Edinburgh Monarchs boss John Campbell today said the Capital speedway side are “sparking again” following their tremendous 52-39 away victory at Peterborough Panthers on Sunday.
After recent shaky performances at Glasgow Tigers and at home to Rye House Rockets, Monarchs were badly in need of a confidence boost and the manner in which they crushed the Panthers round their own circuit even took Campbell by surprise. But importantly, by taking all four match points, the victory lifts Monarchs into third place in the Premier League table just behind their Ashfield rivals and a play-off spot now looks assured.
Campbell said: “I had not expected us to win at Peterborough. I had hoped if Sam [Masters] scored a maximum we might leave with one point and if we had enough of our other riders going well we would get something out of the match.
“The outcome was a total reversal of our performance in the Knockout Cup at Glasgow when we had no riders on fire and no spark to drive them on. But on Sunday everybody was sparking all over the place and the result was never in doubt. It was one-way traffic.”
Monarchs’ German star Kevin Wolbert was the team’s top scorer with 12 points and Campbell continued: “Kevin probably had his best away meeting of the season so far. Sam was complaining about dropping points, but he was phenomenal in heat 15 when he was at the back, then all of a sudden he was in second place with Craig Cook, who joined Peterborough earlier in the season, at the back. Fantastic!
“I’m not one to tell the riders what is required of them and I was criticised for doing that at the Premier League Fours at the same track. But I had no need to tell them what they had do in that last race, which was nothing of course, because we had clinched the meeting two races earlier, yet they still rode out of their skins.”
Campbell reserved his highest praise for young reserve star Dan Bewley, who stormed to an impressive ten-point haul from the tail-end. Bewley has now amassed 27 points from his last three meetings and now looks terrier-like on track, with some impressive gating enhancing his growing reputation. “I was happy with how I rode and felt comfortable on the bike, I just want to keep it going,” the young rider enthused.
Campbell said: “Dan was the man! He is so smooth. He rides for Belle Vue Colts regularly and their track is similar in size to Peterborough’s. But Dan made it look all so easy.
“But all the team were involved, even Max [Clegg]. His score wasn’t good, but he was in amongst things and could have scored half-a-dozen points, but just found himself in the wrong place at times.
“Erik [Riss] was disappointed with himself and thought he should have done better, but as a team we could hardly have been more impressive. I got them all together afterwards and said you have shown what you can do, now go on and complete the job over the rest of the season.”