Edinburgh Monarchs face uphill task in KO Cup after first leg defeat to Glasgow Tigers
The Edinburgh Monarchs face a tall order if they are to reach the KO Cup final after a disappointing 53-37 first-leg defeat to the Glasgow Tigers.
The Monarchs had already won at Ashfield on Championship duty in July so confidence was high heading west.
However, the Capital side found it difficult to contain their opponents from the off, the hosts fast out of the gate underlined by a 16-8 scoreline in favour of the Tigers after just four races.
Skipper and No.1 Sam Masters registered Monarchs' first race win of the evening with a tapes to flag victory in heat five, but a 5-1 for former Monarch Craig Cook and Broc Nicol over Richie Worrall and Drew Kemp in the next heat increased the home side's lead to 12. The Monarchs were now in danger of allowing the meeting to run away from them.
There was a spine-chilling incident in heat eight when reserve Kemp and Nicol collided on the fourth bend of the third lap. Kemp managed to walk back to the pits but American Nicol was taken into the ambulance on a stretcher. Remarkably, both riders were able to continue.
After a run of shared heats, the Monarchs picked up their first race advantage of the meeting in heat 12 as the impressive Kye Thomson got the better of Sam Jensen with guest Jason Edwards finishing third ahead of Connor Bailey. However, the Monarchs still trailed by ten with just three heats remaining and were then dealt a hammer blow in the penultimate race of the night when the Tigers delivered a third 5-1 of the meeting to lead 49-35.
In heat 15, Masters battled hard with Cook for two laps but a 4-2 will see the Tigers take a 16-point advantage to Armadale for the second leg.
The Monarchs must now regroup and prepare for Tuesday night's visit of the Redcar Bears in the Championship play-off quarter-final second leg where they hold a 12-point advantage from the first leg on Teesside.
Glasgow Tigers: Cook 11, Brennan 11, Wells 8, Nowak 7, Nicol 7, Bailey 6, Jensen 3.
Edinburgh Monarchs: Masters 11, Thomson 9, Worrall 6, Edwards 5, Pickering 4, Kemp 2, Rowe 0.