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Bandits - a battle to be proud of at Newcastle

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Newcastle "Boiler Technical Services" Diamonds 47
Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 43
SGB Championship

After a solid drubbing at the Berwick "KLS" Bandits (powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 24 hours earlier, the Newcastle "Boiler Technical Services" Diamonds were focussed from the off to make sure that the Bandits would fine it a whole different ball game at Brough Park with the teams lining up the same as the night before, including guest Nico Covatti in for the home side.

Ashley Morris' ghastly luck carried on in Heat One, falling in third place on the third bend with Kevin Doolan laying the bike down rapidly to save any injury with the Diamond excluded from the restart, in which Aaron Summers roared under Ludvig Lindgren to take the lead and win in a Bandits' 2-4.

Guest Covatti roared away to lead well from the off as Morris redeemed himself with a good second place over David Howe and Jye Etheridge for the home maximum which put the Diamonds two-up, 10-8, but that was all level again after Tero Aarnio ground to a halt on the second bend as Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen blasted to the front to take a good win in a Bandit's 2-4.

Summers again excelled diving hard under Covatti to take Heat Five with consummate ease in another Berwick 2-4 thrusting the Bandits back into the lead by two points, while the see-saw continued with Covatti leading for the win backed well by Lindgren over Busk Jakobsen replacing Newcastle into the lead, 19-17.

A surprise Carl Wilkinson win in the in the seventh over Howe, the 4-2 put the Diamonds four ahead, while a 3-3 in the eighth won by Lindgren over Doolan and Pijper who had both soared round Wethers to maintain the differential, however after another home 4-2, Berwick played a tactical substitute putting Summers in for Etheridge, which had to be re-run when Aarnio reared horrifically coming off the second bend, crashing hard on to the track, and while was okay was excluded from the re-run.

Lindgren made the perfect gate in the re-run to win well over Summers in a 3-3 taking the interval score line to 33-27 with five heats left to run and in the 11th Summers again roared to the front as Doolan battled past Wethers on the second lap to secure third place in a Berwick 2-4, narrowing the gap to four points again, but an awarded 1-5 to Etheridge and Gappmaier in Heat 12 when Wilkinson fell on the third lap, levelling the match again 36-36.

Berwick went two up after Summers and Busk Jakobsen took a 2-4 in the 13th before Morris and Wilkinson took the five over Howe and Pijper meaning with one to go the score was on a knife-edge 43-41, but with Lindgren forcing his way to the front in Heat 15, and Summers tackling Covatti with some amazing moves, the Diamonds' guest took third for a 4-2 that sealed a famous and well fought victory 47-43.

Berwick's Scott Courtney was full of admiration for his side's efforts, adding: "The guys rode our of themselves tonight and to man I'm so very, very proud of what they did here - at a track we're not renowned for doing well at - yet we took seven first places out of 15, and really gave a team, who are excellent on their own track, some real work to do, and I can't complain at that. Oh, we got one League point too which can't be bad at all! But over all I have to say again, the guys did us, the management and the fans really proud tonight!"

The two meetings in two days have seen the Diamonds rise to 5th place in the SGB Championship on seven points from six matches, while Berwick have gone equal top of the league on 13 points from five matches - the same as Lakeside Hammers.

Individual Riders' Score Chart:

Newcastle "Boiler Technical Services" Diamonds 47

Ludvig Lindgren (c) 2,2*,3,3,2,3 = 15+1
Stuart Robson - Rider replacement
Nico Covatti (guest) 3,0,3,3,1,1 = 11
Ashley Morris Fx,2*,2,1,3 = 8+1
Tero Aarnio R,1,Fx,N,N = 1
Carl Wilkinson (r) 2,3,2,Fx,2* = 9+1
Matthew Wethers (r) 1*,2,0,0,N,0 = 3+1

Berwick "KLS" Bandits (Powered by Mike Hope, Wooler) 43

Aaron Summers 3,3,2,3,3,0 = 15
Kevin Doolan (c) 1,1,2,1 = 5
Jye Etheridge 0,0,Ts,3 = 3
David Howe 1,2,1*,1 = 5+1
Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen 3,1,2,1,2 = 9
Dany Gappmaier (r) 0,0,N,2* = 2+1
Theo Pijper (r) 3,1,1*,0,0 = 5+1