Monarchs ‘99.9 per cent certain of play-off place’

Richie Worrall top scored for Monarchs at Scunthotpe. Picture: Ron MacNeill
Richie Worrall top scored for Monarchs at Scunthotpe. Picture: Ron MacNeill
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Edinburgh Monarchs gave ther play-off hopes a massive boost by battling back from eight points down to beat Scunthorpe Scorpions 49-41 at the Eddie Wright Raceway yesterday.

This victory atoned for their 49-41 reverse against Berwick Bandits 24 hours earlier at Shielfield Park.

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell said: “We are now five points ahead of Redcar but we have such a superior (race) points difference they would need to take seven points from their remaining away fixtures to overhaul us and, if they did that, then they deserve that fourth spot. But we are 99.9 per cent certain of qualifying now.”

Campbell added: “I must make mention of our guest star Richie Worrall, he was magnificent and did a fantastic job for us.”

Monarchs were trailing 31-23 after nine races and all seemed lost but they won five out of the last six races to triumph in great style. Their fightback began in heat ten when Ricky Wells grabbed a 4-2 to reduce arrears to six points, 33-27. And outstanding guest Worrall, and Josh Pickering, repeated the trick in the next race to slash Scorpions’ lead to just four points.

Incredibly, Wells and reserve Mitchell Davey pulled a 5-1 out of the bag in heat 12 after Scorpions star Tero Aarnio fell when leading, and this levelled the scores 36-36. Monarchs edged in front for the first time in the match with another 5-1 this time from Worrall and Erik Riss in heat 13.

Monarchs now led 41-37 and while heat 14 was shared, Worrall and Erik Riss engineered a third 5-1 in the last race to complete an astonishing about turn in fortunes.

At Berwick a lack of heat wins on what was a difficult racing surface proved to be Monarchs’ undoing. Monarchs were eight points down with one heat left and needed a 4-2 or better to salvage a match point. However, Bandits ace David Howe won the race for the home side for a share of the spoils to deny Monarchs. Edinburgh used Lasse Bjerre as a guest and he did well, scoring eight points.

Skipper Sam Masters sat out both meetings after aggravating his shoulder injury against Ipswich Witches in the second leg of the double-header at Armadale on Friday, but says he will be fit for Thursday’s trip to league leaders Sheffield Tigers.

Berwick: Howe 13, Morris 12, Doolan 11, Etheridge 10, Gappmaier 3, Terry-Daley 0.

Monarchs: E Riss 12, Wells 9, Bjerre 8, Pickering 4, M Riss 4, Davey 2, Clegg 2.

Scunthorpe: Allen 11, Auty 10, Douglas 8, Palm-Toft 5, Kerr 3, Aarnio 3, Bailey 1.

Monarchs: Worrall 13, Wells 10, E Riss 10, Davey 6, M Riss 5, Pickering 3, Clegg 2.