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Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers

REPORT Friday 27th March 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

The good weather we have had for most of March broke, but it didn?t stop the Scotwaste Monarchs from turning in an impressive show to take a 16-point lead in the Spring Trophy.

The only home rider having problems was Thomas who struggled badly with the slippery surface. On the plus side there was plenty: Aaron Summers a fine full max, Michal Rajkowski a great home debut, steady scoring from Sean, Andrew and Matthew and loads of thrills from Ryan Fisher.

It wasn?t a great night for the Tigers once again, though obviously Parker and Grieves did well. The younger riders didn?t sparkle and maybe we will have to wait for drier conditions to see which of them might get the hang of Armadale.

Tigers took 5 TR points under the new rules to retain a glimmer of hope that they could win the Spring.

Monarchs opened with an advantage, and it might well have been a maximum over Parker had Ryan Fisher not lost it on the pits corner after a couple of laps. No such problems for Summers who was smooth as silk.

The relative strength of the reserves is always important, and the home pair left the Tigers in their wake. Sean rode steadily and Michal comfortably sat with him.

Heat 3 was not so good. Thomas didn?t leave the tapes, and Peter Juul didn?t turn, bringing Andrew down quite heavily. Juul and Jonasson were both out of the rerun in which Josh Grajczonek gated, Tully passed him and then slid off entering turn three. So that was a 2-3.

We lost the next two heats as well. A great passing battle between Wethers and Grieves went to the visitor, and Sean slid off on the second turn to gift Andersen a point.

Parker won heat 5, and Thomas struggled badly, being passed by Ross Brady. So we were now just 15-14 in front.

Grieves went into the tapes in heat 6, and went off 15 metres. He was soon into third but didn?t really challenge Summers and Fisher up front.

Grajczonek picked up an exclusion on the second bend of heat 7 when he locked up and virtually stopped, leaving Wethers nowhere to go. In the rerun Matthew and Michal had no difficulty taking 5.

Ross Brady led for a bit in heat 8, but Summers was not to be denied and came through off the fourth bend for another fine win. Brady gradually slowed and Sean Stoddart nearly caught him also.

Tigers were now 11 down so used Grieves as a TR in heat 9. Andrew Tully chased hard but to no avail, and the race ended early when Thomas fell at the back. That was the end of a dismal night for him.

Tigers middle pair was struggling and were no match for Summers and Fisher in heat 10, which gave us a 10-point lead again. That wasn?t enough for a Parker TR, it is a 12 point gap required for the second one. It was a good heat with Rajkowski leading for a couple of laps before Parker swept majestically by on the outside of the road bend. Brady was replaced by Andersen after touching the tapes.

Rajkowski replaced Jonasson in heat 12, and for the second time our reserves took a 5-1 to give us a 14-point advantage. This triggered the second Tigers? TR, Parker in heat 13, but he wasn?t well away. Grieves led from Fisher, Parker passed Wethers, and with a sensation burst into the pits corner Fisher drove under Grieves, judging it perfectly. A lesser man than Grieves might have come down under the challenge.

Tigers took a 5-3 with Parker getting second on the line, but there was an easy 5-1 for Tully and Rajkowski in heat 14 ? Michal?s fourth paid win of the night.

We let Aaron off heat 15, and Ryan Fisher led all the way under great pressure from Parker with his wide sweeps. Ryan kept it covered to ensure we shared the heat.