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Newcastle's mid-semi push just fails to get them into fours' final
Sunday 6th August 2017, 20:35 UK
Photo: Steve Brock
Newcastle "Sapphire Engineering Diamonds" had to go into Sunday's SGB Championship Fours finals day without the injured Robert Lambert and therefore were in the underdog category.

Newcastle raced in the second semi-final along side fellow North Easterners, Berwick, the Redcar Bears as well as Glasgow and Ipswich in an innovative semi format that saw five teams race over 10 heats, each side missing two of the 10 and each of the four riders taking two rides each.

Newcastle's Ashley Morris hit a patch of high drive and went way too wide in Heat One, hitting the back straight fence, thankfully with no ill-effects, but was excluded from the re-run won by Glasgow's Richard Lawson ahead of Witch Justin Sedgmen and Redcar's Jason Garrity, while Berwick opened their account in Heat Two with David Howe being rounded by Aaron Summers from the Tigers to relegate the Bandit to the back as Newcastle's Steve Worrall blasted away for the big win.

Berwick's prospects took an upturn when skipper Kevin Doolan won Heat Four after a superb race with Nike Lunna of Glasgow ducking and weaving all over his rear wheel for the entire race, as Ben Barker of Redcar and Newcastle's Stuart Robson swapped third for fourth several times, the Diamond taking the point after the referee excluded Barker post-race for putting both wheels over the inside line, much to the Bear's disgust, and after four Ipswich led on seven ahead of Glasgow's six, Newcastle and Berwick's four and Redcar's three.

Going into the seventh Ipswich were becoming the runaway leaders on 13 points, but in a tight race from tapes to flag, there was nothing between the leading three as Lawson faded at the back, but it was a tight win for Worrall over Doolan with Ipswich's Cameron Heeps spicing up things in third which put Ipswich on 14, but behind it was all tightening up with Glasgow and Newcastle were now on eight as Berwick and Redcar sat on six apiece with three races left to run.

Redcar's Charles Wright eased his way round the outside of Heat Eight's early leader, Howe from the Bandits to end the heat with a Bears' win, but with Ipswich sitting this one out the other four were closing in on the Suffolk side, but the battle for the second qualification place in the Grand Final was all to play for with Glasgow and Redcar on nine and Berwick and Newcastle  a point behind.

Jye Etheridge's nerves got the better of him at the gate in Heat Nine - Berwick's last out of the 10 heats - and was called back and warned for jumping the start, then wen right through the tapes in the re-run resulting in the inevitable exclusion with young Luke Ruddick taking his place, but ended at the back as Barker and Newcastle skipper Ludvig Lindgren battled for the lead, the Bear taking the spoils.

Newcastle had a slim chance of making the final stage, but in Heat 10 Sedgmen took the three points from Robson ending Newcastle's dream with the final scores in the second demi-final, Ipswich 18, Redcar 13, Newcastle 12, Glasgow 9 and Berwick on 8.

The Grand Final was won on 28 points by Peterborough with Redcar taking a creditable silver on 18, Sheffield third on 16 and Ipswich fourth on 10.

Semi-final "two" Individual Riders' Score Chart

Ipswich Witches

1. Justin Sedgmen 2,3 = 5
2. Danny King 2,1 = 3
3. Rory Schlein 3,3 = 6
4. Cameron Heeps 3,1 = 4
Reserve: Nathan Greaves Did not ride

Redcar Bears

1. Jason Garrity 1,N2 = 1
2. Charles Wright 2,3 = 5
3. Ben Barker X,3 = 3
4. Jonas B. Andersen 2,1 = 3
Reserve: Ellis Perks  1 = 1

Newcastle Diamonds

1. Ashley Morris Fx,0 = 0
2. Steve Worrall 3,3 = 6
3. Stuart Robson 1,2 = 3
4. Ludvig Lindgren 1,2 = 3
Reserve: Ben Hopwood  Did not ride

Glasgow Tigers 

1. Richard Lawson 3,0 = 3
2. Aaron Summers 1,2 = 3
3. Dan Bewley 0,0 = 0
4. Nike Lunna 2,1 = 3
No Reserve

Berwick Bandits

1. David Howe 0,2 = 2
2. Jye Etheridge 1,N2 = 1
3. Kevin Doolan 3,2 = 5
4. Dany Gappmaier 0,0 = 0
Reserve: Luke Ruddick 0 = 0
Last Updated: Sun 06 Aug 2017, 23:47 UK
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