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Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers

REPORT Friday 6th October 2006, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Monarchs gained a narrow win over Glasgow in a match of fluctuating fortunes.

There were a number of engine problems, with Edinburgh suffering early on and making a terrible start. Henrik Moller returned to the pits before heat 1 to switch to Derek Sneddon's bike, and still he stopped early in the race. Theo Pijper made a poor start and though he passed McAllan at one point, he lost control and Tigers took a 5-1.

Robert Ksiezak led all the way in heat 2, with Derek Sneddon (now on Kevin Little's bike!) closing in at the end of the heat. Both Monarchs' reserves went past Cockle early in the race.

Guests Little and Kerr shared heat 3 behind Nieminen, with the American closing the gap as the heat progressed and looking useful.

William Lawson lept from gate 3 to lead heat 4 all the way, but Monarchs lost their advantage as Derek Sneddon's machine gave up the ghost again while lying third.

We then had a delay for alleged dodgy tyres, with Bird claiming to be affected even though he had won heat 1. Nevertheless Chris Kerr took the lead in heat 5 and it was McAllan rather than Bird he put the pressure on. Kevin Little was the next to have engine failure while in a scoring position and this was getting beyond a joke.

Our opening pair did no better in their second heat than they had in their first, with Parker leading heat 6 and Ksiezak holding second in spite of pressure from Moller. Theo Pijper couldn't find any space to come from the back.

We were now 8 behind with several dodgy motors and it wasn't looking good.

Lawson and Stoddart went ahead in heat 8 with an excellent start. Nieminen passed Stoddart and closed on Lawson, but we had a heat advantage at last.

Heat 8 proved a turning point. Again Ksiezak gated, with Moller on his tail again. It was a close battle but ended when Robert stopped, gifting us a 5-1 and closing the gap to 2.

Parker headed the guests in heat 9, then we levelled in heat 10. At last Theo Pijper settled down to his normal style, beating Nieminen with Henrik Moller ending a poor night with a third.

No sooner had we levelled up than we threw it away again. William failed to beat the 2 minutes and had to go off 15 metres. Sean fought hard against McAllan before giving way, and William couldn't pass the Tigers who took a 5-1.

Kevin Little won heat 12, probably his final heat at Armadale, and Derek took advantage of a Cockle fall to cut the deficit to 2.

Heat 13 was a big one as always, and wide first corners by Theo and William swept them clear of the Tigers' big two. Bird stopped and Parker made no headway, so suddenly we were ahead!

The impressive Nieminen went ahead of Kerr in heat 14, with Derek third just in front of Robert. Derek held on for the important point, and an excellent ride by Kerr took him ahead of Nieminen with a clean inside pass.

So now we couldn't lose a match in which we had been struggling badly. Nieminen lost it on the first corner of heat 15 and slammed the fence, earning an exclusion and sadly a shoulder injury also.

Parker eased ahead in the rerun to make the final score 47-43, a small lead for the second leg and a decent result for us in the end. Given the early engine problems we encountered, we deserved the win.

HALMOND ENGINEERING MONARCH OF THE MATCH: William Lawson.