Berwick Bandits 55-38 Newcastle Diamonds

Berwick started their Premier League campaign with a home win over old rivals Newcastle, and in truth it was probably an easier victory than many fans expected.

The Diamonds simply weren’t at the races in the first half of the meeting.

The Bandits produced the first seven race winners, and as they took four successive 5-1s in the process - in heats three, four, five and six - the home side found themselves 30-12 up and well in control. This included a 5-1 from Matej Kus and Matty Wethers over Ludvig Lindgren in heat five, when the Swede was going for double points.

First of all David Bellego and then Claus Vissing also set the quickest times of the season around the Shielfield track and it looked as if the visitors had no answer.

Christian Henry, who otherwise had a disappointing night, was the first Newcastle rider to take the chequered flag in heat eight, whilst later in the meeting Stuart Robson (twice), including one ride as a double pointed tactical, and Lewis Kerr, also chipped in with wins.

But in general the Tynesiders were always chasing the points, whilst the home riders, with the exception of young reserve Liam Carr, enjoyed a bumper pay night.

Claus Vissing, for the third time in five home meetings, went unbeaten by an opponent whilst skipper Wethers dropped only one point, unable to catch Kerr in heat 14 after forcing his way past Chris Schramm.

All the other Bandits - Kevin Doolan, Bellego, Kus and Steen Jensen were paid for at least two victories apiece and in the end this was a comfortable win and the perfect way for the Borderers to start their league season.

Berwick 55 - Kevin Doolan 1,2*,1*,3,1* 8+3, David Bellego 3,3,1*,2,2 11+1, Matej Kus 2*,3,1,2 8+1, Matthew Wethers 3,2*,3,2 10+1, Claus Vissing 3,3,3,2* 11+1, Liam Carr 0,0,0,0 0, Steen Jensen 3,2*,2,0 7+1.

Newcastle 38 - Ludvig Lindgren 2,1^,2,1,0 6, Christian Henry 0,0,3,1* 4+1, Stuart Robson R,1*,3,6^,3 13+1, Lewis Kerr 1,2,0,3 6, Anton Rosen F,1,2,0 3, Chris Schramm 1*,N2,0,1,1 3+1, Lewis Rose 2,1,0, 0, 3.