Edinburgh Monarchs ripped up the form book to defeat Glasgow Tigers 46-43 in their rearranged League Cup group clash at Armadale last night.
With Glasgow already through to the semi-finals, Monarchs only had honour to race for and they preserved that with a steely scoring performance. Glasgow certainly did not take their foot off the gas despite progressing to the last four, and this was will be a setback for them given the unbeaten roll they have been on.
Monarchs captain Sam Masters said: “It is always tough against Glasgow especially this year because they have an awesome team. But all our boys put in a great effort and I was proud of them all.”
Team-mate Ryan Fisher, who scored eight points, commented: “I did not start off too well but did a lot better in the second half which pleased me. It was a really good win for us against a strong Glasgow side.”
Monarchs got off to a dream start with a 4-2 from Masters and Erik Riss in the opening heat. And luck was on Monarchs’ side in the very next race when Max Clegg and Ryan Blacklock, who was standing in for Dan Bewley, grabbed a 5-0 after Tigers duo Coty Garcia and Danny Ayres fell off and retired from the race.
Monarchs led 9-2 but Tigers pegged their hosts back with a 4-2 from Richie Worrall and Ben Barker in the third race.
The Tigers then managed a further 4-2 in heat four which cut Monarchs’ advantage to three points, 13-10. Game was now on.
Glasgow then extracted their third 4-2 advantage in a row in heat five to reduce their arrears to a single point, 15-14 with Monarchs under some pressure to respond.
And respond they did with Masters and Riss storming to a big 5-1 in the sixth heat which saw Tigers captain Aaron Summers trailing in a poor third.
This gave Monarchs a five-point lead confounding those who had predicted the Tigers would be too strong for their hosts.
However, the Tigers began to show their mettle in the next race when Worrall and Barker seized a 5-1 against Monarchs’ flying American Ryan Fisher who just failed to catch Barker on the way to the finishing line. And once again the Ashfield men trailed by just a single point, 21-20.
Heat eight, the halfway point, proved a pivotal race for Monarchs with Riss powering around the outside of Nike Lunna on the fourth bend to take the chequered flag which maintained Monarchs’ wafer thin single-point lead.
Monarchs then turned the screw on the Tigers in heat ten when Masters and Riss powered to their second 5-1 of the meeting over Barker and Worrall to open up a five-point gap once more. Barker fell off on the fourth bend and seemed hesitant about clearing the track so the referee awarded the race in Monarchs’ favour, the home duo leading at the time.
Fisher succumbed to Tigers’ Richard Lawson in heat ten and with team-mate Lunna pinching third spot, the visitors picked up a 4-2 to trail by three points, 34-31 with victory at this stage very much in the balance for both teams.
Victory by Fisher in heat 13 with Masters in third gave Monarchs a crucial 4-2 to lead 41-36 and inch to victory.
But the Tigers roared back in their penultimate race after Monarchs reserve Max Clegg was disqualified for not being under power, handing a 4-2 to Barker and Garcia over Jye Etheridge who did exceptionally well to split the Tigers duo.
Masters proved to be Monarchs’ hero when he sped to victory in the last race to clinch the match for his team to leave the Tigers pretty deflated having tasted defeat for the first time this season.
Monarchs: Masters 12, Wolbert 10, Riss 9, Fisher 8, Clegg 3, Blacklock 2, Etheridge 2.
Glasgow: Laswon 12, Worrall 10, Barker 6, Summers 6, Lunna 4, Garcia 3, Ayres 2.