Monarchs 45, Glasgow 45: Tigers snatch a draw in final heat

The two skippers, Aaron Summers, behind, and Sam Masters, shake hands after heat 15. Picture: Ron MacNeil

The two skippers, Aaron Summers, behind, and Sam Masters, shake hands after heat 15. Picture: Ron MacNeil

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It wasn’t a classic by any manner of means as Edinburgh Monarchs and Glasgow Tigers battled to draw in tonight’s Championship derby clash at Armadale.

Monarchs led by two points going into the last heat but were thwarted by Tigers skipper Aaron Summers who salvaged a draw for his side by taking the chequered flag.

He said: “It was a hard-fought match and we are satisfied with the draw.”

Tigers ace Richie Worrall said: “It was the slickest I’ve seen the Armadale track in a long time but we are more than happy with the result.”

It was imperative that Monarchs got off to a good start and they looked to have gained a 4-2 advantage in heat one but, whilst Sam Masters won the race, his partner Pickering slid off on the second bend with no-one near him. It was only the first race but you cannot afford to gift the Tigers points.

But thankfully Mark Riss and Mitchell Davey secured a 4-2 in the next race against Tom Perry and Jack Smith for Monarchs to take a 7-5 lead.

However, it was all square in the next heat when Richard Lawson and Dan Bewley grabbed Tigers’ first heat advantage of the meeting with a well earned 4-2 – it had looked as if Monarchs would surrender a 5-1 until Erik Riss split the Tigers pairing.

It was looking nip and tuck with Monarchs’ Ricky Wells and Davey grabbing a 4-2 in the fourth heat to reinstate their two-point lead. It was a good and comfortable win for Wells over Richie Worrall who has been on fire for Glasgow so far this season.

And the scores were level again in the fifth heat courtesy of Aaron Summers and Bewley with a 4-2 over Erik Riss and Max Clegg who struggled and finished last again.

The next race saw Masters grab a share of the spoils but Pickering trailed in last and you can’t afford such failings with the Tigers so strong.

Wells won his second race of the meeting by defeating Worrall again in heat seven for another 3-3 and it’s fair to say that none of Monarchs pairings were firing at this moment in time.

There was another drawn race in heat eight with Richard Lawson winning for the Tigers. But the hottest action was at the back between Mark Riss and Perry with the Monarchs reserve prevailing for third place. The scores were still tied 24-24 with no-one giving an inch.

Worrall won his first race for the Tigers easing his way past Mark and Erik Riss as if they were standing still in heat nine.

It wasn’t Pickering’s night and he tumbled off in heat ten leaving Masters to win his third race in succession for a 3-3 – the fifth such verdict in a row.

The trend continued in the next race and when Wells’ bike stalled at the start it was left to Mark Riss to pull off a crucial victory over Summers for yet another share of the spoils.

There was a breakthrough in heat 12 when Erik Riss won his first race of the meeting with his brother Mark claiming third place for a Monarchs 4-2 and they led 37-35. But Mark Riss was nearly taken into the fence on the first bend by Lawson and found it hard to recover.

Wells fell off at the start of heat 13 and was disqualified from the rerun – a blow Monarchs could have done without. But typically Masters showed all his battling qualities in the rerun and won it in some style to maintain Monarchs’ wafer-thin two-point lead.

It was all down to a last-heat decider after Bewley won heat 14 beating Mark Riss and Clegg who picked up a priceless third-place point. Mark Riss had a tremendous meeting winning three races.

And dramatically Tigers grabbed a match saving draw by winning heat 15 4-2, Summers beating Masters to ruin the Aussie’s hopes of a 15 point maximum, and Worrall snatched third place ahead of Wells.

Pickering said: “I had a meeting to forget. I just want to move on to my next meeting at Newcastle.”

Monarchs: Masters 14, M Riss 12, E Riss 8, Wells 6, Pickering 2, Davey 2, Clegg 1

Glasgow: Summers 11, Worrall 10, Lawson 9, Bewley 8, Perry 5, Smith 2