Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Diamonds Are Victims of Slow Start - Again; SPEEDWAY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Diamonds Are Victims of Slow Start - Again; SPEEDWAY

Article excerpt

Sheffield Tigers................................ 53 Newcastle Diamonds ...................... 43 THE Newcastle Diamonds have of late become victims of a slow cold start early on and last night was no exception as Kenni Larsen's (pictured below) bike spluttered to a halt thanks to a clutch failure as the tapes went up in heat one of last night's Play-Off Final, first leg at the Sheffield Tigers.

With a prize of not only the Play-Off Trophy at stake, but a blast at Ipswich of the Elite League for promotional rights, the 5-1 to the Tigers was far from an ideal start with Ricky Ashworth setting a new track record in the process.

Dakota North and Adam McKinna could only add one more point to the total in heat two won by a rampant Simon Lambert with Tigers guest Adam Roynon taking second with North on his tail as Newcastle were facing the abyss already with the score at a frightening 10-2. Both Richard Hall and Hugh Skidmore fought their way past Rene Bach in the third race as the Tigers maintained their maximum start at 15-3 with Diamonds wondering how to counteract the onslaught.

Super-fast gating from Mark Lemon found a way and halted the 5-1s taking the win in the shared heat four with ease, but Newcastle were still trailing by 12 meaning that so early in the meeting Larsen was sent out in the fifth as a tactical ride for double points.

A stunning win from the young Dane, coupled with an amazing four laps from North who tussled with both Lambert and Hall and successfully held them at the rear in a magnificent Newcastle 8-1, which pulled the Diamonds right back into things at 19-14.

Heat seven warmed the crowd up with four laps of fantastic racing with Josh Auty flying round Derek Sneddon on the second lap and then Rene Bach as well on the third, but Bach fought back well to take the win right on the line, but at the rear Roynon did the same to Sneddon to make it a 3-3 and hold the gap at seven points.

Hall sneaked the win in Heat Nine again right on the line after a manic chase behind Lemon, who just could not hold on to the three points according to the referee, but not the rider, who pleaded for the official to view the video replay believing he had taking the win by half a wheel. …

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