Edinburgh Monarchs: Revenge over Glasgow Tigers as Sam Masters gets the better of Craig Cook
It was sweet revenge for the Edinburgh Monarchs as they edged out fierce rivals the Glasgow Tigers 46-44 in an enthralling encounter at a sun-kissed Ashfield.
Sunday’s meeting was the second instalment of the weekend’s Scottish derby following the Tigers’ 43-41 win at Armadale on Friday evening, the match having been abandoned after heat 14 due to a serious injury to Glasgow’s in-form Dane Ulrich Ostergaard.
Both sides had to reshuffle their septets, Jye Etheridge replacing Ostergaard, who remains in hospital with a broken wrist and lower back injury, while the Monarchs operated rider replacement in the absence of Nathan Greaves, who was unfit to ride after also succumbing to a heavy spill.
The temperature was as hot off the track as it was on it with some exhilarating tussles between Sam Masters and Craig Cook, the former only dropping a single point to ex-Monarch Cook in heat 13.
Eleven of the 15 races were shared, with the hosts enjoying a slender advantage 20-16 after six heats. But a 5-1 from Australian duo Josh Pickering and Kye Thomson in the next race tied it up at 21-21.
The sides could not be separated and with the score level 42-42 after 14 heats, skipper Masters and Pickering secured a 4-2 advantage to send the travelling fans into ecstasy.
A delighted Monarchs boss Alex Harkess said: “I felt travelling through to Glasgow beforehand that we might win. I thought if the heat leaders do what they’re there to do and win races, we just need the rest to pick up some points and Kye certainly chipped in with more than a few and that proved the big difference.
“I actually think we should have won a bit easier. To lose on Friday when we thought we could win, but you’re not given that opportunity, is very disappointing.
“It was unavoidable what happened and once it did, we couldn’t do anything about it. It’s nice to know we’ve come here and made up for it. Glasgow thought they were unbeatable around their own track, but we now know they’re not."
Pickering, who chipped in with 11 from his five rides, said: “I felt they may have let the throttle off at the start after beating us at home. But as soon as you underestimate your opponents, that’s when it benefits us.
“I’m delighted for the team, the promotion, it means a lot to our fans and also John [Campbell] and Alex. It’s pretty special to win at Glasgow so I’m delighted to be a part of it. It’s great to win at other tracks, we did at Eastbourne for the first time ever earlier this year and it felt good, but it’s not like winning at Glasgow.
“We went around for a victory lap afterwards and we’ve got all our fans screaming our names and that’s special. There were all solid scores from our heat leaders and it was good when Willie [Lawson] and Joe [Lawlor] popped up with a couple of points to help us secure the win.
“It’s great for the fans and awesome for Scottish speedway. It shows you how strong the teams are up here.”
Tigers: Cook 12, Jensen 7, Sedgmen 7, Wells 6, Nicol 5, Bailey 4, Etheridge 3.
Monarchs: Masters 14, Pickering 11, Thomson 9, Worrall 9, Lawson 2, Lawlor 1.