Bandits blasted as Smith sustains wrist injury

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NEWCASTLE DIAMONDS 62, BERWICK BANDITS 31

Berwick went down to a heavy 31-point defeat at Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.

It was the second time the teams had met in 24 hours, and it was the Diamonds who emerged victorious on both occasions.

But for the Bandits there was a further blow when skipper Kozza Smith was withdrawn from the meeting with a wrist injury.

Initial reports suggested he may have sustained a broken scaphoid, but this has yet to be confirmed.

The Australian was leading heat four when he lost control of his bike and spun 360 degrees. He flew into the safety barrier, demolishing several metres of fencing and wrecking his bike.

Smith was avoided by the following Andrew Tully, who was commended by the referee for his swift action, and both riders managed to walk away from the scene, but Smith was unable to take any further part in proceedings.

There was a lengthy delay whilst the safety fence was repaired.

Newcastle, meanwhile, took advantage of the situation to chalk up their fourth successive 5-1 in the re-run, giving them a commanding 20-4 lead.

Sebastian Alden won in heat five, but with super reserve Lewis Kerr going unbeaten in his first four rides, Richie Worrall, Tully and Anton Rosen all clocking up the points, the Diamonds continued to press ahead with three more heat advantages between six and eight and at 32-12 the meeting was already beyond the visitors.

For Berwick it was a case of damage limitation as the Tynesiders threatened to run amok.

But Newcastle kept applying the pressure, Rosen and Worrall winning in nine and ten, two more heat advantages taking the score to 45-15.

Alden won as a double pointed tactical ride in 11, and Robin Aspegren beat Rosen and Kerr in 12, but it was only token resistance at 54-24.

Worrall made it four wins out of four in 13, Ludvig Lindgren then completed a good night - he dropped only one point - with a win in 14, and Worrall went on to compete his five ride 15-point maximum in 15.

Berwick obviously suffered from the loss of Smith, but both David Bellego and Nicki Barrett failed to score from eight races between them, and a total of 14 last places only contributed to their downfall.