Edinburgh Monarchs v Redcar Bears

REPORT Friday 25th July 2008, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

  Edinburgh Monarchs

A tough match against Redcar got even tougher when Carl Stonehewer was ruled out in a disastrous heat 1.

However the remainder of the team rallied round and turned in one of their most impressive performances to run out comfortable winners in a very entertaining match.

Both Jonasson and Auty were penalised for exceeding the two minutes in heat 1, Thomas being replaced by Derek Sneddon and Auty going off 15 metres.

Derek made the start with Monarchs? guest Stonehewer outside him, but the two made contact with Stoney going into the fence. He sustained foot or ankle damage and that was the end of his match.

A depressing start indeed. Aaron came into the rerun and rode well to hold second spot. He was out again in heat 2 and with Derek winning easily, Aaron fought a race long battle with Arlo Bugeja before gaining a point. That was the scores levelled, but we had probably expected better from heat 2.

Heat 3 though was an inspiration to the home team, with brilliant riding by Ryan Fisher and Andrew Tully. Although James Grieves as ever made the start, Fisher was through on the second bend, and Tully impressively followed by the same route later in the heat after an excellent battle.

Aaron made the start in heat 4 protected by Matthew, and hard match or not, we had built up a 16-8 lead.

Heat 5 was another eventful one. Initially Havelock led, with Fisher flying through the pack to challenge, and Tully battling with Auty. Josh came down on the third turn and was ruled out of the rerun.

In this Tully surged ahead off the second bend while Fisher ran into the back of Havelock and lost ground which he never regained.

Somewhat surprisingly Redcar chose to give Ty Proctor the TR in the next heat, perhaps believing that a pairing of Sneddon and Jonasson would be a relatively soft touch.

They weren?t, and Thomas won the heat even though his engine was smoking a bit. So now we were ten up and the TR was used.

However heat 7 went badly for Monarchs with Grieves and Kerr gating and Matthew unable to do anything about it.

We got that quickly back in heat 8, Derek winning, well backed by Thomas who looked after Josh Auty.

Heat 9 looked promising too, and again the Tully/Fisher pairing came up with the goods, taking a 5-1 off Proctor.

James Grieves took a good win in heat 10 from Thomas, and Aaron did a good job to keep Chris Kerr at the back.

Heat 11 was a tremendous race. Derek gated with Matthew tucked in, Auty battling round the outside with Havelock stuck on the inside in fourth but no room to move. So it continued for the full race, Auth continually battling round the wide line and finally grabbing second on the last corner.

That was fine team riding by the home men in spite of the eventual loss of a point, and in heat 12 we saw another demonstration of the art from Summers and Tully. Great riding to ensure that James Grieves could find no way through. James eventually locked up on the pits corner and swerved into Compton?s path, the race being awarded 5-1.

It was all over with a 20-point lead, three heats to go, a great effort with a rider missing.

Redcar took a 5-1 in heat 13 through Proctor (his only gate) and Havelock.

Chris Kerr was well placed early in heat 14 but Fisher swept round him, glancing over disdainfully as Kerr tried to push him out, and we then saw another fine effort by Aaron Summers to pass and subdue Kerr.

The final heat was another good one, Grieves just holding off Fisher and Proctor hanging on to third from Andrew.