Edinburgh Monarchs were thrown to the Wolves in their opening challenge match of the new speedway season at Armadale last night.
The powerful Midlands Premiership outfit ran out convincing 55-35 winners and Monarchs were given plenty to think about ahead of tomorrow’s KO Cup quarter-final first-leg tie against Scunthorpe Scorpions at the Eddie Wright Raceway.
However, Monarchs skipper Ricky Wells wasn’t unduly concerned with the result, saying: “It was always going to be hard against a Wolves side who had four ex-Monarchs in their team.
“But once our new boys get dialled in to the Armadale track we’ll be fine. It was always going to be a difficult match for us and so it proved.”
Wolves led 16-8 after just four heats, but Josh Pickering got the better of Wolves ace Sam Masters in the following race to earn Monarchs their first heat win of the match.
The visitors hit back in the very next race, with a 5-1 from Kyle Howarth and Ashley Morris over Wells and Justin Sedgmen. That increaseed their advantage to ten points and they looked very much in control.
Masters said: “I always love coming back up here and we rode well for our victory.”
Sedgmen was pointless from his first two rides and will obviously take time to settle back into the competitive groove given that he took a year out of the sport last season.
The Australian, however, did salvage a second place in his third ride in heat eight behind Wolves race winner Luke Becker.
Wolves put the result pretty much beyond doubt in the ninth race with a 4-2 from Rory Schlein and Ashley Morris over Monarchs pair Pickering and Joel Andersson, which put Wolves 35-19 in front and made the hosts’ job even tougher.
Monarchs gained their second heat advantage in heat 11 after Wolves ace Becker fell off on the third bend, leaving Cameron Heeps to record his second race win of the night for Monarchs. With William Lawson claiming third place, this 4-2 reduced Monarchs arrears to 18 point.
Too little too late, unfortunately for Monarchs, who were soundly beaten.