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Sunday, 23 November 2014

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Workington Comets claim win in nail-biting clash with Newcastle

Workington Comets 48 Newcastle Diamonds 44: Workington Comets kept up their unbeaten home record but had to settle for two points in an extraordinary match with Newcastle Diamonds.

Adam Roynon photo
Adam Roynon

The Comets prevailed 48-44 but the match was overshadowed by a horrifying crash between Richard Lawson, Richie Worrall and Mark Lemon, which saw both Newcastle riders go to hospital, and then the news that Rusty Harrison had quit the team after the match, saying that juggling a full-time job and family with speedway was too much for him.

The lead changed no less than five times in the first six heats and then Newcastle fought their way back from 10 points down to only lose by four, despite finishing the night with only four fit riders.

It was by far the most entertaining meeting of the season with plenty of passing and close racing and the scoreline was a fair result between what must be two of the best teams in the league.

Claes Nedermark led Kenny Ingalls out the second bend in heat one but Lawson passed first his team-mate and then went under Nedermark on the second bend of the third lap to give Comets a heat advantage after Stuart Robson had bike problems and retired on the fourth bend of the first lap.

The Worrall twins, Richie and Steve, then team rode well to a 5-1 before the Comets produced the same scoreline in heat three, Adam Roynon winning, followed home by Rene Bach after the Dane pulled away from Lemon after being neck and neck down the straight on the first lap.

The Diamonds then went 13-11 ahead, Ludvig Lindgren leading from tapes to flag, but the battle was for second behind him.

Harrison cut back under Richie Worrall on the fourth bend of the first lap but then fell on the first bend of the second lap.

Kyle Howarth then briefly took second before Worrall took back the position for a heat maximum to Newcastle.

The Diamonds were again quickest out of the gate in heat five but Roynon went past Nedermark down the back straight before Bach passed Nedermark on the second bend of the second lap to share the heat. Lawson and Ingalls made the gate in the next heat with Ingalls doing a good job to hold on to second after a good challenge over the four laps from Lindgren to put the Comets 19-17 up.

Harrison fought off Nedermark into the second bend in heat seven with Gary Irving unable to get past Lemon at the back despite clearly being faster.

A great race in heat eight saw Howarth making a brilliant cut back on the first corner to take the lead and he then did a fantastic job to hold off Richie Worrall for the full four laps.

An even better race followed, with Comets taking a heat maximum.

Roynon gated and won but Bach was locked in a ding-dong battle with Lindgren for second and they both passed and re-passed until Bach went up the inside on the last bend of the final lap and took victory on the run up to the line.

Then in heat 10, there was a horrifying crash between both the Newcastle riders and Lawson.

Richie Worrall lost control on the third bend of the first lap and Lemon was unable to avoid him clattering into his back wheel and it left Lawson with nowhere to go and he was launched over the handlebars into the fence at high speed in what was a horrifying three-rider pile-up.

Lawson suffered burns to his arms but an ambulance was needed for both Worrall who had a suspected broken leg and Lemon with a knee injury and both riders were withdrawn from the meeting, leaving the Diamonds with only four fit riders as they were already using rider replacement for Christian Henry.

In the re-run Ingalls gated and won and Lawson held off Steve Worrall on the second bend and then team rode to a heat maximum.

It put the Comets 35-25 up and so it was no surprise that Robson donned the black and white helmet for double points and it was another great race.

Harrison was in front and was pressurised all the way by Robson who managed to pass on the run up to the line in a very close finish.

It gave the Diamonds a 7-2 heat advantage and put them right back in the match only trailing 37-32.

Newcastle were only able to track Steve Worrall in heat 12 but he made a fantastic gate and despite a hard charge from Bach he could not find a way past despite being very close on the line.

Newcastle then pulled within one point of the Comets with their pair making the gate and despite a charge from Harrison he fell of the fourth bend of the last lap.

Again the Diamonds were only able to track Steve Worrall in the penultimate heat and Howarth rode a great first bend to hold off Worrall.

The Newcastle rider then managed to pass Roynon down the back straight of the first lap but then lost control on the second bend of the second lap and then it was a formality in the re-run for Howarth and Roynon to record the 5-0 heat win. It still meant the Comets needed a heat advantage in the last heat to take all three points but Lindgren and Robson gated in front and even a brilliant pass by Roynon round the outside of Robson on the second bend of the last lap could not prevent Newcastle taking a point back to the North-East.

WORKINGTON COMETS 48: Adam Roynon 13, Richard Lawson 9+1, Rene Bach 7+3, Kenny Ingalls 6+1, Kyle Howarth 6+1, Rusty Harrison 5, Gary Irving 2+1

NEWCASTLE DIAMONDS 44: Stuart Robson 12+1, Ludvig Lindgren 11, Steve Worrall 7, Richie Worrall 6+2, Claes Nedermark 6+1, Mark Lemon 2+1, Christian Henry r/r

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