Monarchs 53, Scunthorpe 37: Fightback makes it five in a row

Monarchs star Josh Pickering in full flight as he leads Karl Wilkinson, Mark Riss and Richard Hall. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Monarchs star Josh Pickering in full flight as he leads Karl Wilkinson, Mark Riss and Richard Hall. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs staged a tremendous fightback at the Eddie Wright Raceway yesterday against Scunthorpe Scorpions to make it five league wins in a row.

The Capital septet ran out comfortable winners to remain top of the Championship but that didn’t seem likely early in the match.

Scorpions were without three of their own riders through injury but Monarchs seemed unable to capitalise on their hosts’ misfortune and were eight points adrift after just five heats.

Promoter John Campbell said: “The result we got at the end was the result I had expected before the meeting. But when we slipped eight points down I couldn’t see where we were going to get a race 
winner from. But Josh 
Pickering’s win in heat eight I think was the turning point in the match for us.

“Then we became very dominant and once everyone got going they were capable of scoring points. I couldn’t be happier we have kept our unbeaten run going and to get all four points here was very pleasing indeed.”

Monarchs are nothing if not stubborn and were not going down without a fight and Erik Riss and Max Clegg began a comeback of sorts with a 4-2 in heat seven to reduce the gap to six points. It was Monarchs’ first heat win of the match.

Monarchs switched reserves in heat eight putting Mark Riss, who won his opening ride, out to replace Mitchell Davey who fell off in heat two. But unfortunately Riss lost control on the final bend as he was pushing for second place and was passed by Scunthorpe guest rider Richard Hall.

Mark Riss was out again in the very next race and won it in style and with partner Ricky Wells claiming a third-place point. This 4-2 inched 
Monarchs closer to the Scorpions and they trailed by only 29-25.

Monarchs at last started to get into gear and Erik Riss’s second win of the match in heat ten, with Clegg finishing third, gave them a second 4-2 advantage in row and cut the deficit to just two points, 31-29. It was anyone’s match now.

Incredibly Monarchs took the lead 34-32 when skipper Sam Masters and Pickering picked up a crucial 5-1 in heat 11 piling the pressure on the home side.

It was Masters’ first win of the meeting after two second places in his opening two rides.

And Pickering, who was 
riding the track competitively for the first time, came good after a last place in the first heat.

Monarchs were now in full flight and brothers Erik and Mark Riss sensationally claimed a second 5-1 in heat 12 to lead 39-33.

Wells and Masters took a 4-2 in heat 13 to increase their lead to eight points, completely overturning Scunthorpe’s early match advantage.

There was no stopping Monarchs’ second-half juggernaut now as Mark Riss and Clegg raced hard for another 5-1 in heat 14 after Scunthorpe’s Michael Palm-Toft saw his 
engine die on him.

And Monarchs finished with a flourish with a 5-1 from Wells and Erik Riss which allowed Monarchs to capture all four points at stake.

This was a real team effort in every sense of the word and if Monarchs carry on like this a few of the favourites for the title will begin to fear them.

Scunthorpe: Palm-Toft 8, Berge 7, Douglas 7, Wilkinson 6, Hall 6, Bailey 3.

Monarchs: Wells 12, E Riss 12, M Riss 11, Masters 8, Pickering 6, Clegg 4, Davey 4.