Newcastle Diamonds travelled to their most feared venue again last night to tackle the Sheffield Tigers in the Premier League knowing that to keep up their good league record in 2013 they would have to be on top of their game from the off.
The Diamonds, however, came down to Earth with a juddering jolt in heat one with Chris Schramm demolishing the tapes at the first ask, with Lewis Kerr coming is as his replacement, but Joe Haines and guest Richard Lawson shot well away from Newcastle’s new number one Richie Worrall in a home 5-1.
A shared heat two was followed up by another 3-3 won convincingly by Andrew Tully.
Adam Roynon and Facu Albin were split by a determined Stuart Robson in heat four’s 4-2, but an excellent gate for Worrall in the fifth saw him dominate the pack to score a fine three points.
Heat six was won well by Lawson and seven taken by Tully exchanged 4-2s, but Robson made a brilliant effort from the gate in heat eight to take a solid win.
The match was 36-all going into the interval.
Roynon and Lawson made Newcastle job all the more harder after heat 13 by taking an easy 5-1 over Robson and Worrall.
And with the score now 41-37, and two races left the Diamonds had to knuckle down to rescue some league points.
Schramm suffered an inopportune engine failure in heat 14 in third place and with Kerr taking the win, it meant with the score at 44-40 Newcastle’s Tully and Worrall needed a 1-5 over Lawson and Roynon to draw the match.
Worrall spent the four laps like a rash all over Lawson’s rear end, but with Roynon out in front there wasn’t a lot he or Tully could do to stop the home 5-1 which gave the win to the Tigers 49-41.
Berwick’s long trip to Ipswich ended in disappointment as they went down to the 56-37 to the Witches.
The night had started well when Frenchman David Bellego destroyed the tough field in head one to take the three points ahead of England international Ben Barker in a 3-3.