Glasgow Tigers v Edinbugh Monarchs Image 1
KO Cup Quarter Final: Glasgow Tigers 44 Edinburgh Monarchs 46
EDINBURGH MONARCHS hold the upper hand in the all-Scottish Knockout Cup quarter final after clinching a narrow first leg advantage in the closing two heats.
Craig Cook won the last race of an action-packed day at Ashfield to ensure the Monarchs go into the secod leg on their own patch with a two-point lead.
There were never more than two points separating the sides at any stage but Edinburgh’s strength in depth told against a Glasgow side with only three riders showing any real form.
Glasgow captain Joe Screen won the opening race from Derek Sneddon but Cook muscled his way past Chris Mills on the last lap with the home man falling. Referee Stuart Wilson saw nothing untoward in Cook’s passing manoeuvre, much to the home fans’ dismay.
Mason Campton eased past early leader Micky Dyer in the next heat but Jayden O’Malley was forced out with bike problems and the race was shared.
Tigers hero of just a few months back Theo Pijper, a vital member of the 2011 title-winning side, won heat three for the Monarchs from Josh Grajczonek and with Edinburgh skipper Matthew Wethers in third, the visitors moved two points clear.
Campton however won the next, with James Grieves bursting between the Edinburgh riders to follow his team-mate home for a Tigers 5-1 and they moved two ahead.
Cook passed Grajczonek in heat five but the Tigers man cleverly cut back under the Monarchs number one to regain first position but Sitera was again off the pace at the rear.
Screen won the next but Andrew Tully and Dyer shut out Mills for a 3-3 then Grieves tried to round Pijper in heat seven but clipped his rear wheel and tumbled awkwardly.
O’Malley tried hard in the restart but the experienced Monarchs pair duly eased to a 5-1 and tied the scores at 21-21.
The next five heats were shared, with Campton’s outside pass of Sneddon to win heat eight the main highlight.
There was a fine effort from Edinburgh reserve Charles Wright in heat nine, who drew alongside Campton on the final lap, the Tigers number seven just managing to hold onto third place.
Screen and Cook won the next two then Pijper had to work hard to fend off the attentions of Grajczonek, who pressed and probed for an opening throughout.
Screen won heat 13 from Cook, but Grieves took exception to the latter apparently moving left across his line and made his feelings known after the chequered flag.
The Glasgow 4-2 broke the deadlock again but Edinburgh hit back once more with a comprehensive 5-1 from Wright and Wethers in the next race to retake the lead. Cook then sealed the win with a fast start in the last heat, winning by a distance from Screen, Grajczonek and Pijper.
Glasgow 44 - Joe Screen 14, Mason Campton 13+3, Josh Grajczonek 10+1, James Grieves 5+1, Chris Mills 1, Jayden O’malley 1, Filip Sitera 0
Edinburgh 46 - Craig Cook 11+1, Theo Pijper 11, Matthew Wethers 6+3, Andrew Tully 6, Derek Sneddon 5+1, Charles Wright 4+1, Micky Dyer 1
The date for the second leg of the tie is yet to be decided but Glasgow host Plymouth next Sunday at Ashfield in a league fixture, tapes up at 4pm.