The champ! Image Credit: Ron MacNeill


NEWS Friday 23rd March 2012, 1:25am

by Mike Hunter

On a memorable opening night to the 2012 Armadale season, home star Andrew Tully came from third to first in the final heat to take the David Harrison Ford Scottish Open Championship.

He became the first Scotsman riding for Monarchs to lift the Jack Young Trophy since Bill Landels in 1966, and earned himself the biggest crowd roar for years at the Scotwaste Arena.

Andrew said “I felt really good to hear that, everybody cheering for me, over the moon.

“I was aiming for the cutback behind Ollie Allen and was picking up some speed, then he made a little mistake and I took my chance. Quality!”

It was an excellent meeting with some very good racing in the early heats, and also towards the end. As anticipated beforehand numerous riders were in contention and provided excellent entertainment – Theo Pijper, Craig Cook, the Glasgow duo of Grieves and Grajczonek, Kevin Doolan, Ollie Allen, Monarchs’ old boy Kevin Wolbert, Ulrich Ostergaard and Ty Proctor were all in the thick of some super heats.

James Grieves really is extraordinary – it was his first meeting of the season and yet he was right into the groove, winning his first race from the back against Olly Allen, and completing his qualifying heats with a superb win against Ulrich Ostergaard, who drew alongside him several times but could not get by. That made James top qualifier on 13 points.

The other two going direct to the final were Olly Allen (in spite of a fall) and Andrew Tully (3 wins). Kevin Doolan won the semi against home men Cook and Pijper who both made great efforts to catch him, with Kevin Wolbert at the back. Kevin was unlucky with an engine failure in his last qualifying ride.

It looked like Oliver Allen would add the Scottish Open to his Fence Fund Challenge win at Berwick last week as he led in the early stages. James Grieves was in second spot but Tully rounded him and set out after Allen.

The Peterborough man made a fatal error on the fourth turn of lap three, losing momentum, and Tully was through to delight the big crowd, getting the Armadale season off to a great start.