The winners at Foxhall Heath tonight Image Credit: Gordon Campbell

Monarchs Win At Ippo

REPORT Thursday 27th July 2017, 9:27pm

by Graham Muncie

The Parsons Peebles Monarchs have pulled off an astonishing win at Ipswich tonight with a 47-46 scoreline after being 12 points down at heat 10. It might be the biggest comeback in our history!

The Parsons Peebles Monarchs produced their best performance of the season so far to claw back a 12 point deficit and win at 47-46 at Ipswich on Thursday night a result that saw the Witches lose their first home match of the season.

Forecast rain that hit a lot of the area but not the Foxhall track meant that the surface was perhaps a little slicker than usual but there was still plenty of close exciting racing if not an abundance of passing but that will be of no concern to the small band of Monarchs fans in attendance.

The Monarchs victory was built on the power of Sam Masters and Erik Riss at the top end and a high scoring return from Josh Pickering at reserve but all the team did their part. Ricky Wells and Max Clegg recorded a heat win apiece. Mitchell Davey beat his opposite number in the reserve race and was unlucky not to do the same in heat 4 and although Theo Pijper struggled on track his willingness to help his team with a loan of his machinery showed just how much of a team man he is.

Monarchs Co Promoter John Campbell was delighted to have seen his side come back to take victory saying after the match “You could see that coming as the meeting progressed and you could see the team pulling together as the night went on. Theo struggled but when Sam had his engine problem he was first out with his bike for the tactical ride and again he was ready with his machine if it was needed in heat 13. Josh had perhaps his best away match of the season. It is all about scoring the right points at the right time and for Sam to go out and win his tactical ride on Theo’s bike is unbelievable. I think to come and win here the most difficult track in the league to win at is fantastic.”

The Monarchs had made a solid start with early heat wins for Ricky Wells and Erik Riss meaning the visitors only trailed by 2 after 5 heats. Unfortunately Masters was to suffer the first of a couple of engine problems in heat 5 not making it past the first bend and the resultant Ipswich 5-1 meant the hosts were 6 up.

The hosts have a powerhouse top 5 and this was proving to be the Monarchs undoing as even if a Monarch did make the start as Erik Riss did in winning his first 3 races more often than not the two Witches riders tucked in behind him. When a Witches rider did win a race this almost inevitably led to a heat advantage and the home men used this to build up to a 12 point advantage by heat 10 and at this stage the Monarchs appeared as if they would leave empty handed.

As is so often the case though a tactical ride was to change the course of the meeting as Sam Masters took 6 big points in heat 11 as previously mentioned on teammate Pijper’s machine. With Pickering gaining an excellent third place the lead had been cut to 7.

This would be further cut in heat 13 when Masters performed the move of the night to cut between Danny King and Rory Schlein coming out of the second bend and with Riss then passing Schlein later in the race the gap was now only 5.

The hope at this stage was the Monarchs could perhaps gain something in heat 14 but at the very least share the heat to try and consolidate a point from the meeting. Lady luck was to smile on the Monarchs though as Justin Sedgmen who had made the gate and was leading comfortably appeared to struggle with machine troubles and came down. Max Clegg and Pickering where in position to take advantage and stroll to a 5-1 and all of a sudden there was only 1 point going into the last race with Masters and Riss sure to be out again and with the pick of the gate positions.

Masters made an imperious start from the inside and with Riss getting himself into third coming out of the second bend the race was on. King and his partner Cameron Heeps kept the pressure on throughout the race but with the Monarchs pair not putting a wheel wrong a match winning 4-2 was clinched to cap an outstanding comeback and gain an unlikely victory.