Tensions were riding high at the South Tees Motor Park in last night’s Premier League local derby with the Redcar Bears welcoming the Newcastle Diamonds.
It was a night of odd exclusions kicked off by the Bears’ Hugh Skidmore who was kicked out of heat one by the referee got not having a dirt deflector fitted with his reserve replacement Carl Wilkinson taking a fine win in the re-run over Andrew Tully and Stuart Robson in a shared 3-3.
With rain, sometimes heavy, lashing the stadium Lewis Kerr was penalised for touching the tapes in heat two, going off a 15 metre handicap with Wilkinson taking a second win of the night ahead of his new partner and former Newcastle Diamond Steve Worrall in a home 5-1 to put the Bears into the lead 8-4.
Tully became the next tape toucher to be excluded – this time in heat three, and was replaced by Kerr – who then did the same again to be excluded with the Diamonds running with only Ludvig Lindgren who won the race well from the gate as another 3-3.
Aaron Summers was untroubled in heat four ahead of Schramm and Richie Worrall, who had the better of his twin, passing Steve on lap two which took the score to 14-10 which led to two bizarre races. Heat five was stopped with Summers warned for moving at the tapes.
On the re-run the rider was then excluded for delaying the start with Robson then excluded from the heat for not being under power at the time of the stoppage, only for Kerr to suffer an engine failure in the final running.
That gifted a 3-0 heat result to Micky Dyer of Redcar, moving the score on to 17-10, but more was to come.
In heat six Ulrich Ostergaard lifted badly when leading and fell on lap one to be excluded from the re-start.
But as Skidmore was not under power at the time the race was stopped he too was out this time gifting a 0-5 to Richie Worrall and Schramm of Newcastle who narrowed the gap to 17-15. Lindgren and Tully made no errors in taking a solid 1-5 maximum from the gate in heat seven to put Newcastle 18-20 up at the matches’ mid-point, against all the odds.
By the time heat 13 was shared the match was on a knife-edge with the score standing at 37-37, and the teams could not be separated at the end of the night.
:: Tonight Berwick Bandits travel to the Lothian Arena to take on the Edinburgh Monarchs in the Premier League, with a 7.30pm start time.
Redcar: Ulrich Ostergaard 0, Hugh Skidmore 5+1, Matej Kus - Rider replacement, Micky Dyer 11+3, Aaron Summers (captain) 9, Carl Wilkinson 16+1, Steve Worrall 2+1
Newcastle: Stuart Robson 4+2, Christian Henry - Rider replacement, Andrew Tully 6+2, Ludvig Lindgren 14, Richie Worrall 12+1, Chris Schramm 5+1, Lewis Kerr 2+1