Last heat victory for The Eagles

Richard Lawson and Nick Morris delivered a last heat, maximum 5-1 to give the Eastbourne Fineprint Eagles a 43-47 victory over the Newcastle Diamonds.

With reserve Alfie Bowtell withdrawing after suffering a knee injury in his first ride in heat 2, the remaining Eagles dug deep and produced a stunning comeback from 10 points down after heat 10.

Our thanks to our guest Nick Morris for covering the three Northern Tour meetings, to Kevin Ling for providing coverage of every heat, and to all of the Eagles fans who made the long trip north and gave their full support throughout.

Monday Morning update: Alfie was released from hospital in Newcastle last night, and will visit his local hospital for further assesment on his knee once the swelling has gone. Wishing Alfie a quick recovery.

Here’s a look back at the meeting through our reporter Kevin Ling:

Well here we are folks at Brough Park (as I remember it ) and Newcastle Stadium as it has since been dubbed – the sun is shining (at the moment) and the Newcastle diamonds are set to face our own Eagles

Racing set to go ahead in about a half hour – stay tuned (or should that be tooned ?) for team news

Teams as per programme:

Diamonds 1. Steve Worrall 2 Ulrich Ostergaard 3 Lasse Bjerre 4 Matthew Wethers 5 Thomas Jorgensen 6 Max Clegg 7 Danny Phillips

Eagles: 1 Nick Morris 2 Georgie Wood 3 Kyle Newman 4 Lewi Kerr 5 Richard Lawson 6 Alfie Bowtell 7 Jason Edwards

Bikes now lining up for parade

Richard wins the toss for gate positions – opts for gates 2 and 4

Riders now on two minutes to get to tapes for heat one – sun still shining so we’re about to go racing

Heat 1 Worrall (r) Ostergaard (b) Morris (w) Wood (y )

Riders called back under orders for unsatisfactory start – warning to Worrall

Heat 1 at the second time of asking Nick powers away to secure a runaway win – finishing well ahead of Ostergaard with Worrall, somewhat surprisingly, a good quarter of a lap back – not so good for Georgie who shed a chain coming out of the start and was immediately out of the chase 3-3 3-3 Time 63.2

Heat 2 Clegg (r) Phillips (b) Bowtell (w) Edwards (y )

Heatt 2 a nasty looking crash, one that saw and untidy first and second turn which culminated with Alfie scooping up his two opponents taking all three of them, Bowtell, Phillips and Clegg into the fence just out of bend two – Phillips up quickly – Clegg up and walking back to the pits too – Alfie also up and walking but somewhat gingerly back to the pits – Alfie disqualified by referee Jim McGregor for being the primary cause of the stoppage

A little time being allied for Clegg and Phillips to get themselves together for the re-run

Heat 2 Clegg continued his purple run of form at the second time of asking and he was backed all the way by partner Phillips – Jason not looking to be loving the conditions and he trailed in third but we know that he’ll learn for the experience and come back stronger next time 5-1 8-4 time 68.5 (more than 5 seconds slower than that of heat 1 – not a criticism, simply an observation)

Heat 3 Bjerre (r) Wethers (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y )

Heat 3 Race stopped with Kyle taking a tumble in a tight first turn – we might have hoped for a rerun with all four but it was the eagle disqualified for being the cause of the stoppage – Kyle up and okay which is of course the most important thing – footnote – Lewi holding a good lead down the back straight at the time of the stoppage

Heat 3 rerun – and doesn’t it so often happen – this time Bjerre gates and while Lewi challenges him around the outside on bend four of lap one this opened a gap on the inside that Wethers duly exploited and nipped through on the inside heading into lap two – a second 5-1 on the spin for the diamonds who now lead 13-5 – Lewi coasted around final two turns seemingly with mechanical woes time 64.4

Heat 4 Jorgensen (r) Phillips (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y)

Heat four and a fourth restart is called four as this time the tapes only rose on the one side

Heat 4 Cracking gate from Richard who storms away to win by a distance from Jorgensen – Phillips had too much for Jason on this occasion so the points are shared 3-3 16-8 time 63.7

Heat 5 Bjerre (r) Wethers (b) Morris (w) Wood (y)

Heatt 5 Wethers hits the front and sees off the challenge of Morris to the delight of the home fans – Georgie giving chase to Bjerre and keeping him honest but he grinds to a halt at the tail end of lap three 4-2 20-10 time 63.3

Just been announced that Alfie heading for hospital unfortunately and (needless to say) is withdrawn from the meeting

Heat 6 Worrall (r) Ostergaard (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y ) replacing Bowtell

Heat 6 Worrall wins the dash to the first turn but Richard (the Law as he is known around these parts) cuts nicely between the diamonds skipper and Ostergaard down the back straight to bag his second win – Worrall takes second place with Ostergaard back in third 3-3 23-13 time 63.2

Heat 7 Jorgensen (r) Clegg (b) Newman (w) Kerr (y )

Heat 7 And boom – it might have taken 35 heats on the tour but the substantial eagles following (aren’t they great folks ?) are cheering – Lewi makes a superb gate to lead and Kyle completes the 5-1 picture as he cuts inside of Jorgensen down the back straight and that is how it stays – maximum points to the eagles and margin reduces to 6-points 24-18 (we can go home happy now ?)

