Newcastle Diamonds 53-37 Berwick Bandits

Berwick Bandits Speedway
Berwick Bandits Speedway

Berwick went down to a 16 point defeat at Newcastle on Sunday, but not without giving the Diamonds something to think about, particularly in the first half of the meeting.

The Bandits, without Claus Vissing, Mathias Thomblom and Richard Hall, drafted in Morten Risager and Robert Branford as guests.

Branford was called upon at short notice after the injury to Sheffield’s Arthur Sissis at Shielfield on Saturday night, as he had previously been booked to guest at reserve.

And it was the Edinburgh man who emerged as one of the stars of the evening, and who along with Thomas Jorgensen, kept the Borderers in contention until the closing stages.

Branford, who rides for Edinburgh, won two races in heats two and eight, and was involved in the race of the night in heat 14, when he was only just pipped on the line by Simon Nielsen, after four laps of pulsating racing in which Anton Rosen also went wheel to wheel.

Jorgensen, meanwhile, won three races, but also had to play second fiddle to Newcastle’s top man, Steve Worrall, on no less than three occasions, when the Diamond beat him to the line in heats one, 13 and 15 to secure a deserved paid maximum.

And it was Worrall’s 5-1 with former Bandit Ludvig Lindgren in 13 which put the home side in an unassailable position.

With Branford and Jorgensen consistently in the points, Berwick managed to restrict the Diamonds to a four point advantage at 29-25 after heat nine.

But 5-1s in 10 and 13 edged them to victory, another two heat advantages in 14 and 15 (both 4-2s), giving them a comfortable winning margin.

Newcastle: Worrall 14+1, Lindgren 11+1, Nielsen 8+2, Rosen 7+1, Wilkinson 7, Aarnio 6+2.

Berwick: Jorgensen 14, Branford 11+1, Risager 5, Doolan 3+1, Edberg 3+1, Garcia 1+1.