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Edinburgh Monarchs v Glasgow Tigers

REPORT Friday 29th May 2009, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

The final Premier Trophy match may not have affected our position but no match against Glasgow will ever be taken lightly.

We took the lead with two opening 4-2 advantages but after that it took a long time to build a winning lead, partly thanks to some rather silly falls.

In the end the hero was Michal Rajkowski and he was given a big reception after winning the final three races.

Ryan Fisher had an up and down night which started with a fine read to head Shane Parker in the fastest time of the season. Matthew in his new slot at no. 2 took the point but he wasn?t close to the leaders.

Aaron Summers started his spell at reserve with a big win, and Sean Stoddart provided the point a few yards ahead of National Leaguer Ben Hopwood.

Heat 3 was an Armadale debut for new Tiger Robin Tornqvist. Rajkowski led all the way with Tornqvist in second pursued by slow-starting Andrew Tully. The Swede was not going quickly and was riding inwards down the straights, causing Tully a problem as he tried to pass. Eventually he did. Clipping Tornqvist?s wheel, only for Tully to tumble at the next bend!

That was an obvious chance to extend the lead spurned. McGowan won a shared heat 4, and Parker passed Rajkowski to take heat 5. It looked like we would add to our 4-point advantage in heat 6 as Fisher led McGowan, but he made a horrible error on the road bend to let the Elite Leaguer through.

A few riders were having problems with the grippier track, home riders as much as visitors.

Josh Grajczonek seemed to be on the move as the tapes rose in heat 7 and he went ahead. With Tully chasing, Josh locked up and almost stopped on the pits bend. Tully did well to quickly stop and swerve, and finished up on the centre. The race had to be stopped with Grajczonek excluded, an obvious decision in spite of the protests of Stewart Dickson.

We managed to get things right with a 5-1 in the rerun, followed by a 4-2 in heat 8 won by Wethers from Grajczonek.

That allowed a TR for McGowan in heat 9 and he led all the way for 6 points. Andrew Tully made things worse by falling and turning the heat into a 2-7, our lead now just being just 5 points.

Grajczonek got between race winner Fisher and Wethers in heat 10, and once again we were throwing points away in heat 11. Summers led for much of the heat, eventually passed by a smooth move from Parker, and Ryan Fisher managed to come to grief to gift a point to Adam McKinna.

The score at this point was 37-32 and with heats 13 and 15 featuring the top two Tigers, anything was possible.

Summers and Tully rode with caution in heat 12, well clear of Tornqvist and Davey, to ensure there were no slip-ups as we took a 5-1 to go 9 ahead.

Rajkowski was the rider replacement in heat 13, and he whizzed to the front ? and this time stayed there. Meanwhile Fisher punched his way between the Tigers on the pits corner, relegating Parker to the rear, and on the last corner he just failed with a bold bid to pass round the outside.

We were now safe for the win with that unexpected 4-2, and made sure of all the points as Rajkowski won heat 14. Summers was third, unable to catch Davey.

We put out our double figure men Rajkowski and Summers in the last race and Michal made it a memorable hat-trick with another thrilling win. Even though pressurised by McGowan, and lifting on the pits bend, he sped on undaunted and earned the huge applause he was given after the heat.