With Newcastle Diamonds back on the trail of Premier League points, the prize was clear for all to see – if they took all four league points available then they would ride to equal second on 25 points with the Redcar Bears.
However, things got off to a poor start with the home opening pair of Thomas Jorgensen and Josh Auty defusing Stuart Robson and Christian Henry’s challenge completely in the first 5-1. With Lewis Blackbird and Ryan Douglas doing likewise to Lewis Kerr and Chris Schramm, the Diamonds were 10-2 down.
Following a shared third, and before a shared fifth heat, Richie Worrall stormed to a fine heat four win for a Diamonds maximum and the same rider won the sixth to tighten the match score 19-17.
Ludvig Lindgren and Andrew Tully expertly got the better of home skipper David Howe with fine manoeuvring to secure a vital Diamonds’ 1-5 to put the visiting side into the lead 20-22.
However, a fall for Henry on bend three of the opening lap of heat eight allowed Jorgensen and Blackbird to straddle Kerr in a home 4-2.
Michael Palm Toft fell and was excluded from the ninth and needed medical help on the track, while in the re-run Birks again hit home a win followed by Worrall and Schramm in another shared race.
With the score at 27-27, Auty jetted ahead to take a heat 10 win over Lindgren as Jorgensen and Tully passed and re-passed each other on every lap.
The Scorpion took the point on the run to the line in a home 4-2 to return Scunthorpe to the lead again 31-29.
It was Robson’s turn for a fall in heat 11 but, with Henry winning the 3-3 did nothing to adjust the leadership, but a welcome win for Tully over Douglas in heat 12 saw Newcastle levelled the match again at 36-36.
Disappointment descended upon the Diamonds’ camp in heat 13 with Howe and Auty taking a maximum 5-1 over Robson and Worrall who ended up at the back despite spirited chasing.
Lindgren and Kerr took an equally fine 1-5 for Newcastle in heat 14 comfortably over Douglas and Birks to tie the score again 42-42.
A 4-2 in the thrice-run final heat gave the Scorpions the win, but at least Newcastle took one league point from a hard-fought match to go equal fourth with Ipswich.
SCUNTHORPE: Josh Auty 12+2, Thomas Jorgensen 7, Michael Palm Toft 2, Ashley Birks 10, David Howe (captain) 7, Ryan Douglas 4+2, Lewis Blackbird 4
NEWCASTLE: Stuart Robson (captain) 4, Christian Henry 4+1, Andrew Tully 7+1, Ludvig Lindgren 9+1, Richie Worrall 10, Chris Schramm 3+1, Lewis Kerr 7+2