Image Credit: Ron MacNeill

Newport Wasps v Edinburgh Monarchs

REPORT Sunday 4th July 2010, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

The rain plus a strengthened Newport side made this a difficult afternoon, but once again the Scotwaste Monarchs rose to the occasion to take our fifth successive away league victory.

Drizzle was present pretty much the whole way through the contest which meant that the track became ever greasier, and the Monarchs showed a greater appetite for the fray. After a good start we lost the lead, but came good with a power finish before the call-off at heat 12.

Ryan Fisher and Kalle Katajisto led our challenge with Tobias Busch showing his determination and ability mounted on Kalle?s second bike, having wrecked his own at Rye House.

Things went our way over the early heats. Leigh Lanham picked up a 2-minute exclusion in heat 1, Robin Aspegren spun off on the first turn, then Busch and Fisher sped home in the rerun ahead of Lanham on a Watson bike. Although he had a free run it did look as though Tobias was going really well.

Kalle led all the way in heat 2, and Cal McDade took advantage of a last lap fall by Kurtz tro take a point, so we were already 6 up.

Craig Watson touched the tapes in heat 3 and went off 15 metres. Legault gated and led all the way from Fisher and Wethers, with Watson looking unhappy in the wet as he often does.

Kurtz popped out of the start in heat 4 and looked like a winner till he hit a late problem on the second bend, allowing Katajisto through for another win. Track record holder Tully was at the rear on a bad day for him which included a broken-down van.

Fisher did brilliantly to sweep past Watson and Legault on the first turn of heat 5, but Tonias crashed at the rear and the heat was stopped. Ryan did it again though for an important win.

We now saw the best of new boy Aspegren. This young Swede is good, and he won heat 6 by a long way from partner Lanham with Tully still not showing his best form.

Our lead was cut to 2, and Wasps had another race winner through Nilsson in heat 7. Matthew and Kalle shared it ahead of Davies.

Aspegren did it again in heat 8, shared by Busch and Katajisto.

We finally saw the best of Andrew in heat 9, chasing race leader Legault and slipping past cleverly on the inside.

However Andrew came out as rider replacement with Matthew in heat 10, and again the Aspegren-Lanham proved too strong as Wasps took a two-point lead.

The track was getting wetter and it was clearly important to strike back before heat 12.

Superbly, Busch and Fisher pushed ahead at the first corner in heat 11 and sped home. Davies pressed Fisher but this time Nilsson was tailed off badly.

Busch had earned the fourth rider replacement slot, and justified it in style as both Tobias and Kalle passed Kurtz in heat 12 for a great 5-1. Watson was again at the rear, a shadow of the rider we saw on Friday.

Now we had some grading and an interval of sorts as the rain continued, and after discussion between the riders and referee Durno, the match was off. Result stands, and again we had done what we needed to do.