Edinburgh Monarchs take down Redcar Bears and set-up mouthwatering play-off derby with Glasgow Tigers

Edinburgh Monarchs are into the semi-finals.Edinburgh Monarchs are into the semi-finals.
Edinburgh Monarchs are into the semi-finals.
The Edinburgh Monarchs eased through to the Championship play-offs semi-finals after a handsome 57-33 victory over the Redcar Bears, progressing to the last four 108-72 on aggregate.

They will now face arch-rivals the Glasgow Tigers over two legs for the right to meet the Poole Pirates or Leicester Lions in the Grand Final.

Last night was the third attempt to get the Armadale leg on having been postponed due to the weather almost a fortnight ago. The meeting was then abandoned last Friday without completing a race following a horror crash involving the Bears' James Sarjeant.

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The Monarchs were firm favourites to progress before a wheel was turned, holding a 12-point advantage after a 51-39 triumph in last Sunday's first leg.

The visitors operated rider replacement for Sarjeant, who underwent surgery for a fractured leg and pelvis, while the home side again called on teenager Jason Edwards to guest at reserve for the retired Nathan Greaves.

The Bears did reduce the deficit to ten in the very first heat, however, Monarchs skipper and No.1 Sam Masters unconventionally falling off on the second bend of the first lap.

In the rerun, Anders Rowe found himself sandwiched in between Charles Wright and Jordan Jenkins to hand the Bears a 4-2 advantage.

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But that was about as good as it got for the visitors who found themselves fighting a losing battle as the hosts quickly turned the screw on its head with a string of 5-1s that saw them lead 32-16 by the midway point.

The second half of the meeting continued in the same vein with reserve Drew Kemp the star of the show scoring a paid maximum.

Monarchs co-promoter Alex Harkess said afterwards: "It was a little bit tricky to start with as we've had a very wet spell so conditions were not perfect, but they knuckled down and got on with it and it made the night fairly comfortable for us."

The Monarchs will now host Glasgow at Armadale on Friday in the KO Cup semi-final second leg where they will look to claw back a 16-point deficit. The dates for the Championship semi-final clash have still to be announced.

Edinburgh Monarchs: Pickering 12, Worrall 10, Kemp 9, Edwards 7, Thomson 7, Masters 6, Rowe 6.

Redcar Bears: Kerr 12, Wright 8, Allen 7, Jenkins 5, Palm Toft 1, Kinsley 0.

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