Edinburgh Monarchs’ lingering play-off bid is all but washed away

Edinburgh Monarchs’ lingering play-off hopes were all but washed away in the rain against Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Eddie Wright raceway today.

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 20:52 pm
Josh Pickering was the second top scorer for Edinburgh Monarchs

The Scorpions, inspired by Josh Auty who roared to a 15-point maxium, took quick revenge for their reverse at Armadale on Friday, with a convincing 56-34 Championship League victory which all but spells the end of Monarchs’ hopes of finishing in the top four for this season.

Poor displays from certain heat leaders proved to be the downfall of Monarchs.

However, they made a flying start to the match by storming to an opening heat 5-1 courtesy of guest Rasmus Jensen and James Sarjeant. But Scunthorpe hit back with a 4-2, and grabbed another in heat three after Monarchs ace Josh Pickering retired, to tie the scores at 9-9.

Scunthorpe then took the lead with a 5-1 of their own in heat four through Ben Barker and Simon Lambert who raced clear of Cameron Heeps and guest reserve Matt Marson.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A track inspection then followed at the request of the riders following rain which had been falling since the start of the meeting. But the referee ruled that racing could continue.

Monarchs pair Jensen and Sarjeant were warned after both jumped the start in the fifth heat and the race was rerun, and it resulted in a 4-2 success for the Scorpions after Jensen had retired. The home side now led 18-12 and there was feeling Monarchs were letting things slip away from them after their promising start.

Scunthorpe then began to turn up the heat on Monarchs by extracting their second 5-1 of the meeting in heat six when Jake Alen and Danny Ayres, who was exceptionally good in the first match on Friday, sped away from Heeps and Marson, and the Scorpions now led 23-13.

Some Monarchs riders were complaining about track conditions which played right into Scunthorpe’s hands. Josh Auty and Stefan Nielsen then scored Scunthorpe’s third 5-1 in the ninth heat to open up a commanding 36-18 advantage. Pickering and Wells finally stopped the rot in heat ten with a 4-2 for Monarchs which shaved their arrears to 38-22. And with the next two races shared 3-3 Monarchs were all but doomed. A 4-2 for Scunthorpe in heat 13 clinched the match points for the home side, and deservedly so. Pickering had a nasty crash in the final heat and was excluded.

Scunthorpe: Auty 15, Lambert 11, Barker 9, Allen 8, Ayres 6, Nielsen 6, Kinsley 1.

Monarchs: Jensen 9, Pickering 8, Sarjeant 5, Wells 5, Lawson 5, Heeps 2, Marson 0.