Edinburgh Monarchs pile more misery on to Diamonds

Craig Cook, who top scored for Monarchs, gets ahaed of Ludvig Lindgren. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Craig Cook, who top scored for Monarchs, gets ahaed of Ludvig Lindgren. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs’ remarkable run of speedway success away from home against Newcastle Diamonds shows no sign of coming to an end.

Monarchs defeated the Diamonds three times at Brough Park in 2014 and last night they piled on the misery for their hosts once again pulling off a hard fought 48-42 Premier League victory to keep them in third place in the championship table and unbeaten in the league so far.

Monarchs promoter John Campbell felt his side were always going to triumph. He said: “Unusually it was pretty much from the gate which isn’t always the case at Newcastle, but the track was pretty slick.

“And I think because of our top end strength we were always going to come through. I’m very pleased with the result, I thought we would win.”

There was nothing to choose between the sides in the first half with Monarchs holding a slender 25-23 lead after eight races. But not for the first time Monarchs proved assertive when it mattered most on their way to the winning line.

Campbell said: “We have so many riders who can score points and that is a big advantage to have when the scores are close.”

German teenager Erik Riss made his return from injury and picked up three valuable points including a second place behind team-mate Sam Masters in a pivotal heat 11 in which the Monarchs duo scored a 5-1 advantage after Diamonds ace Ludvig Lindgren was excluded after tumbling off trying to pass Masters round the outside.

Campbell was full of praise for Riss, saying: “Erik did very well in his first meeting back and was very sensible in what he did. And I think this was definitely his best match for the club so far, I was very encouraged by what he did.”

Skipper Craig Cook was Monarchs’ top scorer with 13 points and was beaten just twice by his opponents, Lindgren in heat four, and Steve Worrall in the final heat. But Cook had the satisfaction of denying Worrall an 18 point maxium when he headed home the ex-Monarch in the ninth race. However, Cook had to equal the fastest time of the season at Brough Park before taking the chequered flag.

Said Cook: “I wasn’t very happy with my gating, but from a team point of view, it was a great performance by everybody who all got in among the points.”

Monarchs’ reserve pairing of Sam Clegg and Rob Branford were certainly not disgraced by their Newcastle counterparts. And the duo gave their side a huge lift when they secured maximum points against Lewis Rose and Oliver Greenwood in the second race.

Monarchs had opened up a 46-38 gap with one race to go and only needed to share the last heat to grab all four match points.

But Worrall and Lindgren extracted a 4-2 against Cook and Masters to at least give their fans a little something to cheer about.

This was Monarchs’ fourth straight league win on the trot and Campbell added: “To be unbeaten in the league at this early stage is very good and let’s hope it can continue.

“When I was told that 
Newcastle would be without Simon Neilsen at reserve, I knew that would be a big plus for us. And sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.”

Worrall, who was a talismanic performer for Monarchs last season dominated the match for the Diamonds and could have done with a greater degree of support which might have brought about a different result.

But Worrall has scored 33 points in total in the two clashes against Monarchs this season, and even some Capital supporters will not begrudge him that level of personal success against his former club.

Newcastle: Worrall 17, Kerr 7, Lindgren 7, Rose 7, Henry 3, Greenwood 1.

Monarchs: Cook 13, Masters 9, Wolbert 8, Sedgmen 8, Branford 5, Riss 3, Clegg 2.