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Brian White  Tuesday, July 23, 2002  19:45 GMT

Boston 53 Newport 37


The Newport Mavericks provided the opposition for Boston at the Norfolk Arena at the weekend but despite their spirited efforts Boston came out on top after a keenly fought scrap.


Both teams were missing their top men but the match turned out to be a well fought out affair with Newport providing considerable resistance in the early stages from Simon Walker and then as the match progressed from both Tom Brown and Rob Finlow. Never the less the “NC Willams & Son - Insurance” Barracuda-Braves had too much in hand for the youngsters from South Wales and good displays from Hollingworth, Boast and Smith provided the foundation for a home victory.


Heat 1 was a curious affair with the race being stopped after both Mavericks had fallen and remounted when Finlow fell for a second time. Boston’s looked fairly certain to score a 5-1 before the stoppage but given a second opportunity, Walker produced a good ride to beat Scarboro and Mallett and the points were shared. Worse followed for Boston in Heat 2 with Smith falling whilst in front providing a 4-2 for the Mavericks. Boston stormed back with a Boast/Hollingworth 5-1 in the next a feat the pair repeated in Heat 5 after exciting overtakes by both home men.


Newport battled on and gained a share of the points in each of the next four races to keep their hopes alive. Peter Boast, who has returned to form in recent weeks, won Heat 9 and with Mallett third the home team at last began to extend their lead. Finlow won Heat 11, yet another shared race before Hollingworth and Smith provided a 5-1 that just about determined the destination of the points. Smith won Heat 13 outpacing Brown and with a 5-1 in the penultimate race from Boast and Chadburn, Boston had extended their lead to 16 points. Hollingworth and Boast shot from the from the gate in the final heat but Finlow rode an excellent first turn and although Hollingworth challenged around the outside the Maverick edged away to win the heat. The relatively inexperienced Mavericks had fought hard for the whole match and their fighting spirit ensured that the Braves had to maintain tight discipline throughout in order to maximise their own opportunities of obtaining the bonus point when the sides meet in Wales.

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