Newcastle Diamonds 51-37 Berwick Bandits

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Berwick slipped to their second league defeat of the season at Newcastle on Sunday, but not before putting up a fight.

Despite being without David Bellego, who was unable to return in time after racing in Italy on Saturday, the Bandits actually led at the mid-way point.

After nine races they found themselves 26-27 in front, and The Borderers were hopeful of returning from Tyneside with something to show for their efforts.

But their challenge fell away in the second half of the meeting, when there was a 13-point swing in the final six heats, the major turning points coming in heats 11 and 13, when the Diamonds took maximum points.

Newcastle also had two riders who went through the card, with Danny King racing to a 15-point maximum, whilst Lewis Kerr won all four of his races for a 12-point full house.

This meant Berwick actually left Brough Park empty handed, which was a major blow to their play-off aspirations.

After a first race 3-3, Berwick took the lead for the first time in heat two when Matej Kus and Liam Carr took a 2-4 for the visitors.

Newcastle hit back with a 5-1 in three, but another Berwick 2-4, with Kevin Doolan winning in the re-run, zmeant it was 12-12 and all to race for.

A 5-1 from Lewis Kerr and Stuart Robson in five saw Newcastle go 17-13 in front, but in heat six both Kerr and Carr were excluded for falls, Danny King winning his second ride of the night at the third attempt.

Steen Jensen and Matty Wethers came good for Berwick in seven for a 1-5, which made it 21-20, and when Kus and Jensen took a 2-4 in the re-run of eight the Bandits moved in front again at 23-24.

Another re-run was required in nine after Robson fell and was excluded whilst leading, and with Kerr heading home Doolan and Carr home Bandits still had the edge at 26-27.

King’s third win of the night in ten helped Diamonds back in front in what was turning out to be a see-saw meeting, but in 11 Claus Vissing fell, and with Kus having already fallen, remounted, but lapped, a 5-0 put the home side in the ascendency at 35-28.

Heat 12 was shared with Robson taking the chequered flag, but a 5-1 in the re-run of 13, courtesy of King and Ludvig Lindgren, saw Diamonds establish a match-winning 43-32 lead.

Kerr went on to complete his maximum in 14, whilst King did likewise in 15, a run of three successive heat advantages in the final three races giving the scoreline a rather flattering look, with Newcastle taking a 14-point advantage on the night.

Newcastle

Danny King - 3 , 3 , 3 , 3 , 3 = 15

Lewis Rose - F/X , F/X , 2 , 1 = 3

Stuart Robson - 2’ , 2’ , F/X , 3 , 1 = 8+2

Lewis Kerr - 3 , 3 , 3 , 3 = 12

Ludvig Lindgren - 2 , 0 , 3 , 2’ = 7+1

Simon Nielsen - 0 , 1 , 2’ , 1 = 4+1

Chris Mills - 2 , 0 , F/X , 0 = 2

Berwick

Claus Vissing - 2 , 0 , F , R = 2

David Bellego - rider replacement

Steen Jensen - 1 , 3 , 1 , 0 , 1’ = 6+1

Matthew Wethers - 0 , 1 , 2’ , 2 , 2 = 7+1

Kevin Doolan - 3 , 2 , 2 , 1 , 2 = 10

Liam Carr - 1 , F/X , 1’ , 0 = 2+1

Matej Kus - 1’ , 3 , 1 , 3 , X , 2 , 0 = 10+1