Edinburgh Monarchs ended Workington Comets’ 12-match unbeaten run with a plucky 52-41 Premier League speedway victory at Armadale last night, although at times the home side did their best to throw the meeting away.
And Monarchs can be thankful that Comets’ skipper Richard Lawson and Kenny Ingalls could only muster four points between them, otherwise the result could have gone down to the wire.
Monarchs’ tail-end hero of last week, Micky Dyer, bravely rode with an injured foot and the Aussie’s five-point total, which included a win in heat two, was a commendable effort under the circumstances. He said: “I was in a lot of pain but I managed to score a few points but I’m still not 100 per cent fit.”
The same cannot be said of his partner Marcel Helfer who failed to score and also took out teammate Andrew Tully in the fourth race, albeit not deliberately.
Helfer does not look like winning a race and one wonders how long Monarchs are going to persist with the young German especially with a raft of important meetings on the horizon. Until he steps up to the mark Helfer is frankly a liability.
After opening up with a 5-1 in heat one from Craig Cook and Derek Sneddon, Monarchs were cruising at warp speed leading 24-12 after six heats.
However the Comets handed Rene Bach a tactical outing in the next race and this paid dividends with Bach defeating Tully and Dyer. With Tero Aarnio finishing third, the Comets scooped a big 7-2 advantage reducing their arrears to just nine points.
But with the Comets hampered by the impotent Ingalls and Lawson there was a sense that Monarchs would always have enough in their tank to see off their Cumbrian visitors, and a 5-1 from Cook and Tully in heat 13 finally closed the door on any comeback the Comets were dreaming about.
Morris, who has only recently joined the Workington squad, was very pleased with his performance saying: “It’s probably the best I’ve ever ridden at Armadale. I don’t know if we were expecting to win because Monarchs are very strong round their own place.
“Monarchs pulled out a few 5-1s against us and this made it very difficult, but I’m just happy with my score.”
Monarchs did have a certain degree of luck on their side notably in heat five when Ingalls totally obstructed Lawson allowing Monarchs skipper Matthew Wethers and Theo Pijper to sail past for maximum points which didn’t look on at all.
Cook and Tully were joint top scorers with 12 points each, but Cook admitted: “I let a few points get away from me, but I was quite happy overall with how I rode.” Tully commented: “I did not gate well but it was a good result for the whole side.”
Wethers, who is aboard new machinery and grabbed 13 points against Berwick last week, weighed in with nine points this time and this included a brace of race wins. He said: “I think a few spectators had doubts that we would beat Workington, but we responded and got a good result on what was quite a difficult track. “
One Monarchs rider who wasn’t too overjoyed was Pijper whose seven-point effort will be deemed disappointing bearing in mind how well he has been riding for the side so far this season.
And the Dutchman, who slid off on the third bend in heat 12 wasn’t happy either that the referee criticised him for not getting off the track quickly enough which would have avoided a rerun. But Pijper revealed: “My steel shoe came off when I fell and I couldn’t let the other riders’ race round while it was still on the track. Apart from that I did not have a good meeting at all and had wanted to do a lot better.”
Workington’s star performer was Adam Roynon who shared the top scoring roster with Bach. Considering Roynon has had some nightmare visits to Armadale his double figure effort was perhaps unexpected but he kept his side fighting despite it being in vain.
Although he was on the losing side Roynan was very sporting, shaking all the Monarchs riders’ hands and this was much appreciated by the home support.
Monarchs visit Glasgow Tigers tomorrow afternoon on league duty and are looking to repeat their Knockout Cup win of earlier this month.
Monarchs: Tully 12, Cook 12, Wethers 9, Sneddon 7, Pijper 7, Dyer 5, Helfer 0.
Workington: Bach 11, Roynon 11, Morris 7, Howarth 7, Lawson 3, Ingalls 1, Aarnio 1.