Redcar Bears maintained their momentum in pursuing a push for a berth in the speedway play-offs as they toppled league leaders Edinburgh Monarchs in their Championship clash on Teesside tonight.
Redcar ran out 52-40 winners to boost their hopes of an end of season top-four slot.
Yet Edinburgh got off to a dream start when they picked up a 4-2 in the opening heat, skipper Sam Masters taking the chequered flag and Theo Pijper, an injury replacement signing for Mark Riss, picking up a vital third-place point.
But Monarchs lost a 5-1 in the heat two reserves’ race which allowed Redcar to take the lead 7-5 at this early stage. By heat five Redcar had increased their lead to 17-13 after Ben Barker defeated Masters and Ellis Perks caimed third spot, relegating Pijper to last place.
Monarchs then surrendered a second 5-1 in heat six before they rescued a 4-2 in the next race courtesy of Erik Riss and Max Clegg but they still trailed 24-18. And Redcar were proving, as they’ve done in recent weeks, that they are no longer pushovers at home.
Monarchs dropped eight points behind when they lost another 4-2 in the eighth race as Pijper’s return to Monarchs wasn’t going according to plan when he trailed in last again.
Another 4-2 loss in the ninth race increased Monarchs’ arrears to ten points and forced them into giving Riss a tactical outing in the next race to try and reduce the gap.
But Riss, who had won his first two outings, could only manage second place and the resultant 4-4 verdict did Monarchs’ cause little good as they still trailed by ten.
Redcar easily spoiled Monarchs’ tactical gamble when Jonas B Andersen won the race and Lewis Kerr, guesting for No.1 Jason Garrity, was third.
Monarchs weren’t able to make any inroads into Redcar’s lead and even though Masters won heat 11 for a share of the spoills it was heat advantages they needed but lacked.
A superb gate from Riss allowed the German to defeat Barker but once again a 3-3 wasn’t good enough for Monarchs. Masters won heat 13 for another 3-3 but partner Ricky Wells was at the back. Monarchs were suffering from too many last places.
A fourth drawn heat followed but Redcar had already claimed the match points by maintaining their ten-point lead.
Redcar: Barker 13, Andersen 11, Wright 8, Garcia 6, Kerr 5, Perks 5, Ayres 4.
Monarchs: Masters 13, Riss 13, Wells 5, Clegg 4, Davey 3, Pickering 1, Pijper 1.