Edinburgh Monarchs returned to the top of the Championship tonight with a workmanlike display against Workington Comets.
They triumphed 52-40 in their league clash which went some way to banish their hammering at Glasgow Tigers last Saturday.
Mitchell Davey said: “It was another tricky meeting for us because Workington are a decent side, but we got the job done and that was the main thing.”
Max Clegg, who picked up six points, commented: “It was a fantastic win for the whole team. We gated a lot better and it was good to get the win to take us back to the top of the league.”
After they were taken down to the wire at home last week by Sheffied Tigers it was imperative that Monarchs got off to a strong start and this they managed with two 4-2s in the opening two heats.
Skippper Sam Masters easily defeated Workington guest Steve Worrall in the first race then Monarchs guest Dany Gappmaier gated with aplomb to take the chequered flag against Matt Williamson to give Monarchs an early 8-4 lead.
And a third 4-2 verdict followed in heat three courtesy of Erik Riss and Clegg, who made a shocking start but grabbed a third-place point.
Workington’s Thomas Jorgensen was away smartly to defeat Monarchs ace Ricky Wells in the next heat to give the visitors their first race victory and a share of the spoils 3-3 which maintained Monarchs’ six-point lead.
Clegg was out of the gate like a rocket in heat five and with Riss fighting his way into second place this 5-1 extended Monarchs’ lead to ten points, 20-10.
This prompted Workington to give Jorgensen a tactical ride in the next race to try and reduce their arrears. But the Comets rider could only manage second place behind Masters, and another shared heat ensued keeping Monarchs ten in front and looking quite comfortable at this early stage.
Wells atoned for his previous race by winning his next against Ty Proctor and Adam Roynon in heat seven. His partner Gappmaier, after his fine victory in the second race, trailed in last this time and couldn’t get going at all.
The Comets always kept Monarchs in their sight and they secured their first heat advantage of the meeting in heat eight when Mason Campton held off Josh Pickering, and with Matt Williamson grabbing third sport this 4-2 reduced the Comets’ arrears to just eight points.
Pickering was riding for Monarchs with broken fingers and at times it showed as he seemingly toiled to hang on to his bike.
Jorgensen was all over Monarchs like a rash and he easily overtook Riss, who led from the gate, for his second victory of the night in heat nine.
Masters and Pickering re-established Monarchs’ ten-point leeway with a 4-2 in heat 10 with Pickering trying outside and inside to get past Proctor who just held on to second place.
The 11th race was a real humdinger with Wells riding brilliantly to pick off Worrall then Campton for a great win to split the points 3-3 when a 5-1 looked on for the visitors. However, Monarchs were not out of the woods yet as Workington snatched a 4-2 when Proctor won a hard race against Riss in heat 12 and this reduced the gap once more to eight points.
It took Monarchs’ top two riders, Wells and Masters, to steady the ship in heat 13 with a timely 5-1 against Jorgensen to widen the gap to 14 points, 46-32.
And a share of the spoils in the final heat pushed Monarchs comfortably over the line.
Monarchs are in Championship action on Sunday nght against Peterborough Panthers and will be without Erik and Mark Riss after both were ordered to ride for their German League side Landshut away to White Tigers.
Erik Riss said: “It’s an unfortunate clash of dates but I have to ride, my German Federation insist on it.” Ben Morley and Danny Ayres will deputise for them.
Monarchs: Wells 14, Masters 11, Riss 9, Clegg 6, Pickering 5, Gappmaier 5, Davey 2.
Workintgon: Jorgensen 13, Williamson 9, Campton 7, Proctor 6, Worrall 3, Roynon 2, Shuttleworth 0.