Edinburgh Monarchs
Redcar Bears
Premier League
Friday 22nd June 2007
Armadale Stadium

Although we led for much of the match, we failed to get the necessary race winners and were finally well beaten by Redcar for the second time at Armadale this season.

Two of our three race wins went to Matthew Wethers, Derek Sneddon battled to paid 11 and that is about the sum total of our successes.

Ronnie Correy won one heat and gave both Grieves and Havelock good races early on, though he again conceded a last heat 5-1 to the top Bears. Theo Pijper though was below his best and never threatened to take the chequered flag.

Theo and Derek did make the start in heat 1 but Havelock very comfortably turned back under them at the first bend and swept through.

The home reserves made the start in heat 2, with Auty lifting at the start and also at the end of lap one. However on the pits corner Jack Roberts locked up right in the path of Auty, who ran into him.

So Jack was out of the restart, won by Matthew from Josh Auty.

Heat 3 was a good battle between Grieves and Correy. Ronnie seemed to be through at one point but James came back for another win. Chris Kerr hit the fence on the pits bend and dislodged the boards, but the heat was permitted to run.

We might have been 4 or 6 points to the good had we taken our chances, but we did finally go ahead as Derek and Matthew easily beat Tresarrieu.

Correy?s next chase was on Havelock, and he didn?t get quite as close.

There was some hope for a Theo Pijper win off gate 1 in heat 6 but instead it was Tresarrieu who made the start to win with some ease. Josh Auty fell at the back on the pits corner and had to move quickly to get his bike off.

Grieves took his second win in heat 7 from Matthew, with Kerr third and the gap cut to two.

We have tended to look to heat 8 for some success recently, but this time Josh Auty was in it, and he had had two rides to get the hang of things.

Derek made the start and tried very hard to hold off the youngster, but Auty pulled off a quite superb outside pass down the back straight, a real glimpse of talent.

So we were now just two up, and everyone realised that the heats would be getting harder.

Ronnie at last made a start in heat 9 and beat Tresarrieu easily, but Andrew Tully was tailed off.

Pijper?s recent record against Grieves is good, but he couldn?t put in a challenge in heat 10. Derek held off Chris Kerr by holding him wide off the last turn to share the heat.

We needed advantages really. Havelock won heat 11 with Bugeja at the back completing his rides, and the score stood at 34-32. It was now essential that we took some points off the top Bears.

Grieves had plenty to spare over Correy in heat 12 though, and Matthew was passed on the inside by Auty, now showing all his skills. Unfortunately Matthew lifted on the final turn and rammed the fence.

We used Jack Roberts? third ride in heat 13, but with Theo no match for Havelock we were now two behind.

Matthew wanted to ride in heat 14 but the medics ruled it out, and in any case the game was up.

Auty and Kerr inevitably gated, with Andrew away like a snail again, and that was that. Six down, one to go.

Grieves and Kerr were both unbeaten going into the last heat, and they still were coming out of it. Correy got close, Pijper was nowhere.

Following last evening?s defeat at the South Tees Moto Park, a quick revenge is the flavour of the day at the Lothian Arena.

Tonight sees the fourth meeting between the sides in 2007, with the Monarchs yet to enjoy the sweet taste of victory. As well as looking to seal the aggregate point on offer, Redcar will also be aiming to become the first side since the all conquering Hull Vikings of 2004 to complete an Armadale double (I think that?s right anyway!).

Whenever the Bears visit our humble abode, you generally know what to expect. Indeed, both Gary Havelock and James Grieves are practically guaranteed to score double figures. Previously this meant we only had Matthieu Tresarrieu and Chris Kerr to worry about in the second string department, coupled with a very weak reserve pairing. However that all changes now as school?s out for the year, meaning young sensation Joshua Auty kicks his senior speedway career off full time. The wonder kid scored 11+2 in a in a meeting clinching performance last night and will need to be kept quiet if we are to have any chance of success.

The others (Arlo Bugeja and Benji Compton) are more likely to worry the First Aid staff than the points board, so we can discount them.

In the home camp, I would guess morale is still relatively high after the win at Newport on Sunday. The 41 points scored last night represents, in my opinion at least, a reasonable return, especially given the circumstances re injuries, etc.

Henrik Moller was absent from yesterday?s STMP encounter due to a bump in Denmark on Wednesday. At the time of writing, he hasn?t made a decision as to whether he will ride tonight or not. Should he miss out, the Monarchs will operate rider replacement, meaning potential extra outings for last night?s top scorer Derek Sneddon, Andrew Tully, plus reserves Matthew Wethers and Jack Roberts, who has proved to be a lively stand-in for unlucky Italian Daniele Tessari.

The only other question regarding rider replacement is whether the management will make a switch in the riding order. While looking sensible (given the heat format), it may not be the case, seeing as it wasn?t done last night?

At the top end, Ronnie Correy and Theo Pijper will be key to the final outcome in this one. Pijper earned a maximum last week and will do well to repeat the feat this time round.

As always, may the best team win...


Monarchs: Theo Pijper, Derek Sneddon, Ronnie Correy, Andrew Tully, Henrik Moller (or rider replacement), Jack Roberts, Matthew Wethers.

Bears: Gary Havelock, Arlo Bugeja, James Grieves, Chris Kerr, Matthieu Tresarrieu, Benji Compton, Joshua Auty.