Heat 8 Ostergaard (r) Phillips (b) Wood (w) Edwards (y)

Heat 8 a comfortable win for Ulrich to be fair but Jason earned his corn by outgunning Phillips in that one despite a last ditch effort from the Diamonds reserve on the run in to the line – Georgie busting a gut to get on terms but it was not to be – a 4-2 it is and a progressive score of 28-20 time 65.0

Heat 9 Bjerre (r) Wethers (b) Lawson (w) Edwards (y ) replacing Bowtell

Heat 9 Richard hits the front into the first turn and takes it wide – Bjerre comes around the outside and goes down – maybe slight contact but the official adjudged Richard as the cause of the stoppage and he is excluded

Heat 9. Re-run Jason on a hiding to nothing really but needless to say he gives it a good go – unable to prevent Wethers romping to his third win in three however and with partner Bjerre riding shotgun it’s a third 5-1 that goes the way of the hosts – they now lead 33-21 time 66.3

Heat 10 Worrall (r) Ostergaard Newman (w) Kerr (y)

Heat 10 another fast gate from Worrall but Lewi has his measure down the back straight and he heads the home number one out of bend two and for the remainder of the course – with Kyle also outpacing Ostergaard this saw eagles secure the 4-2 and the margin reduced once more to 10-points 35-25 time 63.9

Heat 11 Jorgensen (r) Clegg (b) Morris (w) Lawson (y ) T/S in place of Wood

Heat 11 boom and double boom – Eagles hit the front heading into the first turn and that’s all she wrote – Richard taking the win from Nick with Jorgensen trailing well back in third place 1-5 36-30 time 63.8

Heat 12 Bjerre (r) Phillips (b) Newman (w) Edwards (y )

Heat 12 Jason hits the front and then Kyle comes around the outside and we’re looking good – Bjerre makes his presence felt getting the better of Jason down the back straight but he can’t catch Kyle – with Jason holding on for third ahead of the chasing Phillips that’s the 4-2 that pulls eagles to within 4-points of their hosts 38-34 time 65.6 – golly I’ll confess to feeling slightly giddy

Ht 13 Worrall (r) Jorgensen (b) Morris (w) Lawson (y)

Jorgensen gets a flyer but it’s all four back as the red lights flash on – Jorgensen takes the warning

Heat 13 well I do declare folks Lawson and Morris out of the start side by side to put early distance in place between themselves and the chasing diamonds pair – that distance only gets greater as Richard comes home ahead of Nick with Worrall a distant third – it’s another 5-1 folks and suddenly it’s all square at 39-points apiece time 64.3 – make that Giddy with a capital G

Ht 14 Wethers (r) Clegg (b) Kerr (w) Edwards (y )

It’s a last heat decider one and all as Lewi takes the win from Clegg to set the scores at 42-42 – a bitter sweet moment indeed – Jason giving it his all but turns it round on the final turn of lap two – he is swiftly up and off the track allowing the race to continue only for Wethers to take a tumble of his own on the very next bend – with Jason having already left the course Wethers remounts for the third place and the 3-3 that sends the team into the final race level pegging time 64.4

Heat 15 line up Wethers (r) Bjerre (b) Morris (w) Lawson (y ) – Diamonds take gates 2 and 4

Dare we to dream folks? ?

Heat 15 boom boom and boom as many times as you like and keep on booming – Lawson and Morris do the business – a big 5-1 to finish and eagles take the win 47-43

Heat 15 Wethers makes the start but Lawson and Morris edge ahead on bends one and two and it was they who held on – Wethers kept them honest for a couple of laps but once clear there was only to be the one winner – Lawson leads the charge with Morris a close second – Wethers back in third and Bjerre having pulled up at the start of the final lap – joy is unconfined around the starting gate area were the Eagles fans are gathered – merriment ensues and deservedly so – their final travelling league match of the campaign and eagles seize the away win that the lads efforts and the travelling fans loyalty richly deserve ?

Image Credit: Mike Hinves

NEWCASTLE 43: Matthew Wethers 10+2, Lasse Bjerre 8+1, Steve Worrall 6+1, Ulrich Ostergaard 6+1, Max Clegg 5, Danny Phillips 4+2, Thomas Jorgensen 4.

EASTBOURNE 47: Richard Lawson 15, Nick Morris 11+3, Lewis Kerr 10, Kyle Newman 6+1, Jason Edwards 5, Georgie Wood 0, Alfie Bowtell 0.