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Sheffield Tigers v Newcastle Diamonds
Thursday 5th April 2018, 21:04 UK
LAWRENCE HEPPELL
After a weather-damaged start to the 2018 Speedway season, the Newcastle Boiler Technical Services Diamonds finally took to the shale in anger in the SGB Championship Shield at the Sheffield Tigers, a team renowned for their solidity round the Owlerton track.
 
Sheffield Tigers: 59
Newcastle Diamonds: 31

SGB Championship Shield Group Stage

Untried in '18, skipper Ludvig Lindgren lined up in Heat One with new partner Tero Aarnio against Kyle Howarth, a rider tipped for huge advances this season and Todd Kurtz, and unfortunately it was the home pair who shot away for an easy 5-1 as Lindgren's motor ground to a halt when in third place.

The much criticised format to Newcastle's team proved premature as the Diamonds' thinking came up trumps in Heat Two, a heat with two excellent Newcastle reserves - Carl Wilkinson and Ashley Morris and it was the experienced Wilko who made the gate to lead and win as Morris flew under Jack Smith down the back straight to take a good second place in a Diamonds' 1-5 levelling the match 6-6.

Sheffield restored their four point lead after Charles Wright whipped between both Matthew Wethers and Lewis Rose to join Kurtz up front in the third race home maximum before Morris received a warning for an alleged jump at the start of Heat Four, but made a super-powered start at the second asking, leading well until his engine gave up the ghost on the third lap leaving Lasse Bjerre and James Shanes to take the five points over Robson's one doubling the home lead to eight points.

Following a Heat Five home 5-1. it looked like Newcastle were on for a 2-4 in the sixth with Robson leading and Wilkinson in third, but on the third lap Howarth took a hard dive under Robson to take up the lead as Kurtz flew round Wilkinson to reverse the result and take a home 4-2 instead with the Tigers' lead now looking very unnerving at 25-11.

With Rose out in front early on in the seventh, Wethers made a good pass under Smith on the second lap, but Bjerre took the widest possible line to throw himself round Rose in the shared 3-3, before another Diamonds' 1-5 from Aarnio and Morris was turned rapidly into a shared 3-3 by Kurtz high and wide ride round the pair in Heat Eight to maintain the 14-point home lead.

Wilkinson and Robson were again on an away max in Heat Nine, but inspired by Heat Eight, Wright passed both Diamonds on the opening bends for another 3-3 before Wethers did well to hold out Howarth for half a race in the 10th, a heat that ended a home 4-2 taking the score to 38-22.

Another good 3-3 in the 11th, won by Bjerre saw Lindgren race to a good second over his partner Aarnio, while in the 12th Smith pushed hard behind Wilkinson all race but the Diamond held the point in another shared taking the score to 44-28 meaning Sheffield had won the match with three heats remaining.

Team manager George English said afterwards: "Its raw early days for us at the moment, but there were good positives to see here tonight with Matty Wethers putting in some good laps along with Ashley Morris and Carl Wilkinson - our early heat winner. To have to come to Sheffield as our first outing of a new season, in official competition is the hardest option we could have had, but for a second of the mid-match we held our own, and Heat Two was just what we'd planned for in that race. Now we're off the mark we can concentrate on getting up to speed and get some decent results."

Individual Riders' Score Chart

Sheffield: Kyle Howarth (c) 14+1, Todd Kurtz 11, Charles Wright 16+2, Josh Bates - Rider replacement, Lasse Bjerre 11+1, Jack Smith 2+1, James Shanes 5+2

Newcastle: Ludvig Lindgren (c) 2,Tero Aarnio 5+1, Lewis Rose 6, Matthew Wethers 4+1, Stuart Robson 5+1, Carl Wilkinson 6+1, Ashley Morris 3+2
Last Updated: Thu 05 Apr 2018, 21:20 UK
Newcastle Diamonds v
Glasgow Tigers
Sun 5 August 2018,  @ 6:30pm UK
Championship

Sunday 8th July 2018

40

Newcastle

50

Workington

SGB Championship Knock Out Cup

 BTS  Teen Print  Steve Brock Photography
Newcastle Speedway
Newcastle Stadium
Fossway
Byker
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE6 2XJ
 
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BSPA Averages
Ludvig Lindgren

6.71

Stuart Robson

6.65

Ashley Morris

5.50

Tero Aarnio

5.38

Matej Kus

4.76

Carl Wilkinson

4.61

Matthew Wethers

4.00

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