Edinburgh Monarchs keep season alive with victory over Scunthorpe Scorpions

Edinburgh Monarchs maintained their push for a spot in the end-of-season speedway play-offs with a decisive victory over rivals Scunthorpe Scorpions in tonight’s Championship League encounter at Armadale.

Monarchs stung the Scorpions to win 53-37, a victory which takes them into eighth place in the table but still below Scunthorpe, which is an indication of just how hard a fight Monarchs face to break into the top four which guarantees qualification for the lucrative play-offs.

Monarchs team boss Alex Harkess said: “We had a few misfiring riders tonight but we won, and that is the most important thing at this stage of the season.”

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New signing James Sarjeant made his Monarchs debut and finished third in his first ride after Scorpions No. 1 Jake Allen pulled up and retired, Monarchs winning the heat 4-2.

Sarjeant said: “The track was a bit greasy so I didn’t want to do anything stupid in my first outing, but I feel confident enough and hopefully I can do a decent scoring job for Monarchs as the season goes on.” And Sarjeant picked up another point in his second ride.

Monarchs looked to be in control of things after Josh Pickering and Ricky Wells got a 5-1 in the third race, but Scorpions hit back with a 4-2 in the next after Monarchs reserve William Lawson was disqualified after coming to grief.

At the halfway mark Monarchs, who racked up 67 points against the Scorpions in the KO Cup in May, narrowly led 26-22 after the Scorpions grabbed a 5-1 in heat eight through Danny Ayres and Simon Lambert.

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But Monarchs responded with their second 5-1 of the meeting to stretch their lead to eight points 31-23. And another 5-1 followed in heat ten as Monarchs pulled further ahead 36-24, Sarjeant following Sam Masters home for the maximum advantage.

And a fourth 5-1 for Monarchs in heat 13 was enough to push them over the winning line with a bit to spare. It was 3-3 in heat 14 and Monarchs won heat 15, 4-2.

Monarchs: Masters 14, Wells 12, Heeps 10, Pickering 9, Sarjeant 5, Lawson 3, Coles 0.

Scunthorpe: Ayres 12, Lambert 9, Barker 8, Auty 4, Kinsley 2, Nielsen 1, Allen 1.

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