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Brian White  Saturday, August 03, 2002  21:14 GMT

Boston were buoyant after their victory at Newport on Friday, although they realised that without Rob Grant’s massive contribution, the victory might not have been achieved.

The young Geordie had been signed on loan from Berwick in the early part of the week but was then offered a place in the Premier League line-up at Stoke following the recent injury to Mark Burrows.

Grant made his Stoke debut 24 hours after the Newport match for Boston and is no longer eligible for the Lincolnshire club because of his 2001 CMA.

“Rob would dearly love to double up with ourselves and Stoke but unfortunately the rules do not permit that for riders who have a 2001 average greater than 4.00,” said team manager Malcolm Vasey.

“We were delighted to have him, even just for the one match, because we were desperately short due to work commitments on Friday.

“Rob scored a full maximum for us but it was a great effort throughout the team that secured the victory and I was very pleased with the side who fought hard for what we got.

“Paul Mackiln came in at reserve and scored three and it surely would have been more if he hadn’t shed a chain whilst he was leading in one race. I know he has a lot to offer us.

“The spirit in our side is outstanding and Rob Hollingworth led by example, scoring nine points on a track he found very difficult.”

All of the Boston riders were delighted to be given such a generous reception by the Newport supporters as they did their lap of honour after the match.

“They were very sporting fans and I am sure the entire crowd stayed behind to applaud us,” said Boston captain Hollingworth.

“It was a very sporting gesture and not something you would see in many sports.”

Boston, with six wins and a draw from their last eight matches, are now left ruing their disastrous start to the campaign, which saw them lose five matches in a row.

“We missed the pre-season challenges and went into the opening matches absolutely cold and paid a heavy price for it,” said Vasey.

“Having said that, they were all tough fixtures but we are now so competitive that we might just have turned those early home defeats around.”

Boston’s next matches are against Sheffield, home and away, immediately after the World Cup is concluded and these are bound to be exciting fixtures.

“Neil Machin has been a continual source of help to us this season and his direct assistance has ensured a certain degree of success for Boston. We now wish to thank him by providing him with the sternest possible test in these two matches!” said Lambert.

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