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Edinburgh Monarchs v Sheffield Tigers

REPORT Friday 23rd June 2006, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

An 8-point win over Sheffield may not be enough for the bonus, but we enjoyed an excellent night of entertainment.

William Lawson returned as if he had never been away with a dozen points, but Sheffield's two 6-point TRs allowed them to keep the scores fairly close.

As ever we found Andre Compton hard to contain (he won four of his five heats) and fast-improving Kyle Legault also had a good night.

Henrik Moller fell on the entry to the first turn in heat 1, and although it didn't look a bad fall, he was down a long time for treatment on a knee injury, and took an ambulance ride.

It was worrying but the Dane appeared for the rerun, in which the Tigers gated only to be caught by a fine Pijper cutback. Henrik joined Theo in a comfortable 5-1 after passing the visitors also.

It looked as though heat 2 would be the same result until Derek started running into trouble on the pits bend. On lap three he came to grief leaving the heat shared.

Heat 3 was a real cracker, Legault v Lawson. The Canadian led with William catching him and passing on the third turn of lap three. Legault came back round the outside though to earn a great win.

Rusty led heat 4 when Benji Compton came off going into the pits bend. His bike slithered yards round the turn forcing a stoppage, and Andre Compton won the rerun from the gate.

We managed to extend our lead with a heat 5 5-1, Sheffield's opening pair again being the victims.

Theo was quickest from the gate in heat 6 but he backed off entering the turn and Andre Compton won again, though both Monarchs were snapping at his heels.

Heat 7 was another entertaining one involving Legault; this time Rusty pulled off a perfect outside pass to win.

We took a 4-2 from heat 8, with Derek again looking below par. That put us 10 ahead with an Andre ride coming up.

He came out in black and white of course, and though William stayed with him for a lap the outcome was a 3-6.

Sanchez had been quiet but he nipped out of the start in heat 10. Henrik and Theo both looked capable of passing but tended to baulk each other and finished up with a shared heat.

It looked as though heat 11 would be shared until the final lap, when Ben Wilson hit the back straight fence and fell.

That gave Sheffield another TR chance, and this time Legault was successful.

Just 6 in it now, and we had memories of a heat 13 1-8 on Sheffield's previous visit. No such problem this time though with Rusty maintaining good form by winning from the gate. He was under quite a bit of pressure from Ashworth, while behind him Henrik passed Andre to give us an advantage.

Benji Compton was a surprise race leader in heat 14, and it took William a couple of laps to peg him back. Sanchez passed Sneddon for third, completing a poor night for Derek.

An enjoyable meeting ended with another Andre Compton win from the tapes, with Lawson and Harrison holding off Legault.