Newcastle Diamonds welcomed Leicester Lions to Brough Park last night in a crunch Premier League match – the Lions’ last of 2013 – and both sides needing points to make the league play-offs.
Heat one had to be re-started as several riders were moving at the start of the first running, but the second take Richie Worrall made a massive effort to lead well following into bend two by Lewis Kerr, but at the end of the first lap Leicester’s guest Ricky Wells shot hard under the Diamond to take second and then miraculously held on to the points despite losing his steel shoe and chain guard in the 4-2.
Kerr made amends in the second by taking a decisive lead off bend one, followed into second by Chris Schramm to seal a good home 5-1 to put Newcastle 9-3 up, and then 14-4 up. A superb heat three, initially led by Lasse Bjerre and skipper Jan Graversen, followed but Andrew Tully wound on the power to weave inside and out of the two Lions, followed over the next lap by Ludvig Lindgren to record another maximum 5-1 followed by another maximum equally well won by a brilliant Anton Rosen in heat four.
Wells was then nominated as a tactical ride in heat five but had to be called back when a perfectly anticipated start by Andrew Tully was penalised by the referee. He was then amazingly disqualified for making a perfectly good start at the second attempt.
Furious team manager George English had no official option but to replace Tully and did so with Kerr, who roared away to take a stunning win and three well-earned points in the shared 4-4, but in heat six Schramm destroyed the tapes and was duly disqualified with Kerr again coming in to replace and again roar to a win ahead of Worrall in a 5-1 to take the score to 28-10. Bjerre’s tactical ride in heat seven was held well at the rear for another maximum. Come heat eight Kerr again shot out to win well as Tully battled his way past Eklof to form the sixth 5-1 of the night.
The Lions’ mini-revival continued in heat 11 with a second and third secured for Wells and Eklof behind Rosen in a shared 3-3, but with the score at 47-21 the match was already guaranteed a Newcastle win – and a sizeable one at that. English said: “Ignoring the suspect handling of the meeting which provided some very poor decision regarding some brilliant starts, we were in magnificent form to defeat a good side and, more importantly, we have the league points getting us closer to the play-offs.”
Newcastle: Richie Worrall (Captain) 8+1, Stuart Robson - Rider replacement, Andrew Tully 8+3, Ludvig Lindgren 11+1, Anton Rosen 11+1, Chris Schramm 6+3, Lewis Kerr 18+1.
Leicester: Ricky Wells (guest) 13+1, Linus Eklof 3+1, Lasse Bjerre 9, Jan Graversen (captain) 4, Kevin Doolan - Rider replacement, Alex Edberg 0, Simon Nielsen 1.