The Parsons Peebles Monarchs suffered their first defeat of the season going down heavily 57-34 to the Glasgow Tigers at Ashfield on Saturday night.
On a night where coming from the back was particularly difficult the Monarchs were routinely last from the gate and could make very little impact on a fired up and on form Tigers outfit.
The match had started promisingly enough with the score all square at 12-12 after 4 races. Glasgow also being undermanned having lost the services of flying Finn Nike Lunna after a high speed crash in heat 3 which saw the youngster heading to hospital for x-rays on his hand and we hope for positive news for Nike.
The tide was to turn at this point though as the Tigers then hammered in 3 consecutive 5-1 advantages. Heat 5 being a particular sore one for the Monarchs as a comfortable looking shared heat turned to disaster when both Sam Masters and Josh Pickering came down. Masters hitting the fence heavily and on another night he may have pulled out of the remainder of the meeting.
A share of the spoils then heat advantage due to a tactical double points ride stemmed the tide but this was temporary as the Tigers turned the screw again over the final heats with ex Monarch Dan Bewley the star of the show racing to his first maximum at Championship level.
Monarch’s co-promoter Alex Harkess was philosophical after the match saying ‘We had a reasonable start but the wheels came off with the crash with Josh and Sam. We were not competitive out of the starts and we only had Mark who seemed capable of winning a race and on the night we just weren’t competitive despite the boys putting their heart into it we could not get going at all.’
So a tough night for the Monarchs with only Mark Riss excelling with a paid 16 score. Glasgow are a strong outfit particularly at home and this will not be the only time they turn someone over this season the Monarchs will now regroup and look to get back to winning ways next Friday when Workington visit Armadale.
Team Manager: Stewart Dickson
|1. Aaron Summers||1||3||3||3||3||13||0|
|2. Dan Bewley||3||2*||3||2*||3||13||2|
|3. Richard Lawson||3||3||3||2||3||14||0|
|4. Nike Lunna||X||0||0|
|5. Richie Worrall||3||3||3||2*||2*||13||2|
|6. Tom Perry||2||2*||2*||001||7||2|
|7. Jack Smith||F||0||0||E||0||0|
Team Manager: John Campbell
|1. Sam Masters||2||X||1*||0||1||4||1|
|2. Josh Pickering||0||1||1*||2||1|
|3. Erik Riss||2||1||1||E||4||0|
|4. Max Clegg||T||0||0||0||0||0|
|5. Ricky Wells||2||1||4||1||T||8||0|
|6. Mark Riss||3||1*||2||1*||2||3||2||14||2|
|7. Mitchell Davey||1||1*||0||2||1|
In a weekend of heavyweight sporting battles including Joshua vs. Klitschko and Old Firm and north London derbies from a speedway point of view all eyes will be on one and one only as the Parsons Peebles Monarchs head west to face the Glasgow Tigers on Saturday night.
If any extra drama was required then throw in the fact that this is a top of the table clash with the Tigers having the chance to jump above the Monarchs at the summit with a comfortable victory and we are all set for a night of drama and tension under the lights at Ashfield.
Glasgow are built on a strong top 3 and we have seen for ourselves over the last 2 Friday’s the form that Ritchie Worrall and Richard Lawson are in and Spud Summers is not far behind in that regard either. All 3 are averaging over 9 points a match so far on the season and their battles with Sam, Ricky and Erik will surely be something to behold.
While the top 3 are all firing this was maybe to be expected and the big boost so far for the Tigers has been the progression of Nike Lunna. The colourful Finn looks like he is taking the next step in his career and has certainly found the quickest way round Ashfield averaging 8 points a match there so far this season.
The younger end of the team Den Bewley, Tom Perry and Jack Smith have all had their moments but have maybe not found the consistency they would have hoped for yet but the season is still young and we all know how good Dan can be, Perry raced to a 5 and a half point average at one point last season before injuries derailed him and Smith is one of the brightest prospects in the country and seems to be hitting form having romped to a maximum for Belle Vue in the National League on Friday night so none of these guys can be discounted in any given race either.
The Tigers had started the season on fire at home romping to victories over Scunthorpe and Newcastle before scrapping home against a Craig Cook inspired Workington last Sunday. Was this just a blip that will act as a wakeup call or can the Monarchs build on this insecurity and bring the spoils back east?
Ashfield is certainly a place that holds no fears for a vast majority of the Parsons Peebles Monarchs predominantly due to the frequency of which we used to be visitors. Our top men have all had exceptional meetings there, with Sam, Ricky and Erik all having hit double figures. Mark has visited twice and scored points both times and of course Mitchell is an ex-Tiger. Max is yet to find the quickest way round but had some encouraging rides in the strong field in the Ben Fund meeting and we know that Josh will be his usual all action self.
The Monarchs will certainly need to improve on their performances last year as we went down rather tamely on both visits particularly in the KO Cup when we were dominated 54-30 in a curtailed match. That was then and this is now though and with our unbeaten run still intact (just) we head west in a confident mood and we will look to keep it tight early on and see what we can do come the crunch time.
A cracking night of racing lies ahead in what is sure to be a blockbuster affair as the top of the table berth and of course the bragging rights that come along with any derby are all at stake. So get yourself along to Ashfield tonight and cheer on the boys.