They may have improved slightly on their League Cup showing of last month, but Edinburgh Monarchs cannot seem to overcome their aversion to Workington Comets’ Derwent Park circuit and crashed to another heavy loss, going down 58-34 in their Premier League encounter on Saturday.
However, Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell denied this was a setback, claiming it doesn’t diminish his belief that the Capital speedway outfit will conquer their away day blues, which is essential if they are to lay a claim to this year’s championship crown.
Conscious of the fact that Monarchs are still seeking their first league win of the campaign, Campbell said: “Although we scored more points than we did on our League Cup visit, the result was probably what I had expected. It was nice to see Andrew Tully scoring some points and Craig Cook doing well, but 13 of the races were over by the first bend.”
While it is the case that Workington’s track favours fast trappers, it cannot be cited as the sole reason why Monarchs come unstuck so often at an arena which has now become something of a graveyard for them in recent seasons’
“It would be unfair to say we would have beaten Workington had we made it out of the starts”, acknowledged Campbell, “because Workington do have a very good team this year, but there were only two overtakes during the whole meeting, so it’s so critical to get into the first corner in front. And it was only when Andrew and Craig got going later on that this happened, however Workington are set-up to do exactly this and win races.”
Campbell added: “It was disappointing to lose but we were never going to win this one.”
Monarchs lagged 17-7 behind after just four heats prompting Cook to take a tactical ride in the next race and he scooped four points after finishing second behind Comets skipper Richard Lawson.
A Kenny Ingalls and Rene Bach 5-1 for Workington in heat six then forced Monarchs to give Theo Pijper a tactical ride in the next heat, but after skipper Matthew Wethers fell at the first time of asking, Pijper surrendered a 5-1 to Gary Irving and Rusty Harrison rendering his double-points attempt futile.
Workington motored on blissfully and reached the half century mark by the 12th race. But Monarchs proved what could be achieved when Tully and Cook easily defeated Harrison and Bach for a splendid 5-1 in heat 13, and although the Comets hit back in double-quick time with a maximum advantage of their own in the penultimate heat, Monarchs reigned in the top scorers’ finale with Cook taking the honours ahead of Lawson, and with Tully finishing third the visitors signed off with an excellent 4-2.
The return of Monarchs reserve Charles Wright did not go according to plan as the former Comet failed to score at his old home for the second time running. And Campbell observed: “He never looked like scoring and when his head goes down I’d have to say he simply dislikes Workington. He didn’t seem confident before the start of the meeting and did nothing during it. I think Charles will be glad that this will probably be our last visit this year.”
Workington: Ingalls 11, Lawson 11, Roynon 9, Harrison 8, Irving 7, Howarth 6, Bach 6.
Monarchs: Cook 14, Tully 9, Pijper 6, Dyer 3, Wethers 2, Wright 0.