29-19 and overall 72-66.
Henry and Kerr returned with a good 5-1 in heat eight over Albin to return the aggregate gap to 10 points, 77-67.
With Lindgren controlling heat nine out in front Tully, stuck at the back, dived fast under both Roynon and Koppe to form another 5-1 up front – extending the aggregate lead to 14 points.
A clear win for Henry in heat 10 was given to Robson, but it mattered not as it was still a fine 5-1 to the Diamonds.
That was followed in heat 11 by a wild second bend from Lawson, who rode Worrall wide towards the second bend fence.
The move won the Tigers the winning three points in a shared 3-3 to take the score to 47-25 and 90-72 overall, sealing Newcastle’s place in the fFinal against either Edinburgh or Ipswich.
Team manager George English said: “Solid scoring from top to bottom – that’s what gave us such a dominating performance.
“The lads were up for a win and a final place – and a big win at that.
“All seven Diamonds were at least paid for a win and that strength in depth will bring us success right through to the end of this season.”
BERWICK Bandits continued their recent good form with a 54-36 Premier League win over mid-table Scunthorpe Scorpions on Saturday.
NEWCASTLE DIAMONDS: Stuart Robson (Captain) 8+2, Christian Henry 11+1, Andrew Tully 7+2, Ludvig Lindgren 9+1, Richie Worrall 12+1, Chris Schramm 7+3, Lewis Kerr 8+3.
SHEFFIELD TIGERS: Richard Lawson (Guest) 13+1, Joe Haines 0, Ricky Wells 15, Richard Hall 0, Adam Roynon 2, Damien Koppe 2, Facundo Albin 2.