Speedway: Bandits lose sparkle at Brough Park

Newcastle Diamonds 55 Berwick Bandits 39

Premier League

Top Scorers

Newcastle Diamonds – Mark Lemon 13, Carl Wilkinson 12+2

Berwick Bandits – Sebastian Alden 15, Aaron Summers 10

THE big local derby of the season hit Brough Park with the Berwick Bandits visiting the Newcastle Diamonds who had the upper hand from the off in a physical battle.

The visitors had to race without ‘flu-victim Ricky Ashworth with Redcar’s Aaron Summers deputising as a guest whilst the Bears also had an influence in the home side with Carl Wilkinson taking the rides of the injured Richie Worrall at number seven.

With Claes Nedermark well out in front in Heat One Stuart Robson found some grip from nowhere and shot round Berwick’s guest Summers to take an easy home 5-1, but Heat Two came to a juddering halt coming off the second bend when Steve Worrall hit a patch of drive, lifted and slewed right into Jason King taking both into the fence at speed.

Worrall was stretchered off into an ambulance with a broken left leg whilst King also took a trip in the same ambulance to hospital with a broken right arm and both sides were down to one reserve with only one race completed heaping the pressure on the Liam Carr and Carl Wilkinson who now faced seven rides each.

Heat Three ended abruptly too with Lee Complin trying a stunning outside run round Mark Lemon in second ran into the fallen leader of the race, David Bellego with the Frenchman being excluded from the race, but the referee awarded the heat a 5-1 to the Diamonds instead of the expected 4-2 as Complin was clearly in second place at the time of the stoppage and exclusion which should have netted the Bandit two points not one.

A shared race in four was repeated in five with Summers jetting hard round both Mark Lemon and Christian Henry off bend two to take the score 19-10.

Newcastle took a hard grip on proceedings in the sixth and seventh, and going into Heat Eight the Bandits had still resisted the temptation to use a tactical ride for double points with 16-year-old Carr coming in for the injured King and Robin Aspegren with the Swede racing hard round the outside of Nedermark off bend two to take a brilliant win.

With the score now 31-16 Alden was finally nominated as a tactical ride in Heat Nine but despite an incredible effort behind Lemon the three points went to the Newcastle skipper with Alden taking a doubled four in a shared 4-all taking the score to 35-20.

Going into the 11th Summers was nominated for Berwick’s second and final tactical ride in which Wilkinson shot round the field to lead but on the second lap the guest reserve went too wide off bend two and hit the fence causing him to cartwheel down the back straight and land in front of the rest of the field causing riders to avoid the stricken man.

Aspegren avoidance resulted in him turning sharp left and crashing in the middle of the centre green, but thankfully he and Wilkinson were fine with Newcastle’s man excluded from the re-run in which Summers turned hard right across the nose of Lindgren coming off bend two of the second lap severely impeding the Diamond to score a solid six points in a Bandit’s 2-7 which tightened the match score to 40-30.

Newcastle continued to turn the screws and despite some excellent racing from Alden, the fastest man on the night, took an easy 20-point victory.

Team manager Ian Rae could find little to be happy about, saying: “Sebastian Alden was exceptional tonight and was THE one to beat and whilst there were short bursts of excellence elsewhere, the consistency required for a win was sadly lacking.

“The biggest problem for us is that we have lost another reserve with Jason King getting unwittingly tangled up with Stevie Worrall in Heat Two with both the unlucky pair going to hospital – at least in the same ambulance so they had someone else to talk to – but we wish Steve and his leg injury and Jay and his broken arm the best for a speedy return to action.

“As to how we cover Jay’s rides now at the moment it a massive headache for us and with three away matches coming up at the end of the week we don’t have a lot of time to make the necessary arrangements.”