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Edinburgh Monarchs v Redcar Bears

REPORT Friday 30th May 2008, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Monarchs are the first team through to the KO Cup semi finals after despatching their previous bogey team Redcar easily over 2 days.

The score in the Armadale second leg was the same as it had been at Redcar ? 55-38.

Considering Andrew Tully was missing this was a good effort. Sean Stoddart proved to be a decent stand-in with 6+1 but Aaron Summers had his poorest meeting of the season, scoring just 1 and making a series of errors, including two crashes against the fourth bend fence.

William Lawson was in invincible form, and he had brilliant backing from Ryan Fisher and Matthew Wethers along the way. It took a while to really subdue the opposition, with just a 4-point lead at heat 8. James Grieves as always was in good form and Josh Auty had one of his best meetings of the year, but Gary Havelock was again out of sorts.

Lawson made his customary start by blowing away the opposition in heat 1. Sean Stoddart took a point to give us the lead.

Josh Auty showed as he had on Thursday that when he makes a start he can be a flier, winning heat 2 from Sean Stoddart. Summers was well back in the early stages but persevered and took advantage of Bugeja?s erratic last bend to take third.

After a first bend pileup at the first attempt, Grieves led heat 3 but Ryan Fisher neatly tucked inside him off the fourth corner and went ahead going into lap two. Derek Sneddon chased the back but lost it on the pits bend while lining up a passing attempt, and left the track.

Monarchs were on a 5-1 in heat 4 but Summers? bad night continued as he flew across the pits corner and battered into the fence. Wethers led the rerun but Proctor looked useful in second.

Derek Sneddon was determined to make amends for his recent poor form and flew from the start in heat 5. He drifted towards the fence and accidentally block ed the run of Ryan Fisher, but he did get ahead of Havelock. Ryan couldn?t catch Havvy but Derek completed the win to boost his confidence.

Heat 6 was another easy win for Lawson but Summers trailed at the back.

Heat 7 was a very enjoyable passing battle between Wethers and Grieves with the home man finally settling the issue with a fine outside pass.

Fisher easily won heat 8 but all eyes were on Summers, chasing Auty for second. It was a good effort by Summers ? until he messed up the last bend again and hammered into the fence, throwing away a point. At this point we were just 4 ahead.

Fisher led from Sneddon in heat 9, but Sneddon lost second to the persistent Auty.

Matthew Wethers was our r/r in heat 10, and although Grieves made the start, Lawson went round him and Wethers under him to get on a 5-1 down the back straight. Unfortunately Giffard fell on the first corner, injuring his wrist and stopping the heat.

In the rerun, Grieves tried harder to block Lawson?s run ? but he still squeezed through a tiny gap and joined Wethers up front!

That moved us into a 10 point lead. Havelock at last made a start in heat 11, only for Sean Stoddart to join the party by going round the outside to the front! Havelock chased but Wethers came into the picture, moving round Havelock on the road bend. Unfortunately Havvy lost control and the pair of them came down.

The rerun was a comfortable 5-1 over Keskinen, giving us a cushion for the dodgy looking heat 12. Grieves was on a TR but it was Sneddon who led the way, putting up a great fight as Grieves tried to pass him on the outside. On every bend he tried, and each time Derek just cut him off ? until the final turn when Grieves squeezed through to win a fascinating race by inches.

With Auty third that was a 2-7, and the score was now 42-33.

Havelock was out of heat 13 and it was an easy 5-1 for Lawson and Wethers again.

Fisher took his fourth win in heat 14, with Bugeja taking an unexpected second ahead of Stoddart and Auty.

Finally William Lawson completed his maximum with Grieves this time just holding off Wethers and stopping his paid max.