It was advantage Berwick after the first leg of the season-opening Tyne Tweed Trophy clash against old rivals Newcastle - but for the Bandits there was a blow when new number one Ben Barker was taken to hospital with suspected shoulder and wrist injuries.
Barker had eased to victory in each of his first three rides, winning by some considerable distance, and he looked set to swoop around the outside of Steve Worrall on the second lap of heat 13, when he took a heavy fall on the apex of the third and fourth bends.
There was a delay whilst he received trackside medical treatment before he was transferred to hospital for further examination.
The incident took the shine off what had otherwise been a good night for the Bandits, who up to that stage had dominated proceedings with 11 of the first 12 race winners.
As well as Barker, skipper Kevin Doolan and Claus Vissing were also unbeaten up to that point, and at 42-30 in front the home side had the meeting in the bag.
Thomas Jorgensen and Alex Edberg also took a 5-1 from heat 14, one of seven heat advantages recorded by the Bandits on the night, but two race wins by Worrall, in the re-run of 13 and 15, spoiled the maximum hopes of both Doolan and Vissing and gave the visitors some hope going into the second leg at Brough Park.
On a smooth and slick track gating was all important, with most races being decided as the riders exited the second bend, and in the main it was the Bandits who generated more speed in that department.
Apart from a heat two 1-5 for Simon Neilsen and Lewis Rose, after Edberg lost his seat on the way into the first bend, the virtually led from start to finish, but the loss of Barker left all the home fans waiting on news of the extent of his injuries.
Berwick: K Doolan 13+1, C Vissing 13, B Barker 9, T Jorgensen 8+2, A Edberg 6+1, M Voldrih 2, L Crang 1.
Newcastle: S Worrall 9+1,L Lindgren 6+1, S Nielsen 5+2, L Rose 5+1, L Kerr 5, C Henry 5, A Rosen 3.