REPORT Monday 31st May 2010, 10:00pm
After an exciting match at Scunthorpe the Scotwaste Monarchs came out on top by 48-41, with the amazing Kalle Katajisto again leading the way on 15.
The track provided good racing as usual, and the key to our win lay in keeping the Scorpions? reserves quiet ? they have been piling up points in recent matches.
We were unlucky in a couple of the refereeing decisions, but on the other hand David Howe?s late engine failures probably balanced up the luck.
Ryan Fisher made the gate in heat 1 with the home riders behind. When Jerran Hart fell on the pits bend, Jozsef slipped inside the fallen machine and passed Magnus Karlsson who had swung to the outside.
Referee Horley stopped the heat, no doubt because Magnus had been baulked, though in such situations it is more normal just to let the race run.
Sure as fate, Magnus made the start in the rerun and led all the way, though Fisher kept up strong pressure throughout. It was noticeable too that Jozsef was only a few yards adrift at the finish.
Kalle took an early grip on heat 2 and led all the way, taking no time at all to size up the track.
Kevin Wolbert was also having his first outing at the Eddie Wright Raceway, and he too took an opening ride win. With Matthew in third well clear of Wilkinson, we edged ahead by 10-8.
David Howe showed his quality to come from the back for a heat 4 win but the race was shared by Katajisto and Tully.
Fisher swept ahead in heat 5, with Aarnio keeping in fairly close contact, much more impressive than he is at Armadale! Unfortunately Jozsef had bike problems and dropped out early in the heat.
Heat 6 was our next brush with the referee. Lambert and Karlsson led with Tully challenging strongly. Andrew worked his way inside Magnus on the pits bend of lap through and went through, but Magnus came down.
Most people thought an exclusion for Andrew was harsh, but the resultant 5-1 put us 2 down.
Howe led heat 7 but this time we saw the best of Matthew, a brilliant outside sweep taking him to the front to win and Level the scores.
More heroics in heart 8; this time Kalle led all the way but it was Jozsef who produced the brilliant burst from the back to pass Lambert and Wilkinson. A 5-1 put us 26-22 ahead.
Wilkinson came to life to win heat 9 from Andrew Tully. Max got into the action briefly as he went ahead of Aarnio, but the home man came through again.
Again Matthew was impressive in heat 10, limiting the damage as initially Aarnio and Karlsson were out in front. Wethers challenged and passed Karlsson, but the home 4-2 levelled the scores.
Now we needed the big effort, and obviously Kalle was going to play a big part. In spite of Jozsef?s great ride in heat 8, he had to make way for the no. 7 in heat 11, and Kalle duly took the lead backed up by Ryan Fisher. David Howe pressed hard from the back and late in the race he grabbed second.
Kalle then replaced Max in heat 12, and this time off gate one he had a first turn problem, lifting and dropping to the back as Kevin Wolbert took the lead. Kalle fought back and passed Lambert giving us a second 4-2 and a 38-34 lead.
Heat 13 was obviously a potential problem but it got easier as Howe?s engine crackled and stopped as he left the start. Fisher went ahead from Karlsson and we had our third 4-2 on the trot.
Now we just needed a shared heat 14 to ensure victory, but Kalle and Matthew did much better by surging to the front once again. Wilkinson kept up a challenge and caught Matthew coming off the final turn.
We were eight up and seemed certain to take all four points as Fisher led the last heat, with Kevin third as Howe?s engine again failed. Surprisingly Ryan came to grief at the end of lap two, and so Kevin had to go out again in a 2-man race with Karlsson.
He challenged hard throughout, with Monarchs? fans urging him to keep safe for the fourth match point. On the final bend it looked as if Wolbert was going to take the lead, but a late change of direction by Magnus displeased the German and baulked his run.
Magnus did claim it was an accident caused by hitting a hole. However we had the four points after another great display.