Bears beaten by magnificent Monarchs
Redcar’s play-off hopes are hanging by a thread after their undefeated home record was ended emphatically by an impressive Edinburgh side in the first leg of the quarter final at the Media Prima Arena.
Redcar struggled for heat winners throughout the evening with an Edinburgh rider taking the chequered flag a staggering 11 times as they ran out 39-51 winners on the night. Edinburgh’s star man was Drew Kemp who scored 13 points to help his side to victory. Redcar were severely hamstrung by the loss of Michael Palm-Toft earlier in the week and rider replacement only returned a paltry 2 points which was one of the key differences between the sides.
The Monarchs took the lead in heat 2 when Drew Kemp passed Jordan Jenkins on lap 3 and with Jason Edwards in third the Monarchs took a 5-7 lead heading into heat 3.
The impressive Josh Pickering took the win in heat 3 with his Australian partner Kye Thomsen defeating James Sarjeant for third Edinburgh extended their lead to 4. 4 shared heats followed with Drew Kemp showing why he was the main man on the evening with a win over Charles Wright in heat 6.
Redcar looked to have found their way back into the meeting when Jason Edwards broke down when leading heat 8 which turned a probable Edinburgh 4-2 into a Bears 4-2 which cut the gap to 2 on the night. The ninth race saw Edinburgh double their lead to 4 as Richie Worrall took a tapes to flag win from Jake Allen and Kemp. After a lap of heat 10 it looked like Redcar had found their mojo as they sat on a 5-1 but Josh Pickering rode the boards spectacularly to pass James Sarjeant which limited the damage to a 4-2.
The killer blow was struck in heat 11 when Kemp and Sam Masters combined for a 5-1 to put the Monarchs 6 up. Another heat advantage followed in heat 13 when Masters won and Worrall got the better of Lewis Kerr to extend the lead to 8. Josh Pickering finished the first leg job for the Monarchs with back to back wins in heat 14&15 as he got the better of Allen and Wright respectively to put the Monarchs in charge heading into the second leg at Armadale.
Redcar co-promoter Jamie Swales believes the loss of Michael Palm-Toft was key “Having to run rider replacement was the key difference in my opinion this evening but you could not fault the lack of effort from our guys. Jordan Jenkins hurt his wrist again which didn’t help but rider replacement returned 2 points and even if Tofty (Michael Palm-Toft) was having a bad night he would return at least 6 for us. When you build a team with a strong top 4 and the 4th man isn’t available you are snookered. Building a team this way is a gamble and it has worked all season but it’s just failed us at the crucial time.
Swales is also refusing to throw the towel in, “If Tofty is back for the second leg we can go there and do a job. We have the second best away record in the league behind Poole so there’s no reason why we can’t go to Armadale and pull the deficit back if we have a full 1-7. We really have nothing to lose!”
Swales also commented on the impressive performance of Drew Kemp for Edinburgh, “Kemp loves this track, that’s why we used him so much as a guest for us this early this season! Drew was gating and beating good riders throughout and he was the difference maker.”
Redcar Bears = 39
- Charles Wright = 10+1
- James Sarjeant = 7+1
- Jake Allen = 11
- R/R for Michael Palm Toft = 2
- Lewis Kerr = 6
- Ryan Kinsley = 0
- Jordan Jenkins = 5+2
- Greg Blair – 0 = 0
Edinburgh Monarchs = 51
- Sam Masters = 10+2
- R/R for Anders Rowe = 6
- Kye Thomsen = 7+1
- Josh Pickering = 13
- Richie Worrall = 7
- Drew Kemp = 13
- Jason Edwards (G) = 1
- Luke Crang – DNR