How Edinburgh Monarchs battled back to reach KO Cup final with win over Glasgow Tigers on epic night for Scottish speedway

The Edinburgh Monarchs are through to the KO Cup final after overturning a 16-point deficit to send fierce rivals the Glasgow Tigers home with their tails between their legs.

The home side won 55-35 on the night to sneak through 92-88 on aggregate, although the Tigers took it right to the wire with a last-heat decider.

The Monarchs will now face the Poole Pirates.

A big crowd filed into Armadale for the latest instalment in this historic derby in what proved to be an epic night for Scottish speedway.

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There was an air of confidence about the riders in blue and gold and they duly delivered.

Anders Rowe was late arriving to the stadium after being held up in traffic on the M6 so reserve Drew Kemp partnered skipper Sam Masters in heat one. The British Under-19 champion was knocked off his bike by Sam Jensen on the second bend of the first lap, the latter excluded for his part in the stoppage.

In the rerun ex-Monarch Craig Cook battled Masters for a couple of laps before the Australian pulled away, with Kemp finishing third to register a 4-2.

The hosts began to eat into the 16-point deficit when middle pairing Josh Pickering and Kye Thomson produced the first 5-1 of the evening to lead 12-6 on the night, the Tigers still ten up on aggregate.

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Cook showed his track craft in getting the better of Pickering on the third lap of heat five to share the points but the Monarchs meant business as Rowe, who had only arrived at the stadium five minutes prior, stormed from the tapes, aided by Masters, to hammer home another big 5-1.

The Monarchs now led by ten on the night but still six down on aggregate. However, that was reduced to just two when Pickering and Thomson combined for their second 5-1 of the meeting and the home side’s third.

The visitors’ advantage had been slashed to just two points and the Monarchs didn’t let up there. The tie swung in their favour with another 5-1 in heat 12, now two ahead on aggregate.

But there was a late twist when Glasgow produced their first heat advantage to square it 87-apiece with one race remaining. But a 5-1 from Masters and Richie Worrall sealed Monarchs’ passage through.

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The Monarchs will now face the Tigers at Armadale on Saturday night in the Championship play-offs semi-final first leg.

Edinburgh Monarchs: Worrall 13, Masters 11, Pickering 10, Kemp 8, Thomson 7, Edwards 3, Rowe 3.

Glasgow Tigers: Cook 11, Brennan 9, Bailey 5, Wells 4, Jensen 3, Nicol 2, Nowak 1.

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