Another good heat 1 Image Credit: Ron MacNeill


REPORT Monday 27th June 2011, 10:44pm

by Mike Hunter

  Edinburgh Monarchs

We led at heat 8, and were still level on aggregate at heat 12, but two 1-5 losses meant we went down on the night and on aggregate. After a much better Ashfield showing than last time, the score was 41-49, 88-94 overall.

Craig Cook was eventually forced out with the wrist injury sustained at Newport, so we used rider replacement with Derek Sneddon in for Kalle Katajisto. Derek gated and battled well for his 8 points, and r/r gained 6. Would we have done better with Craig and Kalle in the ranks? Maybe, maybe not ? though both would have to have done better than last time!

With many travellers just back from Cardiff, and the last challenge match visit to Glasgow just 15 days ago, it wasn't all that surprising that we had probably our lowest travelling support ever at Ashfield.

We took a 5-1 in heat 1 through Matthew Wethers and Kevin Wolbert, and another in heat 7 from Tully and Sneddon, to lead by four points at that stage. Tigers took over the lead in heat 9 but the next three heats were shared to keep the aggregate level. Both Kevin Wolbert (heat 11) and Kyle Howarth (heat 12) lost third places which cost us.

Wolbert did make a start off the poor gate 1 in heat 13, but he couldn't hold position round the pits bend and we lost the heat 5-1. Much the same happened to Derek Sneddon in heat 14 and that was that as far as the Trophy went.

Wolbert became the first rider to beat Grieves in heat 15, and Wethers won a superb four-lap battle for the point with Complin. All things considered our score of 41 was a decent effort against a team going so well in every competition at the moment.

The four main scorers all rode well with Andrew Tully in particular much improved on last time.

There were just three times under 60 seconds - amazingly all by Monarchs' riders (Wethers, Tully, Wolbert).

It was nice to have Kyle Howarth back, and he was on the pace, but against the powerhouse Glasgow reserves we were well swamped 19-2 in that department. Hopes that a different engine would see Lee Dicken find form were not realised.