Edinburgh Monarchs v Workington Comets

REPORT Friday 20th July 2012, 10:00pm

by Mike Hunter

Workington are a good side but we always feel we should have the edge on them at Armadale, especially since Rusty Harrison left. However with Micky Dyer carrying an injury, things weren’t quite so certain.

We made such a good start, leading by 12 after 5 heats, that we probably thought the job was done. A 7-2 loss in heat 7 suggested otherwise.

The opening heat was a pretty comfortable 5-1, with Richard Lawson well back, and even more importantly Micky Dyer gated and rode a steady four laps to win heat 2. It was a relief to see him complete the heat. Marcel Helfer had another of these steady heats at the back, and was quite close to Howarth for much of the race.

Bach from gate one jumped through the tapes in heat 3, and went off 15 metres. Aarnio led down the back straight with Wethers coming inside him on the pits bend. Bach had probably jumped the start and was up on Pijper by the first corner!

Aarnio lifted over the back of his machine leaving the fourth corner and it was a relief to see Pijper calmly pick a route between the rider and the fence.

In the rerun Bach waited for the tapes to go up before moving, and didn’t get close to the home pair.

Helfer made a better start in heat 4 but went very wide and took Tully with him, dumping his partner off at the fence. Marcel was out, leaving Tully to smoothly pick off Morris and Roynon after they had gated ahead.

Pijper and Wethers had already been gifted a 5-1, and they were handed another in heat 6. Lawson and Ingalls gated, but the American bounced his way across the bend and trapped his partner at the fence. The home riders sailed through for an easy maximum.

Cook then won heat 6 but Sneddon had a poor heat, losing second to Roynon down the back straight, then also losing third as Morris came under him.

Bach took a TR in heat 7 and made the start. He knows Tully well and realised that the home man was using his turning ability to try to squeeze under him on the corners. Bach did very well to cover that move for the whole race, and Aarnio added the third.

Howarth was quickest away in heat 8, though this time Sneddon chased all the way and put strong pressure on him. Dyer came into the heat and beat the struggling Ingalls.

Roynon made the best start in heat 9 with wethers second early on. He looked slow and let Pijper through, but he didn’t get close either. Seven points in it at this stage, and three successive heat wins by the Comets.

Derek Sneddon hadn’t looked at his best, but that’s just when his determination kicks in. Cook made the start in heat 10 with Sneddon in second, chased by Bach. Cook suddenly hit some dirt entering the third corner and swept right out to the pits entrance. Sneddon went ahead and Cook managed to get back on line just before Bach came through. He looked uncomfortable for the rest of the race and went over to examine the entrance to the third corner after the heat.

The lead was back up to 11 and Tully kept it at that by beating Lawson and Howarth, with Helfer taking his third ride and looking a bit discouraged.

Things went wrong in heat 12 though. Pijper went into the first turn between Bach and Morris but was pushed back to third, and fell on the pits corner trying a wide sweep. In the rerun, Dyer got between the Comets and edged ahead, but he couldn’t hold it and dropped nack to third as the gap narrowed to 7 points again.

Heat 13 was therefore going to be significant, and it was again the home top duo of Cook and Tully who romped away from Roynon.

That ensured victory for Monarchs but if the visiting reserves could take something from heat 14 the Comets still had a chance of a point. It was a good heat with Dyer the early leader, then a brilliant move by Wethers to slice between Howarth and Morris took him onto second. However Dyer started to drift wide and was passed by both the visitors.

Wethers’ win had guaranteed all three points as long as Monarchs had a finsher, and no-one begrudged Adam Roynon a flying win which stopped Cook’s maximum in heat 15.