Monarchs defeat battered and bruised Bears
Edinburgh took a healthy 54-36 win against a patched up Redcar Bears as they put themselves firmly in the driving seat ahead of this evening’s second leg at the ECCO Arena. On a night of few passes on a slick circuit, Josh Pickering top scored for the Monarchs with a brilliant 15 point maximum whilst Charles Wright top scored with 10 for a Redcar side who were left cursing their bad luck after a torrid evening north of the border.
Edinburgh started the night with a 4-2 as Sam Masters took the win with Lasse Frederiksen holding off Aaron Summers for third. Heat 2 saw Kasper Andersen and Kyle Newman gate on a 5-1 until 3 riders bunched together which sent Jacob Hook, Andersen and Newman crashing into the fence. Newman was fine with Andersen left battered and bruised with a slight knee concern after a few minutes on the deck.
All 4 riders were invited back for the re-run but unfortunately for the Bears, the Monarchs reserve pairing gated for a maximum to send the hosts into an early 9-3 lead. Kye Thomson made it 3 Monarchs winners from 3 with a tapes to flag win whilst Paco Castagna claimed third to extend Edinburgh’s lead to 8.
The first shared heat of the quarter final arrived in heat 4 as Pickering won but with Lewis Kerr and Kasper Andersen in second and third respectively, the gap remained at 8 points. After Redcar’s first heat winner arrived in heat 5 courtesy of Summers, Edinburgh stretched their lead to 10 points with another 4-2 as Masters defeated Kerr whilst Frederiksen passed Newman on the last lap for third.
Edinburgh’s 4th 4-2 of the night arrived in heat 7 as Pickering won comfortably with Wright in second and Sarjeant in third. More bad luck arrived for the Teessiders in heat 8 as Newman gated with Andersen in the mix only for the Dane to collide with Fredriksen causing both to crash with the race being stopped in the interests of safety. The re-run saw Newman break down at the gate with Andersen in second but with Jacob Hook in third, Edinburgh’s lead was an eye watering 14 points.
More bad luck hit the Bears as Kerr crashed heavily in heat 9 whilst attempting to pass Thomson and Castagna with the Bears star taking a nasty tumble. Kerr was forced to withdraw from the meeting with the Silver Helmet holder feeling the effects of the crash. Thomson was excluded from the restaging after being deemed the primary cause of the stoppage with Jenkins coming in for Kerr. Castagna gated to take an important win to keep the Monarchs in a 14 point lead.
After back to back shared heats won by Masters and Pickering respectively, Redcar took their first heat advantage of the night in heat 12 as Wright and Newman both gated to take an extremely comfortable 5-1 to reduce the arrears to 10 points. Edinburgh’s masterful top 2 immediately returned the compliment in heat 13 as they hit a decisive 5-1 to put the Monarchs 14 in front.
Kyle Newman provided the moment of the night for the travelling Bears fans with a fantastic outside pass on Sarjeant in the closing stages of lap 1 to take a deserved win but with both Monarchs finishing ahead of Jenkins, Redcar remained 14 behind. Heat 15 saw the pairing of Masters and Pickering claim a potentially crucial 5-1 to round off a fantastic first leg for the Monarchs as they head to Redcar with a sizeable 18 point lead to defend.
Jamie Swales was naturally disappointed with the result, “ It was definitely a disappointing night for us, we went into the meeting with high hopes but unfortunately it all started to unravel for us in heat 2 with Kasper’s fall. Things then went from bad to worse with engine problems and Lewi having to withdraw through injury.”
Edinburgh Monarchs = 54
1. Sam Masters = 13+2
2. Lasse Fredriksen = 5
3. Kye Thomson = 5
4. Paco Castagna = 6+2
5. Josh Pickering = 15
6. James Sarjeant = 5+1
7. Jacob Hook = 5
Redcar Bears = 36
1. Aaron Summers (G) = 5+1
2. Jason Edwards R/R
3. Charles Wright = 10
4. Jordan Jenkins = 3+1
5. Lewis Kerr = 3+1 (Withdrawn)
6. Kyle Newman = 8+1
7. Kasper Andersen = 7+1