MATCH REPORT: Newport take first Elite League victory

Newport 90 – 84 Sheffield, Elite League, Sunday 27th April 2014

Newport CSC opened their home Elite League campaign with the visit of Sheffield Stars to Newports sports village. The Welsh circuit looked terrific with a very fast grippy surface and freshly painted white lines.

The racing got underway with a fine Damian Zareba heat 1 win. This was countered by a maximum heat win for the home team’s Mark Carmichael/Nick Evans pairing. A fine couple of further wins for the Yorkshire outfit’s Andy Angell and Damian Zareba in heats 3 and 4, but Newport covered their partners well. They increased the lead with Oli Sidwick/Nathan Groves and Jack Hibberd/Jamie Ball pairs, gaining further heat advantages giving Newport an 8 point cushion after 6 races. Sheffield were really trying their hardest and an Andy Angell/GavinParr maximum brought it back to 3 points with Groves taking the first exclusion of the day, followed shortly after by a Hibberd tapes infringement, which brought the scores at the break to 44 all.

Newport came out all guns blazing after a 10 minute talking to from team manager Colin Simmons during the interval, with a max heat win from Oli Sidwick/Jamie Ball and two more 6-4s took the Welsh eight to a 10 point lead. The impressive Angell and Zareba were just about keeping the visitors in the match, but Newport were showing much more strengh in depth, and were warming up young Jacob Soper up for the last race when an unfortunate racing exclusion to Shaun Rudman for drifting too much meant the stars could win with a 7-3 in the last race. Newport kept Ball in the race, but Carmichael showed great coolness with a tapes to flag win and see home Newport by 6 points after Grimes was excluded for crossing the inside line attempting to make a last corner pass on the leader. It was a good spirited and very entertaining meeting that was well refereed by Mike Legge from Dorset.

Newport 90
S Rudman 10+1, N Groves 9+1, M Carmichael 18+1, N Evans 12+1, J Hibberd 13,  J Ball 11+4, A Herbert 7+1, O Sidwick 9, A Bennett and J Soper DNR

Sheffield 84
D Zareba 19, K Holland 1, B McMillan 12+2, D Chambers 5, A Angell 16+2, G
 Parr 11, M Grimes 11, R Hudson 4, N Morton 3

Newport (66 plus 10 penalty points) 76

D Bock 2, W Cartwright 12, K Jones 6, A Bennett 11+2, J Soper 12+3, C Davies 16, C Simmons 3, D Dixon 4

Sheffield 62
Z Smurthwaite 5+1, M Parrot 10, R Hudson 7, A Watson 9+1, M Phillips 14, N Morton 7+2, K Holland 6+1, R Davies 4