Workington Comets brought league leaders Edinburgh Monarchs back to earth with a bump on Sunday at Derwent Park.
Monarchs never really recovered from losing two 5-1 advantages in the first two races.
Promoter John Campbell said: “Losing 5-1s in the first two races made it very difficult to come back from that. And it was disappointing to lose a 5-1 in the last race which meant we left with nothing.”
Workington, who have proved nigh impossible to beat at home over recent seasons, got off to a dream start when Craig Cook and Mason Campton romped to a 5-1 over Ricky Wells who was making his first return to Derwent Park since joining Edinburgh, and Mark Riss.
And the Comets, signalling their early determination, repeated the trick in heat two when Matt Williamson and Rob Shuttleworth got the better of Monarchs reserve duo Max Clegg and Mitchell Davey to take a healthy 10-2 lead with the Monarchs riders nowhere.
But Monarchs thankfully stopped the rot in the third race when Josh Pickering and Erik Riss salvaged a share of the spoils 3-3, despite Workington’s duo Ty Proctor and James Sarjeant being in a 5-1 position from the tapes, and what a relief that was for Monarchs’ travelling fans who must have feared a whitewash at this point.
Then, in heat five, Wells and Mark Riss grabbed a 4-2 over Proctor and Sarjeant to reduce Monarchs’ arrears to six points, 18-12. Was this the beginning of another of Monarchs’ fabled fightbacks.
However, Workington restored their eight point advantage again in heat six when Cook won his second race and partner Campton claimed third spot.
Another 3-3 in heat seven saw the home side maintain their lead 25-17 and the Comets were making it tough for Monarchs to make any inroads into the meeting. At least Pickering was far more lively of late and picked up three points from his first two outings and this will have heartened the Monarchs management who felt the young Aussie had lost some of his confidence over the last couple of matches.
But Monarchs continued to chip away and Mark Riss and Davey grabbed a 4-2 in heat eight to reduce the leeway to six points once again. The Comets were not giving much away and Monarchs had to fight for every point earned and had only provided three winners up until now. Masters made it four by winning heat nine.
Cook, who was looking good for a five-ride maximum until a last place in heat 13, won his third race in succession in heat ten and with Campton mopping up third place this 4-2 put the Comets in front once more by eight points.
Monarchs fell ten points behind in heat 11 which was the race of the night and saw Wells burst through to second place but just failed to catch race winner Matt Williamson. Erik Riss was handed a tactical outing for Monarchs in heat 12 as they battled to reduce their arrears.
And Riss, helped by an engine failure by Proctor at the start, won it, and with Davey finishing third this 7-2 payday saw Monarchs cut their defict to just five points, 40-35 .
However, Workington eased over the line with a big 5-1 from Cook and Thomas Jorgensen over Masters and Wells.
Workington: Cook 12, Jorgensen 11, Williamson 9, Campton 6, Proctor 5, Sarjeant 5, Shuttleworth 3.
Monarchs: Masters 11, E Riss 11, Wells 7, Davey 5, M Riss 4,Pickering 3, Clegg 1.