REPORT Saturday 20th May 2017, 0:13am
The Parsons Peebles Monarchs recovered from a slow start to record a 53-39 victory over the Newcastle Diamonds on Friday night in a result that moves them four points clear at the top of the SGB Championship.
The Armadale side got off to the worst possible start conceding a 5-1 in the very first heat and while this was quickly reversed by reserves Mitchell Davey and Max Clegg in the next race the home men still found themselves regularly beaten from the starting gates in the early goings and were 6 points down after 5 heats.
A brace of maximum heat scores in heats 6 and 7 put the Monarchs in front for the first time and this was a lead they were never to relinquish.
Home team manager Alex Harkess was philosophical after the match stating ‘The end product was what we wanted but the start was certainly not what we wanted to be fair. To go six down against any team can be awkward and Newcastle always produce here but we knuckled down got the win and the end product was what we were looking for.’
The Monarchs had reserve Max Clegg to thank for his part in the turn around as he continued the excellent form he showed last week after a difficult start to the season racing to a paid 14 score. Harkess being fulsome in his praise of the youngster after the match saying ‘You can see the difference, he believes he can pass people, he believes he can challenge anyone and on this form he is capable of beating anybody.’
Clegg played a key role in the turnaround and he also produced the two best rides of the night to enthral the home fans. Firstly in the aforementioned heat 7 as he came from last place to pass visiting captain Ludvig Lindgren with a delightful inside swoop and was about to repeat the feat on Lewis Rose when the Newcastle man locked up in front of him causing both to come down. The referee making the right call in awarding the race in favour of the Monarchs.
Better was to come in heat 11 as Max was once again left trailing behind the previously unbeaten duo of Aaron Summers and Ashley Morris. Clegg went to work though first passing Summers on the 2nd lap before cutting back expertly to pip Morris on the line to take 2nd behind his teammate Monarchs captain Sam Masters.
Masters was also in dominant form as he was only headed once by an opponent and with Ricky Wells chipping in with double figures alongside 7 each for Mark and Erik Riss and a further 5 points from Davey it was a solid performance that sets the Monarchs up well as they travel to Workington on Sunday looking to further stretch their advantage at the top of the division.