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Newcastle Diamonds v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Sunday 26th April 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

A win at Newcastle would have taken us well clear in the northern section of the Premier Trophy, but too much went wrong and it didn?t happen.

With a full team and no machine problems, we would surely have won. However when things do go wrong you simply have to overcome them, and we failed to do that.

The absence of Thomas and Andrew obviously weakened us and we got just 4 points from Andrew?s rides. On top of that Ryan?s night was ruined when he seized his most suitable engine at the tapes in heat 1, and Aaron had a major blowup also in heat 11.

We are having far too much machine trouble and several of our away matches have been wrecked by defective machinery.

It was all too much for us and although we managed to go six up and hold that till heat 12, we lost it all over three disappointing closing heats.

Fisher rode off 15 metres (on Wethers? machine) in heat 1 and picked off Leverington, while Summers led Boxall home, so that was a good start.

Sean Stoddart appeared briefly at the front in heat 2 but Wortmann went past him to share the heat, with Branney unsuccessfully trying the outside line.

King and Sneddon took an easy 5-1 from heat 3 with Summers in as r/r and Hall way back looking very uncomfortable.

Heat 4 went our way though as Kenni Larsen was caught out by the track round the first corner and lost a lot of ground. Wethers and Stoddart took 5 points with Branney third.

Heat 5 looked like a big one and it started so well for us. Ryan Fisher was on his ?other? bike and he swept to the front down the back straight with Aaron Summers just behind. Instead of taking care though, Ryan was far too quick into the bottom bend and got caught on the outside, dropping to the back. A shared heat that should have been better.

However Rajkowski made his best start in heat 6 with Wethers pressing Boxall, who stopped allowing the captain through for another 5-1. That was a 6-point lead, reasonable at this point.

Larsen looked quick in heat 7 but Hall and Rajkowski managed to share it. As on the previous evening, we left Sean Stoddart in heat 8 but this time he didn?t come up with the goods, trailing behind as Aaron won the race. Probably an opportunity lost.

We did well to keep Derek Sneddon at the back in heat 9 though, King winning from Wethers and Rajkowski, and we were hanging on to that lead.

Richard Hall won heat 10 but the Raj was pointless this time, behind Boxall and Leverington.

Aaron made the start in heat 11 but came down on the first corner, and it turned out that he had completely destroyed his best engine. He should really have been excluded but the ref thought it had been first bend bunching. Aaron emerged on Wethers? bike but Larsen was too quick for him and Ryan. This time Ryan rode a sensible race.

Heat 12 was the sixth 3-3 in a row, King winning from Hall and Rajkowski.

We felt we were hanging on ? could we keep it going? The answer was no. Ryan shot into the tapes depressingly in heat 13, and though we could have put him off 15 metres with Matthew switched to gate 2, instead we put Sean Stoddart out. Boxall shot away from the tapes with Larsen in tow and our lead was down to 2, even though Matthew got within half a wheel of Larsen at the finish.

Heat 14 was now crucial because Larsen and King looked the quickest men in the meeting at this stage. Wethers and Rajkowski against Sneddon and Branney, and it was Derek who showed all his usual resolve to come from gate 4 to lead. Michal was in third briefly but Branney came past him rather easily and now Diamonds had levelled the scores.

We were not hopeful of the final heat and the best we could manage was a valiant second from Matthew, for a 2-point frustrating defeat.