Report from Neil Magee, pictures George Swanson (Edinburgh).
Sunday 8th June
EDINBURGH FALCONS v NORTHUMBRIA VIKINGS
@ Redbraes Park
EDINBURGH FALCONS 95
NORTHUMBRIA VIKINGS 83
With couple of riders missing from the Northumbria line up, this turned out to be not quite as close as the dramatic season opener, the home side pulling away to establish a 12 point lead by the half way point, though the Vikings steadied the ship after 'claiming ins' and dropping no further behind. The visitors three heat leaders all scored well, with Gavin Parr dropping only a single point, brother Michael gating well for 17, while Jason Keith took 15+1, back up coming from the two Dans who both had their moments. Mikey Hewitson lost out on a max for the Falcons after being excluded when clashing with Keith in heat 12, Craig Newsome also lucky to escape a nasty injury after falling heavily on the concrete pit area when racing hard in his final race, the rest of the home side also all very competitive and contributing well to their teams win with Kamil Greszla looking fast and Neil 'Archie' McPherson consistent.
EDINBURGH: Kamil Greszla 16, Neil McPherson 16, Mikey Hewitson 15+1, Lee Lawrence 14+1, Dougie Morgan 10+1, Mark Lee 8+4, Craig Newsome 8+3, Neil Swanson 8
NORTHUMBRIA: Gavin Parr 19, Michael Parr 17, Jason Keith 15+1, Daniel Wharrier 9+2, Dan Redshaw 9, Terry Kirkup 7, Jim Graham 4, Andy Knowles 3
EDINBURGH FALCONS 103 (83 + 20 penalty points)
NORTHUMBRIA VIKINGS 67
With a strong team line up, Edinburgh always looked garunteed the win even before the Vikings were forced to drop a first team heat leader into the line up to cover an ill rider. While they at least got 19 points from their 'guest' No.1, only the fast starting Dan Redshaw went well for the visitors, with Dan Wharrier this time having a nightmare with a few unlucky decisions in terms of track position and plenty of frustration the result. All Edinburgh's starting six scored at least double figures, with Euan Kennedy no doubt pleased with his fine couple of wins, father Gavin and younger brother Louis also getting in on the act with some good rides. First teamers Mark Lee, Neil Swanson and Dougie Morgan were always amongst it, while Callum Slight used his experience to stay in front when challenged.
EDINBURGH: Gavin Kennedy 15, Callum Slight 13+2, Neil Swanson 13+2, Euan Kennedy 13, Mark Lee 11+3, Dougie Morgan 11+1, Euan Tulloch 5+1, Louis Kennedy 2+1
NORTHUMBRIA: Gavin Parr 19+1, Dan Redshaw 17, Daniel Wharrier 10+1, Andy Knowles 7+1, Neil Magee 7, Jim Graham 7
This was probably as good as we'll ever get at Redbraes until our team age is roughly equivalent to Edinburgh's. Fortunately Jake Slight was missing from their lineup otherwise another 100 point score was likely.
All the way up there I was praying I'd feel like I did at Glasgow the previous Sunday but it wasn't to be. My first race consumed everything I could muster so I found the others very hard, and felt really unwell as the match finished, forced to watch the Division Two battle instead of taking part. Sorry teammates.
Another run-in with officialdom meant I couldn't use my supercharged helmet with its front stiffening rim which put me in completely the wrong frame of mind for racing anyway!