REPORT Friday 4th August 2017, 10:45pm
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs lost their unbeaten home record going down 51-39 to the Sheffield Tigers at Armadale on Friday night.
The bigger blow for the Monarchs though is the loss of Sam Masters with an early diagnosis of a badly broken collarbone and a visit to hospital ahead while like all speedway riders Sam will be back as soon as he can this is a bitter blow for the recently named Australian GP wildcard and of course the Monarchs.
The incident happened in an ill feted heat 13 when after the Monarchs had gated on a 5-1 Chris Harris had battled his way pat Masters into second. Masters was attempting to regain 2nd when he locked up with Kyle Howarth left with nowhere to go but into the prone Aussie to make matters worse the Tigers took full advantage with a 5-1 in the re-run.
The hosts had started well enough and had built up a 6 point lead by heat 4. Masters taking the chequered flag in heat 1 with Theo Pijper picking up a solid third. A pair of shared heats were followed by a big 5-1 for the Monarchs after Kyle Howarth had touched the tapes. Mitchell Davey doing well to hold onto second after a tremendous effort from Howarth to come from the 15 metre handicap.
A handful of shared heats followed as the Monarchs could note shake off the visitors and this was to prove costly as the earlier fortune of heat 4 was to reverse in heat 10. That man Masters was leading with Pijper in third when coming out of the 4th bend of the 1st lap Masters ground to a halt. This meant what had looked like an 8 point lead was in fact only 4.
This lead was to disappear just one heat later when Todd Kurtz and guest Chris Harris rocketed from the tapes and with Harris protecting his partner expertly for four laps it
was all square.
By this point the visitors had gotten to grips with conditions and were routinely ahead into the first bend. The Yorkshire men took the lead for the first time in heat 12 with the impressive Josh Bates leading from tapes to flag and Jan Graversen ahead of Mitchell Davey for third.
The aforementioned 1-5 reverse in heat 13 meant the Monarchs were 6 down and were looking for a great escape. This was not to come though as Bates once again made the trap to take the win in heat 14 despite Josh Pickering’s gut busting efforts. At the back a third place for reserve Jan Graversen ahead of the ineffectual Max Clegg meant that not only was the match now Sheffield’s they were on the hunt for the full 4 points that comes with an away win of more than 6 points.
This was duly delivered as Harris and Howarth were once again sharper from the tapes in the last heat and the rout was complete.
This was a deserved victory for the visitors and one that took them to the summit of the table and they have certainly laid down a marker for the rest of the league.
For the Parsons Peebles Monarchs this will act as a wakeup call and with further tough tests to come the Monarchs will be looking to rebound quickly although all thoughts are with our captain tonight.