Edinburgh Monarchs skipper Sam Masters suffers nasty shoulder injury and taken to hospital in ambulance

The Edinburgh Monarchs' pursuit of silverware this year suffered a major blow after the irreplaceable Sam Masters was involved in a horror collision.

By Neil McGlade
Friday, 29th July 2022, 10:13 pm
Updated Friday, 29th July 2022, 10:13 pm

The Capital side welcomed arch-rivals the Glasgow Tigers to Armadale in Championship Jubilee action, but a nasty crash, that saw three riders withdrawn before a lap was even completed, overshadowed the latest instalment of this fiercely-contested derby.

The No.1 and skipper of the Monarchs was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury and early indications suggest a possible dislocation or fracture.

In heat one talisman Masters made the gate ahead of visiting pair Craig Cook and Danyon Hume, but the latter turned left into the Australian's back wheel and put Masters head first over the handle bars and into the safety fence. Monarchs No.2 Lasse Fredriksen also came down and he withdrew with a dislocated finger while Tigers No.1 Cook took no further part in the meeting due to a hip problem.

Sam Masters (red helmet) is out of control after being clipped by Danyon Hume (yellow helment). Picture: Jack Cupido.

After almost a 45-minute delay, racing finally resumed with Monarchs reduced to five riders, the rest of the team able to pick up Masters and Fredriksen's races.

And you could have thrown a blanket over the sides with two points the difference with just three heats remaining, the hosts with the slender advantage 37-35.

But Paco Castagna and Sarjeant really stepped up when it mattered and delivered the first 5-1 of the evening in the penultimate heat to put Monarchs six up with just four laps remaining before Ulrich Ostergaard brought down Castagna while the Italian was leading heat 15, and Monarchs were awarded their second consecutive 5-1 to secure a 50-40 victory.

It took a heroic effort from all those in blue and gold to secure three points and leave the Tigers with their tails between their legs.

Team boss Alex Harkess said: It's a disaster for both teams and we've just had to make the most of it. Sam is a big miss at any time."

Monarchs head west to Ashfield on Sunday in pole position to qualify for the three-team final later this year at Sheffield, but more pressing is just how they will cope in the weeks ahead should the best rider in the league be ruled out.

Monarchs: Castagna 15, Pickering 15, Thomson 9, Sarjeant 7, Hook 4, Fredriksen 0, Masters 0.