REPORT Sunday 13th August 2017, 0:00am
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs left Ashfield pointless this evening going down 53-39 to the Glasgow Tigers in an entertaining night of racing.
A fairly slick track led to some fast and tight racing and although passing was at a premium this did not dull the on track action with close racing throughout.
The Monarchs were invariably undone by a lack of top end power as they recorded only 4 heat winners to the home men’s 11 and with certain members of the septet ineffectual a tough night was always likely.
Monarchs team manager on the night Alex Harkess was in reflective mood after the meeting saying “We never gave up and we started picking up some wins towards the end, it was very much a from the start type of meeting and intermittently we did start but not consistently enough to challenge.”
The visitors got off to the worst possible start as any hope they would be able to catch the Tigers napping with it having been a month since their last home meeting was quickly dispelled as Richard Lawson and Nike Lunna rocketed from the tapes leaving guest Ludvig Lindgren and Theo Pijper in their wake. The fact this was completed in the fastest time of the season at Ashfield showing how sharp Lawson was from tapes to flag.
Heat 2 was to come with a major delay as Jack Smith went down in the first and second bend, initial thoughts of serious injury thankfully appear unfounded as Smith has been diagnosed with a dislocated elbow. With a 40 minute wait expected for an ambulance to come to take Smith to be checked over the decision was made for the track ambulance to take Smith to the hospital and a 90 minute delay ensued.
The Tigers romped home their advantage in the following heats with a pair of 4-2 and a 5-1 advantage between heats 3 and 6 meaning a ten point advantage and with that the Monarchs were forced to roll the dice Erik Riss donning the black and white helmet going for double points in heat 9. Home star Richie Worrall was fastest from the gate though and Riss could not make an impact although with the Monarchs filling in the minor places they did at least record a 5-3 heat advantage to reduce the arrears to 8.
Any hopes that the Armadale men could sneak a point form the encounter were all but distinguished in the very next heat as once again Lawson and Lunna streaked from the tapes to record a maximum heat advantage.
The travelling fans did at least have something to cheer in heat 12 as the Monarchs top 2 performers Ricky Wells and Josh Pickering made the jump and despite Worrall’s best effort Pickering would not be budged the pair passing and re-passing with the young Aussie taking the second place much to the delight of himself and the Monarchs faithful.
This was part of a fruitful night for Pickering as he raced to paid 12 points and Harkess was delighted with his efforts stating “It’s time for Josh to progress and he is showing signs of doing that and that is pleasing, we need him to score points and you can see his whole outlook has taken a step up and that is good, very good.”
The Monarchs joy from heat 12 was to be short lived as the Tigers pair of Lawson and Aaron Summers reversed the 5-1 score in the very next heat confirming the win for the Tigers.
All that was left was to see if home number 1 Richard Lawson could complete his maximum in heat 15 but Monarchs top scorer Ricky Wells was to put paid to this making a sharp gate and heading the Tigers home.
So defeated but not disgraced would probably sum up the night for the Blue and Gold and with the wonder that if the Monarchs are to head west again this season what will we be capable off if we have Sam and Mark back in place of the combined 6 points scored by their respective replacements.