Craig Cook loses speedway crown

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Even for someone as consistent as Craig Cook has been this season, things don’t always work out in your favour. And the Edinburgh Monarchs No. 1 lost hold of the Premier League Riders Championship speedway crown he won for the first time 12 months ago at Sheffield Stadium last night.

The 26-year-old Cumbrian made a spirited defence of his title but eventually finished fourth behind Rye House Rockets star Olly Allen, who powered his way to glory ahead of Leicester Lions ace Magnus Karlsson and Somerset Rebels Aussie performer Jason Doyle.

Allen stamped his mark on proceedings from the start by winning his last two qualifying heats, plus the semi-final. But Cook, who had scored two 15-point maximums for Monarchs at Workington the night before, found himself outpaced in the Grand Final showdown.

He made a flier from the tapes and was pulled back by referee Mick Bates. In the restart Cook was well in the mix with Allen and Karlsson but was eventually overtaken by Doyle for third.

Cook’s dad, and mechanic Will, said: “We were quite happy with how we did. Craig tried to approach the meeting in a relaxed frame of mind but we know you cannot win them all.”

Cook added: “I went into it thinking if I win again fair enough, if I didn’t that was also fine as long as I gave my best. I think I did that. The meeting is always a tough one because you are up against the best 
riders in the country and I have no complaints about the outcome.”

Edinburgh’s other representative Theo Pijper finished on four points.