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Scunthorpe Scorpions v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Monday 26th May 2008, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

The Scotwaste Monarchs took a horde of supporters down to Scunthorpe where the Scorpions gave us perhaps a harder match than we expected, before our young heroes came up with the goods again.

There was a really unpleasant blustery wind whipping across the stadium all day, and the early heats didn?t go entirely to plan for us.

Thomas rode a great first heat from gate one to lead all the way in the opening race, but William didn?t look comfortable on the heavy surface and dropped from third to the rear.

Heat 2 went comfortably to the flying Tully (though he pulled one pits bend locker) but for once Aaron Summers was slow to get into his stride and finished fairly far at the rear.

Heat 3 looked as though it could be a break in the scoring as Derek gated ahead, and Ryan came alongside him down the back straight. However Derek fell going into turn three with Ryan coming down also, and initially it was announced that the American was excluded! This was probably a helmet colour confusion and eventually it was clarified that Ryan was OK for the rerun.

He made no mistake with a fine ride. Matthew then made it four winners out of four, but again it was a shared race as Aaron lost position by riding over the camber going into the first corner of lap two.

Magnus Karlsson broke his team?s race win duck by leading all the way in heat 5, in which Thomas and William had to work their way past Scott Richardson to make it the fifth shared race.

Andrew Tully took his second flying win in heat 6 but Matthew?s efforts at the rear were unsuccessful, and he took an awkward fall against the fence coming out of the last turn.

Thankfully he was OK. Richard Hall made the start in heat 7, hotly pursued by Ryan Fisher who was just short at the finish. Derek eventually got the better of Adam McKinna for the point.

We replaced Aaron with Mr Tully for heat 8, and once again he was flying, swooping into the turns in great style. Unfortunately this time Thomas missed the start and eventually lost power at the back.

Magnus took another win in heat 9, in which Aaron Summers took Tully?s place, and Aaron did well this time to pass Richardson on the opening lap to take second. Matthew eventually went under the same rider to make it an amazing 9 successive 3-3s.

The track was changing a bit now and we were about to take a grip on the match.

Tully replaced Sneddon to line up with Fisher against Moore and Wilkinson ? and the home riders made the start. However with another incredible swoop Tully went round the pair of them to the front ? to be followed through on the inside shortly afterwards by Ryan Fisher! They were irresistible and we had made the break.

Now that we had one 5-1, we wanted another and we got it. William shook off his earlier problems to make the start, and though Richard Hall held second Thomas showed great determination to push through for another maximum advantage.

Suddenly we were eight points up and maybe didn?t want to make that ten to allow them the TR. If that was in our mind it worked out because heat 12 was shared ? but only after a sensation ride by Andrew Tully.

He trailed Karlsson and actually lost second for a moment by going too wide on the bottom bend. He re-passed Bekker and threw everything into a chase on Magnus. Going into the last former he eased inside the Swede and pulled off a remarkable clean and skilful pass!

Derek was at the back so there was no TR chance for Scunny, and four laps later it was all over anyway. Matthew had had a quiet afternoon but burst from gate 4 with William backing up for another 5-1. What had been such a tight match was all over ? we only needed finishers even allowing for an unlikely 1-8.

That didn?t happen either, though Hall did take a TS ride. We brought in Tully and another 5-1 was on the cards until Andrew pulled out with a puncture, losing what would have been a second successive personal maximum.

Ryan won the heat though, and he made it a great day for him too when he joined William for a last heat 5-1. A comfortable win in the end, but we had to dig deep before we shook off the Scorpions in a very exciting fixture.