Speedway: Monarchs and downpour wash away the Diamonds

Edinburgh MONARCHS notched up their first League Cup win against Newcastle Diamonds at rain-affected Armadale last night. Monarchs triumphed 42-33 but the meeting was abandoned after heat 12 following a ten-minute downpour, though the result stands.

In what was seen as a potentially tricky test for Monarchs, the Capital speedway outfit led 22-14 after six races and that was increased to a ten-point gap when Craig Cook and Micky Dyer scored a 4-2 over Diamonds’ Scandinavian duo Ludvig Lindgren and Claes Nedermark in the very next heat.

But the Diamonds were in no mood to throw in the towel at that stage and they handed industrious reserve ace Ritchie Worrall a tactical ride outing in heat eight and the 20-year-old Englishman didn’t disappoint, beating Monarchs pair Derek Sneddon and Charles Wright in style. And with Christian Henry picking up a third place point, the Diamonds gained a very handy 7-2 advantage, cutting their hosts’ lead in half.

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The next two heats were shared before Monarchs slammed in a couple of 4-2s before the referee called a halt.

Monarchs’ top performer was second-string star Theo Pijper who seems to be riding out of his skin at the moment. The Dutchman knocked up a 12-point maximum from his four outings and had to fight from the back for some of his points, most notably in heat nine when he pulled off a magnificent inside drive to overhaul a determined Stuart Robson.

“That last ride was very tricky,” said Pijper, “but I was pleased with how I rode, I think I did all right!” Teammate Craig Cook was unbeaten from the three outings he completed and he too was satisfied with his performance, saying: “The track wasn’t at its best and conditions were tricky because of the rain. But I’ve found a set-up with my bikes that I feel comfortable with, and that is always a big help.”

Derek Sneddon, who scored four points, said: “It was a good team performance, Newcastle are always useful round Armadale and we all did pretty well to get the win we wanted to kick start our League Cup campaign.”

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However skipper Matthew Wethers had a bit of a stinker, picking up just two points from his three rides, and the Australian was candid afterwards, admitting: “I really let the team down and I’m very disappointed, hopefully I can do better in the weeks ahead.” His fellow countryman Micky Dyer did a sound job at reserve picking up four points which included a second place in heat two. Newcastle will be disappointed that their top two Mark Lemon and Robson failed to win a heat and they shot themselves in the foot in the fourth race when Ritchie Worrall cut across Robson on the second bend sending him crashing into the fence.That cost them precious points as Monarchs cashed in with a 4-2 in the rerun.

Monarchs: Pijper 12, Cook 9, Tully 7, Sneddon 4, Wright 4, Dyer 4, Wethers 2.

Newcastle: RWorrall 14, Nedermark 6, Robson 6, Lemon 5, S Worrall 1, Henry 1, Lindgren 0.

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