Scunthorpe Scorpions v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Monday 25th May 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

We didn't do too well over the first nine heats at Scunthorpe, but a fine fightback led by Andrew Tully gave us an outside chance of victory going in to the final heat.

Once again Andrew excelled on his old Conference circuit, dropping just two points and beating David Howe on his way to a heat 10 6-pointer that ignited the fightback.

We lost three 5-1s and two 4-2s over the first nine heats, taking only a single advantage in return - a heat 3 4-2 with a win for Tully.

We had started badly with a Fisher exclusion in heat 1, the first of the 1-5s. Aaron led but couldn't prevent the Scorpions from coming through.

Rajkowski-s time in winning heat 2 was the second fastest time of the night - bettered only by Tully's TR ride! None of the home men broke 58 seconds.

With the score at 34-20 we seemed to have little chance of gaining anything from the match, and for sure the home side saw it that way. Our riders tend to take a more positive outlook, none more so than Andrew Tully who shot from gate 1 for the six points in heat 10. Thomas fought a thrilling battle with Howe and Bergstrom before settling for a point.

Ryan had just a single point prior to heat 11, but he made a decent start and used the drive out wide to stay ahead of Magnus Karlsson. With Aaron taking a point we had chipped another two off the lead.

There was better to come. Lambert had been inconsistent, and Our pairing of Jonasson and Rajkowski blasted to the front and went for the 5 points. Lambert did pass Rajkowski but he went too wide on the final bend and the Raj was back through.

So now the score was 39-36 and we were right back in it. It would have been nice to split the Howe-Karlsson pair in heat 13 but we didn't manage that, so we were depending again on Andy and Raj in heat 14. They took 5 in style even though Carl Wilkinson was in the heat, so we were three down going in to the final heat.

A 5-1 would have brought us a win though that was a long shot against the very strong home riders. The Scorpions won the toss and took the stronger gates 2 and 4, but round a hotly contested first corner Andrew and Thomas managed to slot in to second and third behind Howe. Magnus Karlsson was buzzing round them all the way but only on the final lap did he edge past Thomas, with Andrew relatively safe in second. That was enough for a hard-won point.