Edinburgh Monarchs opened their Championship Shield account with a 47-43 defeat against Workington Comets on Saturday night at Derwent Park.
Monarchs rode under protest after the Comets tracked guest star Charles Wright as a replacement for Ty Proctor who hasn’t sorted his visa out yet. Monarchs claim a non-visa rider should not be named in a team’s 1-7 line up.
The Capital speedway side have complained officially to the British Speedway Promoters Association’s Management Committee but they don’t expect a positive outcome.
Monarchs No.1 Ricky Wells was the undoubted individual star for his team, amassing 17 points from his six outings. The New Zealand-born American was beaten just once around his former track in heat one when he was headed home by Comets star Rasmus Jensen.
The scores were tied 18-18 after six races before the home side scored a 5-1 in heat eight through Jensen and reserve star Bradley Wilson-Dean to snatch a six-point lead.
But Monarchs battled back and cut their arrears to four points in the very next heat with a 4-2 from Wells and skipper Erik Riss, who rounded Comets ace Dan Bewley for third place.
The Comets then doubled their lead to 34-26, with a 5-1 from Jensen and Rene Bach in the tenth race.
But Monarchs hit back again with a brace of 4-2s in heats 11 and 13 to cut the Comets the lead in half. However, the Comets stormed back once more with a 5-1 from Bewley and Wilson-Dean in the penultimate heat to lead by eight once again.
And in a rousing finish to what was a truly see-saw contest Monarchs grabbed a last heat 5-1 courtesy of Wells and Erik Riss to end up just four points adrift.
Crucially, Monarchs earned themselves a match point ahead of this weekend’s Shield clashes against Glasgow Tigers.
Workington: Jensen 11, Wilson-Dean 8, Bach 7, Klindt 7, Wright 7,Bewley 6, Bickley 1.
Monarchs: Wells 17, E Riss 10, Williamson 5, M Riss 4,Ruml 3, Andersson 3, Pickering 1.